How to Make Shaker Doors on a Table Saw

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Things You'll Need

  • One piece of 1/4-inch plywood 13 by 21 inches

  • Two pieces of solid wood 1 by 3 by 22 inches (Stiles)

  • Two pieces of solid wood 1 by 3 by 13 inches (Rails)

  • Table saw

  • Wood glue

  • Clamps


Always wear safety glasses. Use extreme caution when running the rails on their ends as this can cause injury.


Never raise the table saw blade more than necessary to make the cut.

Shaker (panel) Doors

Shaker doors get their name from the center part of the door being made from 1/4-inch plywood. The most attractive aspect of Shaker doors is the ease with which they can be made. The wood can be any that is available. You can use either solid wood or plywood in oak or birch.

Step 1

Set the fence of the table saw to 1/4-inch. Next, set the table saw blade to 1/2-inch in height.

Step 2

Run the stiles and rails on the long edges to make a groove in the edges. Make one pass with all the stiles and rails.

Step 3

Turn the wood around and run the pieces through again. This will result in two things: a 1/4-inch space from both the front and the back of the stiles and rails, and a 1/4-inch groove in the center in which to slide the 1/4-inch plywood.

Step 4

Tongue and groove

Next, set the table saw fence to 1/2-inch over the blade. Set the height to 1/4-inch. Run the ends of the rails (cross cutting) through the blade. Then, turn the over and run them again.

Step 5

Set the fence on 1/4-inch over the blade, stand the rails on end and make a pass through the blade, turn them around and do the same. This creates a ‘tongue’ that will fit into the groove of the stiles.

Step 6

Clamping the door

Run a bead of the wood glue on the tongues of one rail and slip it into the grooves in the stiles. Hold this in place while slipping the 1/4-inch plywood into the grooves. Next, run a bead of wood glue on the tongue of the remaining rail and slide it into place. Clamp the shaker door with bar clamps and leave for at least three hours.


Michael Straessle

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.