How to Avoid Twisted Doors
The frame-and-panel doors on my last two projects came out twisted, even though the hinge sides are flush with the cabinet. What’s causing it and how can I fix it?
Jeff Streba, Salt Lake City, UT
Blame your stock, joiner, or clamping for the twist, so keep an eye on all three when you build your next doors. Start by choosing stock for the frames that has reasonably straight grain, and make sure you let it acclimate to the humidity in your shop for a few days before milling it. Properly dimensioned and seasoned stock is critical to making straight frames for doors, so be sure the workpieces have faces that are parallel and edges that are square.
Miscut joinery also causes doors to twist. The tenon cheeks must be parallel with the rails, and the mortise walls must be parallel with the stiles for a door…