Seven Simple Steps to Frame and Raised Panel Construction
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of the tip
The procedure outlined here covers construction techniques
for making straight-edged stiles and rails from 3/4" thick
lumber, using only the table saw.
creation of stiles and rails with decorative edges requires
the use of special shaper cutters, such as Shopsmith's
Complete Cabinet Set - or router bits, such as Shopsmith's
Reversible Stile & Rail Bit.
NOTE: Since upper saw guards cannot be used when making these
cuts, push sticks, featherboards and proper safety devices
should be used at all times to help avoid injury when making
the cuts shown in this procedure.
1: Cut your door stiles (vertical boards) & rails (horizontal
boards) to fit your cabinet door opening. Rail lengths should
equal the width of the door opening minus twice the width
of one stile plus 1" (twice the 1/2" depth of the groove you'll
cut in the rails). Mark the inside face of each stile and
rail to avoid confusion when cutting the grooves.
2: Set up your Dado
Blade Set to cut the grooves on the insides of your stiles
and rails. Since we're cutting a 1/4" wide groove, use only
the two outer blades of your Dado Blade Set. Center the blades
in the standard Table Saw Insert, being sure both sides of
the insert support the stock during the cut. Set your Rip
Fence 1/4" from the right side of your Dado Blades with the
blade tips 1/2" above the surface of your worktable (to make
a 1/2" deep cut). Be certain your blade is set to make your
cut in the exact center of the stile/rail edge. Make a test
cut on a piece of scrap to verify this.
3: The joinery for your frame members is created by removing
the face stock on both ends of your rails, leaving a tongue
of exactly the thickness (or width) of the groove you cut
on the insides of your stiles and rails in step 2 above (1/4"
in our example).
4: Re-adjust your Dado Blade's depth-of-cut to 1/4" and use
your Miter Gauge to form a 1/2" long by 1/4" thick tenon on
each end of your two rails. (Blade height setting formula:
Subtract the thickness of your tenon from the thickness of
your stock and divide by two).
STEP 5: Make a special panel-raising fixture such as one of
the two shown here. Click on each picture to see larger view.
6: Set your worktable tilt angle at 15-degrees. If you're
using the simplified panel raising jig ("A"), as shown here,
adjust the distance between where your blade protrudes through
the table surface and the edge of your rip fence to be 3/16".
This way, the edge of your raised panel will be 1/16" thinner
than the groove you cut in your stiles and rails to accept
the panel. If you're using the more elaborate panel-raising
jig ("B"), adjust the distance between where your blade protrudes
through the table surface and the edge of your panel-raising
jig to be 3/16". Set your saw blade's depth-of-cut so the
inside edge of your blade penetrates the stock fully at the
15-degree angle. Clamp a test piece of stock firmly into your
jig and make a test cut to verify all settings. Once you're
satisfied that all settings have been properly made, make
your cuts around all four edges of your panel. Hand sand or
scrape to smooth your cuts.
7: Apply a finish to your panel before placing it into your
frame. Glue and clamp the door frame stiles and rails together,
leaving the panel un-glued to allow room for it to expand
and contract with changes in the weather and environment.
Figure 1/4" of clearance per foot of panel width for expansion.