Just for Fun... #8: Of Pattern Making and Raised Panels

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 12-16-2009 02:42 AM 2703 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: A word or two about sanding... Part 8 of Just for Fun... series Part 9: Back at it... »

It’s been a few days of inactivity. My work week precluded getting anything done in the shop. All I managed to find time for was tweaking the patterns for the next step. If you recall, after sanding I had a little time left to cut two preliminary patterns or templatesFirst Pattern
I did that in my usual fashion, inside calipers, pencil, and Grand Dad’s old photographic matte cutterPattern Making
Sometimes I get very lucky and cut one that fits. Other times I get one that’s the right width and one that’s the right length. Between them I can proceed to cutting the raised panels…
But upon closer examination I found neither one was right… I tried tweaking them, trimming them down just so, but that didn’t work eitherAttempted Re-sizing
Well, I tried plan A, I tried plan B and C. It was time to try Plan D, a previously un-used but always anticipated method. I cut both patterns slightly small and with one hand inside the box and the other out, I slid the two patterns into opposing corners. It was then a simple matter to stick a couple of pushpins through them…Using Push Pins...
and then to take them out and fasten them together with staples.Stapled
I tried it backwards and forwards, and upside down as well, and it was a perfect fit, in both the top and the bottom dadoes… This collectively only took maybe a half an hour. I’d rather make these mistakes on paper than on the wood though!!
With that in hand, I had to wait until this morning, the beginning of my weekend. The scrap of drawer side that I chose for this had the same problem as the scrap I chose for the sides, the glue-up line was canted from the sides. I considered using it that way, or even exaggerating the cant, but there’s a certain symbiosis developing between the first box and the second (which will be revealed later) and I decided to “straighten” the Wood.
Same process as before, a quick aligning cut on the Scroll Saw…Straightening the wood
Then I butted that cut against the fence of the Table Saw and made a true straight cutStraightening the other edge
Then it’s a simple matter of using the pattern I had so much fun with to set the width of the piece…Using the pattern to set the widthof the Panel on the Table Saw
For all the time that I spent getting the pattern right, I actually want the Wood a whisker short of that, for possible wood expansion or what-not… After making that cut, and indeed, through most of the panel-making process, there is a good deal of trepidation!! I won’t know if I’ve done good here and whether it fits until after the next procedure…
With the Auxiliary Fence installed, I set the Blade on the Table Saw by eye, another few moments of considerable consternation…Setting the Blade for the Raised Panel Cuts
(Incidentally, I did not make the model ship and dartboard cabinet in the background!!) Anyway, with the whole set-up attached, and with fingers crossed, I run the board through length-wise… This will more safely cut the short sides of the panels.After lengthwise passes
At last I’m finally able to check at least part of the work, how well they’re going to fit into the dadoes, and the fit this time, incredibly, is perfect!! Phew!! On the last one I cut them too “fat”... out came the plane and rasps, and with them an extra hour or two of fitting… It was more Fun than I care to have!! LOL
Now I just squared an end and marked one of these babies for length, again marking it a whisker short.Marking Length
Ran it through the set-up, carefully, using a push stick and keeping all my fingers clear and Presto!After cutting
And now came the Moment of Truth, the dry fitting… Drum roll, please…The Moment of Truth!!
Holy Smokes, it actually fits!! I had to ease the corners a tiny bit, there’s always the slightest mis-alignment between the dadoes on the sides, but over-all, not a bad two-hours morning work… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

12 comments so far

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3310 days

#1 posted 12-16-2009 03:23 AM

it took me two hours to enjoy this ,(LOL) .
great explanations on the alternate
sizing methods .

i;m going to go get some popcorn ,
i know the grand finaly is coming up .

i don’t want to miss it !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#2 posted 12-16-2009 03:41 AM

Make some for me David
good blog LC

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3471 days

#3 posted 12-16-2009 04:38 AM

My humblest apologies for the length of this gentlemen…
The Editor of the “Just for Fun” series spent considerable time over the weekend reflecting on this very matter, but it was decided that a stand-alone blog on paper cutting, on a wood workers site, might be received with some degree of ridicule and perhaps scorn… He promises, in the future, to try to be more succinct, regardless of how much fun he is having… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3724 days

#4 posted 12-16-2009 04:56 AM

Well, I liked it! :^)

Nice work Mike.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#5 posted 12-16-2009 05:03 AM

Sorry Mike you did a good job. I know how time consuming it is to try and document a project. I did not mean to under mine all you great work. It is a good blog thanks.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3310 days

#6 posted 12-16-2009 05:05 AM

i like this series ,
reminds me of the ‘cliffhangers ’ ,
at the saturday matinée ,
when i was a kid .
couldn’t wait till next week ,
to see what happened !

cut all the paper you need ,
finding a different way to do something ,
is priceless !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3401 days

#7 posted 12-16-2009 01:12 PM

Nice blog… easy to follow. I agree with those above… I was waiting for each next step.
The top turned out great!
Ah… those boxes… they seduce us!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4215 days

#8 posted 12-16-2009 02:22 PM

Great blog Mike, I love them. I also learn something. You do some awesome work, even though you downplay your expertise.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 3185 days

#9 posted 12-16-2009 05:31 PM

Nice work, Mike. I wouldn’t change a thing if I were you…. As far as your blogs go, that is. If we didn’t want to see all of the pics and read through the process, we wouldn’t, but we do, so we do. Please don’t take that to mean “change your work” either. What I’m trying to say is, keep it up.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3160 days

#10 posted 12-16-2009 07:10 PM

Nice work Mike, and the length was just right, for the box and your blog. It was a quick read, but I guess the older guys like Patron, gotta pull out the dictionary to figure out what certain words mean like canted!!!
In any case, I like the drum roll and Presto, good stuff all the way around, it’s all in the presentation.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#11 posted 12-16-2009 07:34 PM

Hey Guys look at Davids Post do you see the LOL he’s just kidding . In defence of my big Brother :-))
Keep up the good work Mike. As far is this old guy goes the More photos the better I’m a little slow to the draw sometimes.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 3142 days

#12 posted 12-17-2009 09:57 AM

just acquired some new shop tools…...stick pins and a stapler…....who’d a thunk it? great concept Mike….better cutting paper a few times then cutting a good piece of wood once ..the wrong dimensions. again, I have learned from from one of the masters!!!


-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

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