Reply by Stargazer

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Posted on Cabinet Door Tooling Questions

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49 posts in 2940 days

#1 posted 12-24-2012 02:53 AM

I’m not sure which style/rail bit you have but there are those made specificly for panel doors. They leave a 1/4 wide by 3/8 deep dado for the panel lip to fit in.

Most all rasied panel bits as the one pictured are for single sided cabinet doors. All mine fisish out at 3/4” and any thicker puts undo extra weight and strain on the hinges. You just adjuct the proper depth on your shaper and make the cut. I personally make several cuts so I’m not taking too much material off at one time, the last cut being just barely removing material for a smooth finish cut.

Once you have the top cut to the correct depth, use a undercutter bit to make the lip exactly 1/4” to fit in the frames dado.

I cut the panel 1/4 smaller than the dado dimension and use little rubber balls to take up the expansion and contraction of the inner panel and to stop panel rattle. These little rubber balls, called “space balls” at Woodworker Supply, are imperative for building panel doors.

Panels must be completely flat, no cupping, before you run them throug the shaper. If not you’ll get some mismatched corners. I’ve ripped cupped panels down and reglued them before shaping many times. I make everything about 7/8” when building the door and run the completed door through the drum sander for final finished thickness of 3/4”.

Make sure the doors stay square when you clamp them up, keep them laying flat at all times to avoid any warping. Oh yea, sand your shaper cut before you assemble the door. On a concave cut I use a piece of 1 1/2” PVC wrapped in sandpaper, for flat cuts, a sanding block ripped the exact width of the cut. Use 180 grit or lighter for sanding the crossgrain or you’ll see the scratches after staining.

Good luck, post pics !


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