Question on making a Frame and Panel cabinet door using hand tools

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Forum topic by funchuck posted 05-16-2011 12:09 PM 5389 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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119 posts in 3263 days

05-16-2011 12:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand tools cabinets frame and panel

Hi Everyone,

I am a long time power tool user, but I just became interested in hand tools. I don’t know why, but planing wood has some kind of theraputic effect on me. Plus, it is much quieter, and I don’t have to wear a respirator.

I still use my 6” power jointer, planer and table saw to dimension the wood, but I want to use hand tools as much as possible.

My question is, I know there are router bits (such as the ogee frame and panel set) that create mating pieces so that the profile of the stile meets the mating piece at the end of the rail. Is there a way to do this using hand tools? Perhaps a specialized one? Is there one that can accomodate curves?

I saw on the lee valley site, that there are some asian hollow and round planes. Would these do the trick? Would there be something easier, that can go around curves? Or, is this only in the realm of the router?



-- Charles from California

7 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13794 posts in 4303 days

#1 posted 05-16-2011 05:28 PM

There are all kinds of antique molding planes that originally did this type of work. You can buy them or make your own. I would say that fellow Lumberjock Phil Edwards is an expert in this area. Here is a link to his web site

Here is an example of these planes on eBay…

There are a number of books on this topic and Lie-Nielson makes blades can be uses for these types of planes.

My favorite book about how to restore and use them is

A recommended book on how to make them is

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3854 days

#2 posted 05-16-2011 06:07 PM

For making profiles going around curves you hack away the
excess with knives, chisels and rasps then make the profile with
a scratch stock.

If the curve is constant the profile can be cut with a custom-made
plane for the job. Study coopering tools and you should get the
idea. Also look at coachmaker’s planes which were used for
cutting rabbets in all sorts of bizarre curved surfaces.

If you want to make your own profiles on straight stock start
with some moulding planes. Get a few cock-bead planes,
coves and round-over planes. Things like that. They work
best on softer, straight-grained wood. Most lack a chipbreaker
and trying to cut wiley hardwoods with them will have
you pulling your hair and gnashing your teeth.

View WayneC's profile


13794 posts in 4303 days

#3 posted 05-16-2011 06:19 PM

I forgot to add combination planes such as a Stanley #45 to the list…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2899 days

#4 posted 05-16-2011 06:20 PM

I agree with the molding recommendations above, particularly with Phil Edward’s planes. You might also consider a combination plane. Although not as sexy as a wood-bodied molder, the 45 works quite well for some of these cuts. And like Loren notes, it’s got some heft. I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. If there’s a way to make it by hand, I’d probably rather.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3547 days

#5 posted 05-16-2011 06:40 PM

check the pictures in dennis’s post
they are further down
but maybe give you an idea
of what these tools look like and how they work

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

View funchuck's profile


119 posts in 3263 days

#6 posted 05-17-2011 12:43 AM

Wow, thanks for all the info! It’ll take some time to absorb all of this, but it looks like I can buy some old ones, or even build my own. The “Making Traditional Wood Planes” book sounds interesting. I might have to buy that one.

-- Charles from California

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3203 days

#7 posted 05-17-2011 01:56 AM

You can try using a stanley #48 or #49 for making stile and rails. They are designed for matching tongue and groove boards. I have a wooden moulding plane that will give the profile of the panels you need inside. The old tools are there, just keep looking. (My biggest drawback is I am so outta shape to do to much of this hand work) I do a combination of power and hand tools.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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