Cabinet door facelift

Our two cats had passed recently. My wife and I didn’t like looking at the cat door in the cabinet door in the laundry room anymore. Their liter pan was under the laundry sink to keep it out of sight. So, after pricing new doors and finding out they wanted insane $$$ for them, I made my own.
We had some displays built at work and there was a pile of 1/3 - 1/4 sheets of 3/4" MDF left over.
They look pretty good from a pile of scraps from work.


So they are solid slabs with a pocket in the middle?

I’m about to do something similar… what was the depth of the pocket?

They are solid 3/4" mdf. It is a 1/4" deep pocket. Making a jig for the hinges. Debating about cutting hinge pockets on cnc or use the jig afterwards. Will have to make them for the kitchen now too…

Used a 1/4" bit for the pocket. Then ran a 1/8" bit around edge to clean up the corners. I thought I’d need to go with even smaller in corners, but you really don’t see the corners after the 1/8" bit unless right up at them. The other benefit of using the 3/4" material is that when they close, they dont have that cheap, thin box store cabinet door sound (of course, just my opinion)

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Sanded and primed… they would be finished if that damn work thing didn’t always get in the way… lol :laughing:


Finally! It took a hurricane shutting work down for several days to get the time to finish the doors… but, now I can say it is complete and the Mrs is very happy!


My wife wants new cabinet doors for the guest bath and then our kitchen. Now a neighbor stopped over and liked them so much, he wants a set for his house… possible side business brewing??? :thinking:
Now how to price them…?

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That is always a very hard question. Commit to the smaller job and estimate the materials and time. Be fair, and adjust for the next job.

I was thinking a sheet of 3/4" mdf material and about 2 hours per door (based on the my previous ones)… he wants to paint them himself, so less labor for me. Need to get a count of doors to make plus who’s supplying hardware… would be a cool project. A big leap from coasters! :laughing:

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An alternative approach to pricing is to look at “comps.” What would a custom job cost from someone else? Then decide if you want to compete on price.

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Bear in mind that your neighbour is maybe seeing this as an opportunity to score himself some doors at the cost of the raw materials and may not be interested in paying anywhere near what they’re actually worth. Just make sure that you come up with a formula that rewards you appropriately for your materials, time and investment in equipment.

He’s a good guy and just retired two weeks ago from the military… if he paints them, I’ll do it for time and material for him. The prep and painting took the most time. Did i mention i hate painting…? Cutting the hinge pockets will be extra… we’ll see, i haven’t decided on the time price yet. I won’t get rich, but will make a bit more than it costs me. Maybe get more through word of mouth.

Like Tom, I find its better to barter with friends and family on stuff like this, I never feel like I get what my time is worth otherwise. Invite them over to watch the machine cut their job and have them bring the beer and supplies.

I normally tell them to treat the wife and I to a dinner at a nice restaurant and call it a day. Makes for a nice night out with friends and justifies my toys to the boss when she benefits from it.

This could be a big job though so your milage may vary.

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OK, so you hate painting. Maybe you could trade the doors for him painting your new cabinet doors for the guest bath and kitchen :wink:


If you plan on selling or making more doors, I‘d recommend getting a planing endmill. I got a 16mm one that goes through oak with a 5mm DOC and 2000mm/min like butter. Makes jobs a lot faster.

I’ve thought about it. Lol. Want to see how his come out first!

Ok, i dislike painting, but i have to say i did a really good job on the doors i made so far… lol

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I’ve bought a few different ones to try out next. Do you have one in particular that you prefer?

I’ve got one of those: Sorotec Online-Shop - Werkzeuge and I am really happy with it.

It’s from Germany though, but there should be equally good ones in other countries.

That’s a nice one! Here are the two I’m going to test next. The red one we used to use at work for something in packaging dept. Hear it would chew through material easily, but until i test it, who knows. They were throwing a couple out (old unused stock) as we don’t need them anymore, so the price was right.