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When Fine Woodworking art director Michael Pekovich was faced with making 31 cabinet doors, he soon realized he’d need a simple, speedy solution. Enter the cope and stick joint. These bit combinations allow you to rout door frames quickly, in two steps. The first bit routs a profile and panel groove on the inside edge of all the frame parts. The second bit is a mirror image of the first, routing a coped profile and a stub tenon on the ends of the frame rails.
What you create is not a traditional mortise-and-tenon joint. But done right, it gives you a cabinet door that’s just as strong. The key is to use a flat panel of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) that’s glued in place—not a raised panel, which is designed to float. All in all, Pekovich was able to build 31 doors in the course of a weekend, from milling lumber to finish sanding.
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