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woodworkers at Shopsmith


Frame and Raised Panel Construction
Making professional-looking cabinet doors is easier than you think!

Raised panel cabinet doors are used in all types of projects . . .  from curio cabinets to kitchen cabinets, entertainment centers, armoires, and lots more. This is one of the most universally accepted cabinet door styles of all time. Raised panel doors highlight the true beauty of the wood, while providing a pleasing, visual break in the surface of the door as its frame surrounds and focuses attention on the center panel . . . much like a frame around a picture.

But great looks are just one of the reasons for considering the raised panel doors.  Since the panel is typically NOT glued into its surrounding frame, it?s able to expand and contract freely with changes in the weather ? without splitting or coming apart.

Here, our academy instructors take us step-by-step through the process of making a raised panel door (with frame) from 3/4? pine. The very first step (not illustrated here) is to carefully measure the opening for your cabinet door, noting the proper dimensions for your ?rails? (horizontal members) and stiles (vertical members).

Cut your stiles and rails to fit your cabinet door opening. Your rails should equal the with of your cabinet door opening plus twice the width of your stiles . . . plus 1-inch (twice the 1/2-inch depth of the groove you?ll be cutting in the rails for the raised panel to slide into. Mark the inside face of each stile and rail to receive a groove.

Use your dado set-up to cut the panel grooves in the stiles and rails. In our example, we used just the two outer dado blades from our Shopsmith set, with no chippers and cut a 1/4-inch wide groove. Center the blade set in the table insert and set your blades to make a 1/2-inch deep cut. Now, adjust your MARK V?s Rip Fence so it?s 1/4-inch from the right side of your dado blades.

To be certain the groove is centered in your stock, make your first pass through the dado, then flip your board end-for-end and make another pass. Repeat this two-step operation on all frame pieces.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
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