Vented Pantry Doors

Last weekend I had time to fabricate four pantry doors. The doors will feature a ventilated center panel. This was a quick project to finish a custom pantry. The doors are a simple shaker style door. The doors will be painted white to match the pantry.

Before we begin any project, read and understand the instructions of the equipment you are using. Please use hearing and vision protection

The Joiner and the planer I will be using utilizing have a helical cutter head which reduces noise and in my own personal opinion provide a superior cut compared to a straight blade cutter. I have been using these machines for several years now and I couldn’t imagine being in the shop without them. For more information about helical cutters click here.

Step 1: Milling the stock

We are using Birch to fabricate our doors. This wood is common for making cabinets. I am using it for its stability rather than the aesthetics. Starting with rough stock I purchased at The Hardwood Store of North Carolina. I joined the edge on the joiner. With one edge joined I can flip the board giving me a straight edge. This edge runs straight against the fence while joining the face of the board. To make it easier to run the stock on the joiner I cut the length of the boards slightly longer than the height of the doors.


From the joiner, the next step is planing the boards to the proper thickness. With the joined face down on the planer, we take a few small passes at a time. Our final thickness is 3/4″ thick. We run all the boards through to ensure they are identical.


With all the boards joined and planed, the width of the stiles and rails need to be cut. To do this we use the table saw. The final width is 3 1/2″ for both the rails and stiles. I want to ensure that when assembled, the doors will be flat. I like to cut them oversize and run the board through the joiner again. This will give me a true 90-degree edge to assemble the doors.

For more detailed information on milling stock click here.

Step 2: Assembly

Prior to assembling we chamfered the edges at 45 degrees. This is easier to do prior to assembly. This will give us the desired Shaker profile .

There are many choices to assemble the doors. Half lap, mortise and tenon, butt joint and so on. We are using a butt joint.  This is typically not a strong joint. To ensure that these doors will last we are using our trusty Kreg Jig. I personally have been using this jig for 20 years now and find it a good choice.

The panel will remain metal and the frames will be white. Using pocket holes makes assembling of the doors easy. Even with the glue still drying we can handle the doors