Stile and rail bits with rabbet, rather than slot backcutter?

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Forum topic by jbrukardt posted 10-26-2012 09:13 PM 1519 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1659 days

10-26-2012 09:13 PM

I find myself stuck in a less than ideal situation in regards to some raised panel work I’m in the middle of with a contractor. Rather than traditional stile and rail construction and fitting the panels into the rails in a traditional pattern, he uses something called spaceballs, and the panels “sit” into a rabbet in the back of the rails.

Due to lack of stile and rail construction on the panels, I get a nasty side effect of rounded corners as follows:

Im really not happy with that, im stuck with it already in two rooms (raised panel wainscoting), but i cant go with anyone else as my money is tied up with this guy :(

So im trying to solve the problem myself, and hand him a way on a silver platter that lets him use his funky existing panel attach ways, but also doesnt give me rounded out frame corners.

In short, i need a stile and rail bit, that instead of putting a slot like the traditional ones do, puts a rabbet instead so he can mount the panels in the way he’s so insistent on. This will give me square corners, and should technically cut down on his routing, as he will only have to run one pass. Currently he does two passes, one to rabbet out the back of the rails to sit the panel in, and one to produce the ugly rounded off corners ogee detail on the front.

5 replies so far

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 1625 days

#1 posted 10-27-2012 04:11 PM

My guess is he is butt join together , then does the routing last….. when it is on the wall, which of course is why there are rounded corners and as a bonus burned as well…. It looks like crap…...

Unless he changes the way he assembles them together, I can not think of a way to correct it.

It can be done in one pass but with a moulding knife setup….. Or a stack setup with a smaller back cutter….. Usually the slot on reg rail and stile is as deep as the edge of the profile. take a look on the side and see how it fits I bet it is butt joined with maybe a few pocket holes vs true rail and stile construction… He should be damn happy he has his money up front,,,, I guarantee he doesn’t follow the same rules…. Being stuck with it in other rooms, screw that… Your the customer, your paying the tab, but he does it his way…. Its not like a code issue, so you should get what you want…...

He didn’t do a sample first of what you will get? Did you show him a pic of what you wanted…. Do yourself a favor and stop the insanity and get it corrected…. You will hate yourself later if you don’t….. Let us know how it turns out…. Of you were in CO, I have you come to the shop we make the parts get it done and you buy a few beers and a steak….. plus a few Milk Bones….. Me and the dogs would leave full and you have a smile on your face…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Loren's profile


8174 posts in 3072 days

#2 posted 10-27-2012 04:42 PM

Add mitered applied moulding proud of the frame, concealing
the rounded inside frame corners.

Those rounded corners can be chiseled square in plane, then
the mitered moulding attached with 23 ga. pins.

Sometimes I make a frame, then rabbet it out from
the front and square the corners, then drop the panel
into the rabbet and add rabbeted and mitered mouldings
around the frame. The effect is nice. I usually do it
with flat panels, not raised panels. It adds depth.

View jbrukardt's profile


26 posts in 1659 days

#3 posted 10-27-2012 04:52 PM

geez, i know man. Its also a matter of what i get for my money. He was the low bidder, but showed good samples.

He came in in at 8 grand for the entire downstairs of my house. The next lowest bid was 23k :/

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 2709 days

#4 posted 10-27-2012 05:48 PM


It shouldn’t matter if he was low bidder or not. Is that what the samples looked like that he showed you before he started? If the samples look like that, then I think you’re kind of stuck getting what you paid for. If what he showed you and what is on your walls are different, then you have every reason to stop him in his tracks and start again doing it the way it should be done. If nothing is said or done, then you will never be happy and he will never understand what went wrong. The silent dissatisfied customer is the worst…...for both parties.

-- John @

View cabmaker's profile


1473 posts in 2233 days

#5 posted 10-29-2012 10:06 PM

Panel into a rabbett with spaceballs ? Cmon now !

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