Reply by Sawkerf

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Posted on I need help with raised panels-

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1730 posts in 3094 days

#1 posted 02-13-2010 05:33 PM

Todd -
Can you feel the difference at the bottom rail/stile joint or only on the top joint? Like Jeff, I’m thinking that this is normal expansion/contraction movement. Wood expansion/contraction is mostly across the grain and contraction of the rails could cause your situation. If the joints haven’t actually failed, let them alone for now and check them again in the summer. I’m betting that the problem will be gone – or at least lessened.

Are they cope and stick joints? When I make cope and stick doors, I use a small brush to “paint” my glue (usually Titebond II) on all joint surfaces. When clamping them up, I apply enough just enough clamp pressure to completely close the joints and wipe off the squeeze out with a damp cloth (damp, not soaking wet). Then, I let them sit in the clamps for several hours (preferably overnight).

Another consideration is the type of wood you’re using. Soft woods will move more than hard woods.

Although I don’t think that your panels are causing the problem, it’s always best to make the panels slightly undersized so they can move without stressing your frame joints. I go for ~1/8” undersized, use space balls, and just put a dab of glue at the rail centers.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

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