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    Lance Blurton

    I am going to start to build the Kitchen cabinets for may new house. I was planning on doing Frame and panel for the sides and back for the practice. I want to use solid wood. Does any one know how big the panels can be or is there no limit. The largest will be 36 inches.

    Thank you for all your wisdom

    • This topic was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Lance Blurton.
    Larry Geib

    With solid wood there is most definitely a limit, two actually.

    First, if you make panels on lower cabinets wider that they are tall, it looks weird. If they are door panels, they will intrude far into the room when you open them.

    Second is wood movement. Solid wood can move more in width than what is allowed for in the groove that frame an panel construction is usually made with. Consider that the first commercial manufacture of high grade plywood was to make the construction of single panel house doors possible.


    Think frame and panels around 24” max. That’s about a 19” wide board. Even that is pushing it. Solid doors usually are two or more panels wide for a good reason.

    Benoît Van Noten

    25 years ago, (I was not yet in woodworking) we bought an IKEA kitchen. We have solid wood “frame and panel” doors. Nothing has moved.
    The widest doors are 60 cm. Distance from groove bottom to groove bottom is 49 cm. Grooves are 1 cm deep.
    Looking at the top edge of the frames, they are visibly made with shaper’s bits with complementary profiles.

    I have an old garde-robe which also has panels about 49 cm wide.

    So 49 cm wide panels are perfectly OK.
    No limit (except aesthetic) for the height).

    We have room doors with 56 cm wide panels, but then the groove are about 1.5 cm deep.

    Tom Davies

    My advice would be to use plywood for the caracasses, other than at the end of a run where the carcass will actually be visible. You’ll have plenty of practise at frame and panel when you do the doors!

    Lance Blurton

    Thank you all for the information. I do greatly appreciate it

    Sven-Olof Jansson

    One of the advantages with making cabinets and cupboards is that dimensioning can be adjusted to the premises.

    The attached photo shows my solution to only having slightly more than 6 ft. available for a kitchen bench. The dishwasher recess is European standard of 600 mm width, and the cabinet is 900 mm wide. By making the bench taller than standard, I got away with one single door that is higher than it is wide. And we could fit a wide sink.

    The bench is a Scots pine frame and plywood panel construction. With temperature kept >16° C (61 °F), we’ve had no problems with dimension changes due to humidity.

    The cupboards above received double doors, to not having the open doors protruding outside the bench front.

    (The photo was shot past 4 pm, hence the two empty margarita glasses).

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

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