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Forum topic by Icer posted 03-27-2012 11:41 PM 1708 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2500 days

03-27-2012 11:41 PM

How do you or what method do you make your panles ?

Routered joint ? (glue joint)

Doweled ?

Or some other method ?

Reason I’m asking is I’m planning on makeing a Kitchen Cart for the BUNN type coffee makerand have some redc oak that I will be using .

I’m planning on using dowels for the frame work and was wondering if I should also do my door panels with dowels .

Thank you for your input .


23 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2913 days

#1 posted 03-27-2012 11:51 PM

commercial door makers here use glue and but them together. I am sure is changes with parts of the country

View Don W's profile

Don W

19045 posts in 2805 days

#2 posted 03-27-2012 11:58 PM

i never did anything but glue them together.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2692 days

#3 posted 03-28-2012 12:01 AM

You can use dowels or biscuits, but most of the time I just use glue and butt the pieces together and clamp it. There is not a lot of stress on vertical panels so dowels really would only serve to help align the panels, they aren’t needed for strength. I have used routered glue joints but they can leave an unusual glue line depending on the profile you put on it and any grain differences in the two pieces.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View bruc101's profile


1261 posts in 3780 days

#4 posted 03-28-2012 12:27 AM

I butt joint all my panels at 11/16”and put them in the clamps for a few hours. After I take them out of the clamps i cut them to size and run them through a sander and flatten them at 5/8”.
I run the profiles on them and then glue them in the frames. Leave them in the clamps for a few hours, take them out then flatten them in a sander.
Worked for many years and never had a failure.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View ELCfinefurniture's profile


112 posts in 2558 days

#5 posted 03-28-2012 01:24 AM

A simple but joint with glue.
Depending on how concerned I am with wood movement in the panel or how reactionary the wood is being I will spring the joint but never any complicated router setups or even biscuts.

-- {Current North Bennet street school student}

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2913 days

#6 posted 03-28-2012 01:42 AM

We never glue the panels in the frames. the panel will swell and the frame will come apart. Too much humidity swing here.

View bruc101's profile


1261 posts in 3780 days

#7 posted 03-28-2012 03:34 AM

I see my post sounded like we glue panels in the frames. We never do this. I was more or less saying we were gluing up the doors with the panels in them. Must be my native hillbilly language lol.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3075 days

#8 posted 03-28-2012 03:41 AM

I’m with the majority – butt joint and glue with good pressure, like pipe clamps, except I leave them for 24 hrs before working them. Also, I’m on the same page as Grandpa, I never glue my panels in the frame for the same reason he gives. Make sure your panels have breathing space and to eliminate rattling noise, go to a real woodworking store like Rockler or Woodcraft (I’m sure there are others) and ask for “space balls” (little rubber balls that fit into the rails and stiles of your doors. One other tip, if you are going to stain your doors, stain your panels before assembling your doors. The swelling and shrinking over the year will expose a strip of unstained wood.

As you build your cabinet, you may have future questions… but then, you already know what to do…

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Icer's profile


9 posts in 2500 days

#9 posted 03-28-2012 03:00 PM

Thanks for the replies , one less thing to think about for my project . :)


View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2592 days

#10 posted 03-28-2012 05:23 PM

really depends on the application, if the pannel is raised, you don’t want to have any dowels or biscuits showing, so usually a but joint is fine, however some boards it might be better to take the time to calculate where the biscuit would fall..

It just depends.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3327 days

#11 posted 03-28-2012 05:52 PM

Icer: Looks like your question has already been answered, but I will add my two cents anyway (mainly because that’s all it’s worth). I only use biscuits when alignment is an issue, but have never used them on door panels. I usually just match plane the joints and butt them together with plenty of glue (enough for some squeeze out). It’s pretty easy to keep things aligned if you have milled your lumber properly and are using clamping cauls. When you do set them in the frame, make sure to leave room for expansion and/or contraction. If you don’t leave room, the solid wood panel could expand (going from a dry to a wet season), which will blow out any form of joinery, or contract (going from a wet to a dry season) leaving you with gaps.

As for dowels on the stiles and rails, I have never heard of this technique. A more common technique would be to use some sort of cope and stick or pinned mortise and tenon (for larger doors). I will admit that I have never used a dowel in my woodworking life, so take that bit for what it’s worth. I am sure that using dowels is a valid technique, and am not trying to sound like a snob, I have just never heard of them being used in this way (joining stiles and rails, if I understood your description correctly).

Good luck.


View willie's profile


534 posts in 2692 days

#12 posted 03-29-2012 01:47 AM

I worked in a cabinet shop that built doors with dowels between the rails and stiles. They had an OLD dowel drilling machine, that was out of alignment, and more trouble than it was worth. It was not the strongest or prettiest joint. Biscuits are OK for alignment but one problem that I had with biscuits is that they swell when glued and will raise the entire area of the biscuit. If you sand that area flat before the moisture has left the biscuit and the swelling has come down, that area will shrink and show later. I had a major problem with a table top showing all the biscuits because I sanded it too soon. If you use biscuits, allow plenty of time for the glue to dry and the moisture to leave the joint.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3306 days

#13 posted 03-29-2012 02:38 AM

I run the rails and stiles thru one of my cutters then glue and clamp them. No dowels, bisquits, etc.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3718 days

#14 posted 03-29-2012 02:47 AM

Glue and biscuits.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Bullhusk's profile


10 posts in 2575 days

#15 posted 03-29-2012 11:12 AM

We never glue the panels in the frames. the panel will swell and the frame will come apart. Too much humidity swing here—Grandpa—

Just a question…. but what makes just the panel swell but not the rest of the cabinet? Seems to me that if one part will swell, all will swell. Right?

-- -- Ryan --

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