Follow our seven-step process for creating even reveals when hanging flush-mounted cabinet doors.
Steps 1 & 2
When you install a flush-mounted door, you simply place one rectangle inside another, right? Well, we all know that looks can deceive in the world of woodworking. Door installation can quickly zoom past "simple," and go all the way to "frustrating."
Ideally, your carcase has perfectly square corners, so does each door, and you fit them together with a perfectly even gap, or "reveal," all the way around. But don't count on it. Almost always, you'll have to compensate for small flaws that can add up to big problems. Here's how to handle the all-too-typical problems in a common two-door cabinet.
1 First, build the doors to the exact size of the carcase opening. That gives you some extra wood to work with in the fitting process.
Set the cabinet up on your workbench, if possible, and make sure it's sitting level. Measure it carefully and, using a crosscut sled on your tablesaw, trim one door to a length 1/16" less than the height of the opening. Now set the door in place, as shown above. Does the hinge-side stile sit tightly against the carcase? If so, you're off to a great start. But if you see space at one end, use cardboard or folded paper to make a shim that fits the gap an inch from the end of the stile. You'll use this shim in the next step.
2 Go to the tablesaw to shave a bit off the bottom rail at a very slight angle. This will let you align the hinge stile, but won't ruin the look of the door as long as you don't have to trim off too much. To get the right trim angle, place your shim an inch from the end of the door that did not show a gap, as shown at left. Test-fit the door again, and trim some more if necessary. Be careful to remove very little stock with each trim.