Inner Stiles


7"spacer positions '— frame

Mark area to be sanded

Sand rail (or stile) until fit is tight groove on the table saw, by flipping the piece over between passes. Just sneak up on the size of the grooves until they match the test spline.

CURVED MOLDING. After routing the grooves, you can add the blank for the curved molding (H), as in Figs. 5 and 5b. But all this is described in detail in the article on page 16.

STILES. With the top rail and molding complete, you can cut the outer stiles (I) to size, as in Fig. 5. The only thing to do here is rout grooves on all four edges. (These are identical to those on the rail and posts.) Then you can rout the same groove on the upper edge of the bottom rail.

The last step before assembly is to make the splines (J) that connect the pieces. The stock here is planed to fit the grooves and then ripped into l"-wide strips. You'll need quite a few linear feet of splines, and you may as well cut it all at once, refer to the Materials List on page 14.

ASSEMBLY. At this point, you can assemble the frame, as shown in Fig. 7. To do this, I glued the splines to the ends of the stiles first (Fig. 7a). But note the splines are set in Vl>" from the outside edge so there's room later for the splines that connect the posts. Next you can clamp the stiles between the rails and make sure their edges and ends are flush and the frame is square.

INNER STILES. The next pieces to add are the inner stiles (K), as shown in Fig. 8. They start out cut to rough


Glue posts to frame

Post assembly crosscut on the end of the stile and then sand the top rail to match it, as in Fig. 10. An easy way to help you see where to sand is to set the stile in place and mark the points where the rail touches, as in Fig. 10a.

Be sure to sand lightly, checking the fit often. When these pieces fit tight, you can trim the square end of each stile to final length and rout the grooves on all four edges.

To attach the inner stiles to the frame, I glued short splines to the top and bottom rails, as you can see in Fig. 11. Then I applied glue to the splines and slid the stiles in place from the center out. You won't need to use clamps because the stiles wedge themselves in place.

Finally, I added the posts to the frame, as shown in Fig. 11. The problem here is that there's nothing to align these pieces — and they are heavy. So to align the grooves in the frame and posts, I raised the frame with some scrap blocks, as in Fig. 11a. And I added 1" spacers at the top of the posts and pulled the frame up tight against them.

can be cut at Waste -x ! straight"

angle length so you can shape the top end to match the curve on the top rail.

To position the stile, I measured in 13" from the outside of the frame, as in Fig. 8. Then I set the stile in place and marked its position on the rails (Fig. 9). Now the edge of the rail can be traced on the stile. There isn't much of a curve here. In fact, I found it easiest to make an angled

Block aligns grooves in posts and frame

NOTE: Lay out

Inner stiles are 5/4 (1 "-thick) stock

Unlike traditional raised panels, the panels here don't fit into grooves in the frame, lntead the panels lay on "top" of the frame and are screived to the splines.


Now that the frame has been assembled, basically all that's left is to add the three curved panels. As you can see in the photo here, the panels don't fit into grooves — they overlap the frame opening, with ordinary rabbets to help position them. To keep the panels in place, they're simply screwed through some splines, as you can see in Fig. 16a on page 13.

GLUE UP PANELS. The first thing to do is glue up three wide panels from 3/i"-thick stock, as shown in Fig. 12. The panels are going to get a lot of atten-^^^^ tion, so be sure to pay close attention to the grain pattern and color of the boards you're putting together. You want each panel to end up looking like a single, wide board.

These panels should end up large enough so they can be sized to overhang the frame V2" on each edge. The center panel (L) I started out with was over 24" wide and about 31" tall (long). Hie two order panels (M) were over 11" wide and about 28" tall. (The exact length will depend on the curve of the top rail.)

Ripping the panels to final width is no problem. As for their length (height), at this point all you need to do is square up the bottom end. It was a bit of a stretch, but I was able to do this at my table saw. (You could also use a straightedge guide with a circular saw or with a handheld router and a straight bit.)

Once each panel has been trimmed on three edges, it's time to lay out the top curves. Instead of trying

Top edges — are shaped to match rail

Top edges — are shaped to match rail


Glue up 31 "-long center panel and 28"-long outer panels from 3A"-thick stock

Ogee fillet profile—

Back edges of panels —-are rabbeted, see Fig. 15


Glue up 31 "-long center panel and 28"-long outer panels from 3A"-thick stock

Ogee fillet profile—

Back edges of panels —-are rabbeted, see Fig. 15

Panels-overlap face V2" on each side

Panels-overlap face V2" on each side

to use the half pattern, I set the panels on the frame and drew the curve off the molding on the rail, as you can see in Fig. 13. First, four spacers were used to position the panels side-to-side. Then the bottom edges of the panels were lined up V2" below the frame openings.

Now you can use a compass to trace the shape of the curve. I set the point of the compass against the square shoulder of the molding, as in Fig. 13. The important thing here is to make sure the line ends up V2" above the frame opening.

With the top edges of the panels drawn, they can be cut and sanded smooth. By now, you've shaped these curves enough times that you could almost do it blindfolded. And

NOTE: For bit sources, see page 35

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