Curved Doors; Raised panel & Six light glass #5: Finishing up the rails

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Blog entry by Les Hastings posted 08-29-2008 02:51 AM 8349 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Finishing up the styles Part 5 of Curved Doors; Raised panel & Six light glass series Part 6: Panel glue ups »

In part three of this blog I milled out the pieces for the rails and got them glued up to width. Now after they have had plenty time in the clamps we’ll get started cleaning them up. get the glue all scrapped off and ready to sand. I make sanding blocks to the correct radius for the inside and outside of the rails and use 80 grit sticky back snad paper and stick it to the blocks. Below is picture of some finished rails with the sanding blocks that were used to clean them up. I use 80 grit first and then 120 grit and final sand after the doors have been assembled.

After the sanding is done its time to run the profile on the rails. I didn’t get any pictures of this, sorry. I don’t make any special jigs fot this. I just run them on the shaper free hand against the fence keeping the radius centered on the spindle. Our shaper has bars on the fence that swing around and lock into the other fence over the the cutter head, making a full fence across the spindle. If you don’t have that on your shaper clamp a wood fence across the two and make the center of the spindle on the wood fence and it will work the same way. If you are a novice I wood not suggest you do it this way, you should make radius fences to help hold the work in place, this will make it more stable.
After the profile has been run its time to run the 1/4 slot for the panels. I do this on the router table with a 1/4 straight cutter. I make a fence to match the inside radius of the rails and set it up to match the styles. Pictured below.



This next picture is showing how I ran the rabbit on the rails for the glass doors, its done much the same way as the paneled rails are done.

Ok, lets get them cut to length. I make a cradle to hold the rails at the right angle and clamp it in the tray on the table saw. I cut one side of all my rails first, making sure the angle is just right. I take either two rails or a rail and a style hold them together on a full size drawing and make sure the maintain the radius. Next I determine the length of the rail and place a stop block on the cradle and cut the other side of all the rails.

When all the rails have been cut I take the same cradle I just used and take two pieces and make a 90 degree piece about ten inches long ro so and cut a 45 on one end and add it to the back of the cradle to hold it at a 45 degree angle in the table saw tray. The only bad part here is you need two cradles exactly a like. One right and one Left to cut the jack miters on both ends of the rails.

If anyone would like more or better pictures of any of the jigs used here, just let me know and I’ll get some taken of them for you. And if you have any questions please ask. I know I haven’t been really very thorough here on some things. But I’ll do my best to answer any questions that you have. I’d much rather be showing you in person if that were possible.

Remember you can click on the pictures to see them in full view.

Next up! getting the panels together.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

7 comments so far

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3985 days

#1 posted 08-29-2008 03:00 AM

I don’t know how much you charge but you’re worth every cent :) Great blog Les.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2730 posts in 3585 days

#2 posted 08-29-2008 05:20 AM

Very nice blog. Great craftsmanship. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dennis Zongker

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3761 days

#3 posted 08-29-2008 05:32 AM

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing more.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3657 days

#4 posted 08-29-2008 05:47 AM

Very nice, thanks for sharing, can;t wait to see more

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Critterman's profile


600 posts in 3804 days

#5 posted 08-29-2008 08:59 AM

Hey Les! Got a chance to run through this series and it is absolutely fascinating. It’s like a great book…can’t wait for the next one to come out :>) I think I’ve actually understood everything so far (which, but the way, means your doing a great job explaining things) the only question is: I know your work gets top dollar, and is worth every penny, but it must cost you a great deal just for the jigs. Care to venture a cost to how much you have invested in them? And, I assume you can always reuse them for other projects later? Just curious. Thanks a bunch for doing this, can’t wait for the next one.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View stanley2's profile


344 posts in 3789 days

#6 posted 08-29-2008 03:34 PM

Les, another fascinating blog. What I like about the series is that it shows what it takes to do exceptional extraordinary work but that doing so is possible with care and attention. I would like to see a photo of your shaper fence. Thanks again for takingthe time to do this series.

-- Phil in British Columbia

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3767 days

#7 posted 08-30-2008 04:04 AM

Critterman, Most of the jigs don’t take very long to make really. I do keep them around in hopes of using them again, but so that hasn’t happened to often. I figure time in every job like this to make the jigs needed to do the job. At then end of this blog I’ll post a picture of all of the together that were made for this job. As far as cost goes $500.00 to $1500.00 it just depends on the extent of the project. This job were at the high end of that margin and maybe plus a little bit. I can tell you I figured 1150 hours total for this job and we ended up with about 1125 hours in it. So this time we came out on top by a little bit.

Stanley, I’ll get you a picture of that shaper first chance I get.

Thanks to all for your comments!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

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