Section Through Stile And Panel

Make panel Vi in. narrower than distance between bottoms of grooves in stiles.

Bandsaw waste after door is assembled.

on the table to ensure that the grooves would line up when I assembled the frame. It's also important to use stopped grooves in the stiles so the grooves won't show at the top and bottom of the finished door. I routed the stiles and the bottom rail against a straight fence, but for the curved top rail, I started the cut against a single-point fence to prevent the bit from grabbing the wood until it touched the bearing on the bit. (Sec photo, previous page.)

Then after routing. I squared the ends of the stopped grooves in the stiles with a chisel.

Making the Panel

There are four steps to making the panel. First, cut the panel to size. Then form the tongue that fits in the groove on the frame. Next, make the shoulder that defines the panel's field. Finally, finish the panel by creating the taper from the shoulder to the tongue.

When cutting to size, I made the panel lAe in. shorter than the distance between the bottoms of the grooves in the rails. This way, I could be sure that nothing would bind during glue-up. For the width, I made the panel ]A in. narrower than the distance between the bottoms of the grooves in the stiles to allow for expansion across the grain with variations in humidity. After jointing one edge, you can cut the other straight sides on the tablesaw. Then trace the curve at the top of the panel and bandsaw the arch. Smooth the saw marks with a block plane. Plane from each side toward the apex, in order to cut with the grain. When the plane blade makes contact along the entire sweep of a curve, the curve is fair.

Now form the tongue on the panel, aiming for a thickness that lets the panel move but not rattle in the groove when the door is assembled. For this door, I used a Vin. rabbeting bit in my router table. The width of the tongue should equal the depth of the grooves in the frame. (See Fig. 1.) Wider panels will move more with changes in moisture content so increase the width of the tongue and leave more space for expansion in the stile grooves. After routing the tongue,

I drv-asscmbled the door to make sure *

everything fit together.

A router fitted with a straight bit and rub collar (right) make« cutting the nhouldcr of the fielded panel easier. The author just runs the rub collar against an MDF template to cut the shoulder (above) and freehands the router past each corner to avoid rounding the corners of the field.

The panel has an !fr-in.-dccp shoulder around the field. (See Fig. 1.) To make the shoulder, I used a plunge router and a medium density fiberboard (MDF) template. I fit the muter with a straight bit that projected through a rub collar, which would ride against the template. (See photo, above right.) Then I cut a template which was smaller than the actual field by '/i6 in. on each side. The lA<> in. represents the distance from the outside of the rub collar to the edge of the router bit. I attached the template to the panel with double-stick tape and a couple of clamps. The tape kept the template from moving when I shifted the clamps halfway through the routing process.

To avoid rounding the corners of the field as I routed, I pushed the router straight past each corner and then came back freehand to begin the next edge. (See photo, above.) This requires a stiff arm and your full concentration. An alternative would be to make an auxiliary straightedge and clamp it at each successive corner as you procccd around the panel.

After routing the shoulders, keep the router on the template and remove the surrounding waste to the depth of the shoulder.

Now comes the part where well-tuned hand planes prove their worth: planing the taper between field shoulder and tongue, known as "raising the panel." I began with a block plane and worked with the edge against the field shoulders to rough-shape the taper. (See Fig. 2.) Then when the block plane began to skim the outside of the tongue, I switched to a shoulder plane to finish the taper. (Sec photo, opposite page, and Fig. 2.)

Finishing Up

With the panel raised, it's time to scrape and sand all its surfaces. Trying to smooth the panel after the door is glued together would be awkward, especially around the edges. If you are planning to finish the door with shellac. varnish or lacquer, you should pre-finish the panel now. If yrou wait until

FIG. 2: RAISING A PANEL

1. Rabbet tongue and rout waste to depth of shoulder.

Slop when plane — ^ touches tongue.

2. Rough-shape taper with block plane.

Panel Raising Plane

3. Switch to shoulder plan* and start at shoulder.

After roughing out with a Mock plan«*, author inte* a hlioulilrr plan«* to fini*li planing til«' ta|M*r.

Panel Saw Plans

FIG. 2: RAISING A PANEL

3. Switch to shoulder plan* and start at shoulder.

After roughing out with a Mock plan«*, author inte* a hlioulilrr plan«* to fini*li planing til«' ta|M*r.

1. Rabbet tongue and rout waste to depth of shoulder.

Slop when plane — ^ touches tongue.

2. Rough-shape taper with block plane.

Align blade flush with side of plane to prevent blade from digging into shoulder.

the door is assembled, unfinished wood could appear at the tongues when the panel shrinks due to seasonal humidity changes. However, I generally finish with an oil/varnish mixture which easily flows into the frame grooves alter assembly, so I can finish the d<x>r as an entire unit alter assembly.

Once the panel is sanded, glue the d(x>r together, being careful not to let any glue touch the panel, which must float freely. Wash off squeezed-out glue with a damp rag and a stiff brush, paying special attention to interior comers.

When the glue dries, trim the waste from the extra-long stiles. To do this, first draw the continuation of the arched top rail onto the upper edge of the stiles, then extend a line across the stiles at the bottom of the lower rail. Bandsaw along both these lines. With a bkxrk plane, smcx>th the bottom of the door. Use a file to clean up the top arch, since a block plane will cut against the grain of the rail or stile at the point where they intersect.

Finally, hand plane the faces of the rails and stiles to make their intersec-tioas perfectly flush and to remove any machine marks. Set your blade for a light cut when doing this to avoid tear-out.

Whenever possible, I let a glued frame dry for more than a day before planing the faces to allow any swelling at the joints (caused by moisture absorbed from the glue) to subside. Otherwise, 1 might plane a joint flush only to see it turn concave as moisture continued to evaporate.

The door is now ready for hinging. Once a door is hinged, I often touch up the edges with a plane for a perfect fit to the carcase. Then 1 scrape and sand the frame, apply the finish, and attach a handle and catch. ▲

Jet Plane Scroll Saw Pattern

Stop when meets tongue.

4. Shift plane and plane to tongue.

Extend blade a hair beyond side of plane clean cut at shoulder.

Stop when meets tongue.

4. Shift plane and plane to tongue.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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