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Raised panel: stain or assemble first

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 652 days ago 1071 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12strings

372 posts in 983 days


652 days ago

If I’m making a raised-panel (solid wood, not ply) door, do I need to stain the panel before assembly, so that when it moves there is not a thin line of un-stained wood?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!


15 replies so far

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2364 days


#1 posted 652 days ago

Yep, that’s what I’d do. There will be movement, so that will make sure that the finish is right no matter what.

View Alongiron's profile

Alongiron

401 posts in 1292 days


#2 posted 652 days ago

yes..standard practice in my shop…always! better safe than sorry!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1757 days


#3 posted 652 days ago

Always!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View teejk's profile

teejk

1206 posts in 1283 days


#4 posted 652 days ago

I do that even when glue is involved…I never mastered the technique of removing glue squeeze out from a joint and doubt I ever will.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1513 days


#5 posted 652 days ago

Yep. All panels should be stained and finished first for reasons stated above about wood movement. I also recommend something like Space Balls for the grooves to help center the panels and to make sure you are cutting the panels with enough space/looseness for future swelling/shrinkage.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1282 posts in 1408 days


#6 posted 652 days ago

I dont and experiance great success even factoring in panel movement. Its I guess about how you apply and what type stain,etc your applying. I have had two holidays show up in the last twenty or so years that I am aware of due to shrinkage. Not bad for 600-700 doors a year and now down to approx. 200. About 80 % of my doors are finished by me or an employee. Good luck with it ! JB

View patron's profile

patron

12957 posts in 1940 days


#7 posted 652 days ago

never have stained the panels first
the rails styles need to be done too
and run over on the panel

as cabmaker said
the stain runs into the panels
so if they do shrink
there is stain there too
(if applying with a brush)
unless you do that wiping cream stain

that way the whole door is wiped at the same time
and has an even stain

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

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1282 posts in 1408 days


#8 posted 652 days ago

Right on Patron !

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3604 posts in 1967 days


#9 posted 652 days ago

I do it pre-assembly because it’s easier!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Swyftfeet's profile

Swyftfeet

169 posts in 770 days


#10 posted 651 days ago

Do you folks do all the finishing pre-assembly or just staining? Or do y just do all finishing on the panels?

On my blanket chest I was considering finish the panels entirely, Sand, seal a cell, sand 3 coats of arm-a-seal,
Then do the panel glue up, sand and finish the 4 panels and the top, then glue up the 4 sides and the base, touch up what is needed… Does this sound right?

Thanks ahead of time!

-- Brian

View Swyftfeet's profile

Swyftfeet

169 posts in 770 days


#11 posted 651 days ago

Do you folks do all the finishing pre-assembly or just staining? Or do y just do all finishing on the panels?

On my blanket chest I was considering finish the panels entirely, Sand, seal a cell, sand 3 coats of arm-a-seal,
Then do the panel glue up, sand and finish the inside of the 4 panels and the top, then glue up the 4 sides and the base, finish the outside, touching up what is needed… Does this sound right?

Thanks ahead of time!

-- Brian

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1757 days


#12 posted 651 days ago

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, www.allaboutastro.com

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3604 posts in 1967 days


#13 posted 651 days ago

I do as much as possible before final assembly but I make sure that glue surfaces are not stained/finished to insure good glue surfaces. But that is just my way of doing things, others may do it differently for different reasons. For me it just seem easier to get into corners where stain and/or finish may build up!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2217 days


#14 posted 651 days ago

Finish the panels first.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View Builder_Bob's profile

Builder_Bob

160 posts in 1658 days


#15 posted 651 days ago

I didn’t paint the panels before assembly in my four door dining room cabinet.

I wish I had.

Do it!

-- "The unexpected, when it happens, generally happens when you least expect it."

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