Saturday, November 24, 2007

Door detail...

In the previous post I mentioned I was going to discuss the rabbet detail at the edge of the doors where they meet. To create the overlapping rabbeted edges without adding any stock and making it appear as an afterthought, the rabbeted edge profiles are formed from the door stiles themselves. Since the inner door stiles have been designed to be, in this case 1 1/2 inches wide, rabbeting one or the other would reduce this width of stile by the width of the rabbet and in the process cause the door stiles to look a bit off. I also want the right door to overlap the left door with the assumption that the right hand door is typically the first one to be opened.

The techniques I use is to create the left door middle stile at 1 3/4 inches and keep the right door middle stile at 1 1/2 inches. The overlapping, complementary rabbets, once created, will leave both stiles at 1 1/2 inches width. Design dilemma solved!

The primary reason to have these overlapping rabbets is both a form and function issue. Wood doors tend to expand and contract with seasonal change, although much less with this frame and panel design, but nonetheless there is a small gap that narrows and widens where the doors meet. The overlapping rabbet handles this very well, providing wood behind the small gap resulting in no glaring gap between the doors and the doors interlock. These two features justify this extra step. In the photo above the rabbet detail can be seen and the door stile widths are once again of the same width, or at least the visible parts are.


rookster said...

I've been chatting with a friend on this design element. He suggests that a right hander might open the cabinet with the left hand to have the right hand free to remove an object. Have you ever put the front lip on the left side?

Norman Pirollo said...

Good question and it really becomes arbitrary at some point. I'm left-handed myself, the clients are right-handed, so I assume the first hand that goes up to open a door is the hand you favor, in their case, right hand to right door. I've never put the lip on the left-side, always the right, since most of the world is right-handed. Not sure if you have read any of James Krenovs' books, he uses the outside lip on the right convention.

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