My First Raised Panel Door

I made my first raised panel door this weekend. It was actually easier than I thought it would be.

I’ve been taking a series of woodworking classes at our local Woodcraft building Shaker inspired pieces with Glen Huey. Glen’s a great instructor, showing us how he makes the pieces in his shop. It’s nice seeing how he works to make each piece simply, and how many of the setups help to eliminate mistakes.

The door (about 14×19) used rails and stiles that were 2 1/4 inches wide with 1/4 inch mortices and a 3/8 inch deep dado 1/4 inch wide with haunched tenons.

The cutting sequence is actually quite simple:

  • cut 1/4 inch wide mortice in the rails, they should end 3/8 inch from the end and from the mating rail edge
  • cut 1/4 inch deep kerf 1 1/4 inches from each end of the faces of the rails
  • cut 3/8 inch deep kerf 1 1/4 inches from the inside edges of the rails
  • cut 3/8 inch deep kerf 7/8 inches from the outside edges of the rails (this is for the haunch)
  • using a tenon cutting jig, cut the tenons on the rails to fit the mortices
  • cut a 1/4 inch dado in the insides of the of the rails (first) and stiles (second), use the tenons to size the dados so haunch will fit securely in the rails

The raised panel was simple to make also. We were using a 5/8 inch panel so the raised panel stands proud of the frame (just an 1/8th inch).

Glen likes to use a 12 degree angle, so the edge of the panel is needs to be 3/16 inch to fit correctly in the dado. We used a zero clearance plate for the saw, then set the height of the blade so the outside edge of the blade’s tooth would just come through the panel by holding the panel above the blade as it was adjusted. We cut the end grain first and then with the grain. I was suprised by how much force it took to cut the end grain.

After raising the panel we reset the saw to square up the edges of the raised panel, shaving off just a fine 1/8th inch to clean up the edge. Just a little sanding later and we were able to glue up the frame and raised panel doors.

Monday March 27, 2006   ·   Permalink