Glass Panel Doors for Entertainment Center


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I'm about to start building a plywood entertainment center that is very similar to the one that Marc has shown on the free site. But instead of an 1/8" sliding panel door, I want to do hinged doors. At first I was just going to do solid wood/plywood doors with no embellishments as we're keeping it a more modern look. But now I think I want to do glass panel doors. I have never built a cabinet door before, but I see there are some router bits specially made for making glass door panel frames.

Now I do not yet have a router table. It's on a very long list of projects yet to be built. Is it possible to use these w/o router table? If that is not possible, are there any recommendations on how to build such a door with one?

 

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With out a router table I am not sure use those bits.  Each one has two cutting blades and if you tip the router in just the slightest way one part of the bit is going to grab more then the other and you are going to end up having a really bad day.

On the table saw one of the easiest would be a half lap, if you have a tenoning jig you could do a bridle joint. 

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3 hours ago, rkrueger said:

I'm about to start building a plywood entertainment center that is very similar to the one that Marc has shown on the free site. But instead of an 1/8" sliding panel door, I want to do hinged doors. At first I was just going to do solid wood/plywood doors with no embellishments as we're keeping it a more modern look. But now I think I want to do glass panel doors. I have never built a cabinet door before, but I see there are some router bits specially made for making glass door panel frames.

Now I do not yet have a router table. It's on a very long list of projects yet to be built. Is it possible to use these w/o router table? If that is not possible, are there any recommendations on how to build such a door with one?

 

To use the router bits you need a router table, but your first router table doesn't have to be anything fancy. It can be as simple as a piece of 3/4" plywood set up across two sawhorses with a router attached underneath and a 2x4 clamped in place as the fence, and it can be set up in under 30 minutes

Do a google search for "simple router table" and you will find plenty of articles and videos. 

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If you are planning tall glass doors either use dominos or tenons in the 4 corners for strength . You can make a simple square edged frame, cut mortices & tenons to assemble it then rabbet the back to accept the glass.  For almost 30 years I have used Lexcel clear caulk to install glass. Finish the case, hang the doors and finish the doors including the rabbet. After the finish is dry and cured use double strength glass cut about 1/16 to 1/8 smaller than the inside of the rabbet. Clean the glass well, lay it in place and caulk one edge at a time and immediately smooth the surface with a finger wetted with mineral spirits/paint thinner. A gloved finger works but clean it each time. Work your way around the door. The surface of the caulk will skin over if not wetted w spirits so work clean and carefully. Let the doors lay flat in a safe place for 2 or 3 days to cure and harden . Do not caulk under the glass, just across the back and the slight gap around the edge . If the glass ever gets broken you can cut around the edge and replace it. If you caulk under the glass it is hard to remove the broken glass without getting cut or scraping up the front of the door .

This caulk remains slightly flexible for decades and still crystal clear. I have seen it at Lowe's for under $9 a tube. It never peels out like silicone will.

When the door is closed the glass won't rattle and it actually reinforces the door. If you tack in wood strips to hold the glass it rattles and one slip of the hammer can crack the glass.

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11 hours ago, treeslayer said:

i built a stereo cabinet with glass doors and used hardware just for glass doors, no wood frame at all. whatever route you go use tempered glass, more expensive but well worth it for safety's sake, plate glass breaks in all sharp edges, tempered does not.

What kind of hardware did you use? Do you happen to have a link to something similar?

 

11 hours ago, wdwerker said:

If you are planning tall glass doors either use dominos or tenons in the 4 corners for strength . You can make a simple square edged frame, cut mortices & tenons to assemble it then rabbet the back to accept the glass.  

The doors will be small, about 12" x 18.5".  Do you think I could get away with biscuits and edge gluing? I'm not opposed to mortise and tenons either, I'll just need to get my first dado blade set.

Great advice with the glass and caulking. Thanks!

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Just now, rkrueger said:

The doors will be small, about 12" x 18.5"

So I assume that means you're planning to do four doors then?  Because the plans call for two doors closer to 19" square.  (Sorry if I missed it, I kind of skimmed the thread.)

I built that cabinet a few years ago.

 

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I followed the plans for the most part, the one major exception being I used 3/4" ply for the doors instead of 1/4", and I inlaid a wenge track so you couldn't see the interior layers of the ply (that was a flaw in Marc's design, IMO...even if it was just 1/4").

Honestly I think the sliding doors are the coolest part of the design and you'd lose a lot by not using them.  The one caveat to that would be if this is going to be your main entertainment center and you'll have a lot of components you want to display and need to access (by hand or remote) then I can understand the desire to use glass.

My main system and expensive components will be going downstairs once I finish the basement so I'll be building a different style cabinet for that (open shelving).  But for just a TV, DVD player and a cable box, this design works great because you can hide all of the DVDs and other miscellaneous crap behind the solid doors.

If you do decide on glass doors, you could just use a rail and stile bit set and use cope and stick joinery on the router table.  Or you could do bridle joints with a tenon jig.  No dado stack needed for either joint and both are better than biscuits, both structurally and aesthetically.

Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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If the guy doesn't have a router table, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he doesn't have a Domino.  Of course if he does, he should sell the Domino and buy a router table.

I'd personally do mortise and tenon, or dowels if you're not comfortable with M&T yet.  I would rabbet the back to accept the glass.  One of my first "big" projects was a similar TV stand.  I was new and dumb enough to use pocket holes for the door frames (built in big box store red oak, before I knew how ugly red oak is :wacko:)  I hate it, but the wife likes it.  We still use it unfortunately.  I rabbetted the doors to insert lexan panels that are held in place by those rotating plastic clip things.  I should have glued them in place.

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@Eric.

You are correct, I will be doing double doors for a total of 4 doors. My entertainment center is going to be a bit wider than Marc's, about 7 feet, and just a tad shorter. I fear you won't really want to see it when it's finished as the wife has requested it to be.... wait for it....  painted. The reasoning is this will be up against a 10 foot high wall that is clad in a variety of wood, and she thinks it will be too much wood on wood action.

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I do not have a domino unfortunately, I wish I did. If I start completing the long list of projects I've made for myself, I can probably justify the purchase. I still need a jointer and bandsaw though, so those would probably come first anyway.

I don't have a tenoning jig yet either, but I could get one if there is one that comes highly recommended. I could definitely use the practice making m&t since I have yet to have done that before. But since this will be painted, perhaps a bridle joint would be the easiest? 

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a bridle joint may work, i have used them in the past and locked them together with wood dowels from the rear of the door and have also used half-lap joints that i pinned from the front. i don't think either one are as strong as M&T joints, i could be wrong about the strength of these joints but i haven't had one fail yet

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I recently bought this set and used it on my current project.  It's great.  Yes it's expensive but you'll use it for plenty more projects down the road.  It's a standard Shaker chamfer profile.  Also good for the clean, contemporary look.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0062I1JGI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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Something that worked well for me when I started woodworking was to learn to make doors on the table saw. At that time a good table saw book was great help.  After that I had good luck with Freud stile/rail cutters and used them for years.  I found out quick that if I was going to make doors often then I was going to make two quick and inexpensive router tables and leave the cutters in them all set up so you don't need fuss with them every time you want to make doors. I'm lucky enough now to have 3 shapers set up.  I do understand that alto of you do this for fun and set up time doesn't matter and then with the Domino, anyone that can afford one can make a door frame without much skill and in no time at all.  Myself, Until I stop trying to make a living doing woodworking I cant take the time and enjoy or even use hand tools but It is lots of fun seeing and learning from what you all do.

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