Reply by Cosmicsniper

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Posted on Raised panel: stain or assemble first

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2202 posts in 3158 days

#1 posted 10-12-2012 04:35 PM

I do just the staining on the very edges of the panels, Brian. But this is largely because I spray and can’t get underneath. Stains should run enough to get inside the groove enough to cover your bases.

There shouldn’t be a ton of movement of the panels anyway, even over time. It’s just that the panel needs to float and not be bound down with glue. It’s a precaution. Sometimes our grooves get a little deeper than we’d like because we are going faster than we should or we aren’t cutting our panels to the exacting size to close up the copes (or possible miters). As Mike mentioned, one technique is to cut the panel undersized and then use “Space Balls,” which are little BBs that you can wedge in the groove to act as spacers to fill up the extra space. But if you leave too much wiggle room, which isn’t a bad thing, then you need to account for the shifting of the panel with your color.

A guy like Cabmaker, with repeating, standard cabinet builds would not feel the need to take that precaution. But some hack like me who never seems to build the same cabinet door twice would appreciate the extra wiggle room.

I WILL say this, however. I built a larger pantry door recently and I got too small with my panels (4 floating instead of just one on the same door). I colored the panels’ edges just fine, but because I glazed those areas darkly afterwards, I hurt myself because my glaze did not cover the gaps created by the panel movement. It happens sometimes…and it meant that I needed to fix it.

-- jay,

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