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Precutting Raised Panel Doors

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Forum topic by ynathans posted 01-18-2015 11:06 PM 1120 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ynathans

55 posts in 1179 days


01-18-2015 11:06 PM

Hi,

I’m in the process of my first raised panel doors. I’ve cut the rails and stiles and am ready to tackle the panels. I have a freud router bit set that comes with the raised panel bit. I saw on a video that it might be a good idea to remove the waste on the panel on the table saw before moving over to the router table to reduce the work the router will have to do.

Is that a good idea? If yes, can you please let me know:

—What angle should the table saw blade be set at?
—How high should the blade be?
—How should the fence be set?

Once doing so do I still need to do the panels in 2-3 passes on the router table or can it be done in one pass?

I am using 3/4” ply for the panel and 3/4” oak on the rails and stiles.

Thanks!

Nathan


19 replies so far

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2851 posts in 2693 days


#1 posted 01-18-2015 11:14 PM

I thought about doing that when I made my raised panels but decided against it. I didn’t know what angle or how much to cut.

So, I made three passes on the router table with the big bit on all panels adjusting the fence each time to cut more until I had it right.
Good luck.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Kazooman

624 posts in 1414 days


#2 posted 01-18-2015 11:32 PM

I would take a piece of scrap and run it over the raised panel bit (in several incremental passes) to give the final profile. Then take that piece to the table saw to adjust the blade angle and height. No measuring, no estimation, just the perfect template.

However, I think you should give this a try with the plywood you are planning to use for the panels. I am not certain that you will be too happy with the final result on the molded edges of the panel. You might get away with really high quality Baltic birch plywood, but lesser grades are bound to cause problems with voids and other issues.

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lj61673

259 posts in 1861 days


#3 posted 01-18-2015 11:38 PM

Bad idea using plywood. You will never get a smooth surface and the adhesives in the plywood are abrasive and will dull the router bits quickly.

Use solid wood and make the profile in multiple small passes.

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ynathans

55 posts in 1179 days


#4 posted 01-19-2015 04:17 AM

I’m confused. Are people saying its a bad idea to use plywood at all on a raised panel or a bad idea to attempt to first remove waste with a Lynwood raised panel? I though most cabinets are made with a plywood panel?

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MT_Stringer

2851 posts in 2693 days


#5 posted 01-19-2015 05:22 AM



I m confused. Are people saying its a bad idea to use plywood at all on a raised panel or a bad idea to attempt to first remove waste with a Lynwood raised panel? I though most cabinets are made with a plywood panel?

- ynathans

Make a test cut on a piece of scrap and I think you will see. UUUGGLLEEE!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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OSU55

1056 posts in 1451 days


#6 posted 01-19-2015 05:53 AM

Ply is typically used in flat panel doors, where the ply is flat and inserted into the rails and stiles. For a raised panel, with beveled or curved edges, solid wood is used. As mentioned, the exposed “innards” of ply is ugly!

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1771 days


#7 posted 01-19-2015 06:37 AM

Are these doors going to be painted??

What kind of plywood you using??

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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ynathans

55 posts in 1179 days


#8 posted 01-20-2015 04:09 PM

Ahh, so people typically glue together some wood planks and cut the raised panels from that?

The plywood I was planning on using is 3/4” oak cabinet grade plywood.

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ynathans

55 posts in 1179 days


#9 posted 01-20-2015 04:17 PM

Also, should the glued up panel be 3/4” thick?

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greg757

6 posts in 724 days


#10 posted 01-20-2015 04:26 PM

I’m assuming you will be painting these doors so I would strongly advise against using plywood. You can get it smooth and get a coat of paint on it but once it’s been exposed to any environmental change the plys of the wood will telegraph through. Although I would never use it, MDF is what lower end cabinet makers typically use for painted raised panel doors.
The only thing that will look correct is solid panels if you are going to stain and urethane the doors.
IF you are going to paint I would use poplar because its stable, easy to work with and is on the lower end of the price range. Stay away from big box 1 by stuff, it’s too unstable and can bleed sap through it even after painting.

-- if you're not making mistakes you're not tring hard enough

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ynathans

55 posts in 1179 days


#11 posted 01-20-2015 04:35 PM

ok, that makes sense. I ‘m not sure about stain yet, at minimum I will poly the doors. The stiles and rails are oak, so I’m thinking it makes sense to use oak on the panel too. Maybe I’ll try an mdf panel first before I cut into any oak.

Also, is 3/4” the thickness I am looking for?

Thanks for all the help.

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1809 posts in 2543 days


#12 posted 01-20-2015 04:44 PM

The panel wants to be 3/4” thick. I just made some maple raised panels for the side hall cabinets. i used 3 to 5 boards edge glued to make the panels. I cut the doors in 5 passes on the router table. I adjusted the router bit to cut a little more off the panel each time. The first cut took about 50% and the last for cuts the rest.

I would not try and cut the plywood with the raised panel bit. The plywood will splinter badly and you may get cut. The bit will really grab the wood as well. i have used a lot of MDF to make painted raised panels. My 3hp Dewalt router cuts that in one pass. Makes a lot of dust.

-- Chris K

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Aodskate

22 posts in 779 days


#13 posted 01-20-2015 05:47 PM

You can always do a backcut depending on the desired face profile to adjust your fit.

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Aodskate

22 posts in 779 days


#14 posted 01-20-2015 05:48 PM

But yeah use solid wood or mdf if it’s being painted not plywood

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1771 days


#15 posted 01-20-2015 07:27 PM

If you are going to stain or top coat these doors glue up panels from solid hardwood of your choice, oak cherry, maple etc.

If these are going to be painted use hardwood stiles and rails and MDF for the raised panel.

Why? If you stain a raised panel door made of plywood it going to be ugly as sin.

If you paint a raised panel door made of plywood you better know what your doing, what primer and paints and fillers to use. In the end it way to much work for what you get.

If you are going to paint DON”t use a solid wood glued up panels.

Why? because solid wood moves. You have to let solid wood panels float in the frame to allow for the seasonal changes (expansion and contraction ) through the yearly seasons. Also called wood movement. When the panel moves (and it will) it’s going to crack the paint where the panel fits in the groves of the styles and rails. MDF is much more stable than solid wood and is not going to move enough to crack the paint.

Panel thickness, there are some choices here. Unless your doing a flat panel door your going to use a panel thickness of 5/8 or 3/4”. Why? Typical when you make your stiles and rails the groves are set 1/8’’ in from the back side. This means a 5/8’’ panel will sit flush with the frame, If you use a 3/4’’ panel the panel will sit 1/8’’ proud of the frame unless you use a back cutter, an added operation unless you have the right cutters.

That being said, a flush panel or proud panel is personnel choice, some people like the look of a proud panel. Most factories and custom cabinet (unless specified my the customer) will use a 5/8 panel. With a 5/8’’ panel the door is flush and they can run the door through a wide belt sand leveling and sanding the whole door in one operation.

The reason I use 5/8’’ panels? I mostly use ruff cut lumber and mill my own stock. But were I live ruff cut lumber is harder to find than straight line riped s2s. So I use that for hardwood door panels (less stock to remove to get down to 5/8.

I would urge you to go to the website a the end of my post and do some reading. This is professional cabinet makers forum. When you get there in upper right hand corner of the web page there is a search box. Do searches on ’’raised panel doors’’ ’’painted doors’’ etc. There a wealth if information there from people who do this stuff day in and day out and done it for years.

http://www.woodweb.com/

Hope this helps.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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