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Forum topic by justbob posted 08-19-2013 10:45 AM 881 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2332 days

08-19-2013 10:45 AM

I am working on a project that has a frame and panel component. The rails have a stub tenon that goes into the groove in the stiles. when I put the frame together without the panel, One side is out of square by about a quarter of an inch. The other side is closer. the dimension between the shoulders of the rails is the same for both of the. The shoulders fit tight and square to the stiles. The corner to corner dimensions are different by about 3/32. If I try to pull it square the rail shoulders don’t sit square to the stiles any more. the shoulders are square I have no idea what is wrong.

5 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2520 days

#1 posted 08-19-2013 11:44 AM

This is just a guess, Bob, but here goes…

Tough to tell without pictures, but this sounds like you have a compounding error on your shoulder cuts. Maybe elsewhere as well. What did you use to cut the shoulders? I did frame and panel doors for my kitchen. VERY simple ones. They call ‘em shaker style or something, but I just called them “easy” and was glad my wife chose that style.

Anyways…. I did all of the cuts on my table saw. My “prototype” out of pine had issues much like you’re describing. I wasn’t out a quarter of an inch, but probably not far from that. INDIVIDUALLY, the pieces looked square, but when I put it together the joints were open if I pulled the frame square. Finally, I decided to go back through every step to see where I was going wrong. Miter slot to table saw blade was about as spot on as I think is possible (out a thousandth), so THAT wasn’t the issue. Miter gauge next. LOOKS square. MEASURES square as far as I can see. I put a wider board in the miter gauge, made a cut, stood the board on edge and put the cut-off piece back against where it was just cut from. Then I flipped it so it was standing on the OTHER edge. I see light! Better yet, I saw the light. My miter gauge was just ever so slightly off. On a single joint, it looked fine, but I was compounding a very minor error over 4 joints (corners) and that made it much more apparent.

Moral of the story… go back and check everything, and I mean everything involved with making the rails, looking specifically at the shoulder cutting operation. See if you’ve got something out of alignment.

Like I said…. just a guess… but I had a similar experience so you got to hear the story. :)

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3518 days

#2 posted 08-19-2013 11:49 AM


take a square and check the shoulder of your stub tenon; it sounds like it could be off a little.

If your rail cocked or moved a little when cutting the stub tenon it might be a little out of square.

Good luck.

-- John @

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2810 days

#3 posted 08-19-2013 11:50 AM

+1 for Charlie

View justbob's profile


16 posts in 2332 days

#4 posted 08-19-2013 01:26 PM

I will check the squareness of my miter gauge using your method to see if that is the problem.

View justbob's profile


16 posts in 2332 days

#5 posted 08-20-2013 12:16 AM

thank you Charlie you were right my miter gauge was little out of square after I squared it up and remade the parts the frame was almost perfectly square thanks for all the help.

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