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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, ive been a woodworker for some time now, and ive just recently jumped into making my kitchen cabinets. I ordered a 3 piece raised panel router bit set from woodcraft (#141287) which is for up to 3/4" wood. After some trial and error, I got my first door ready to glue up.
I wanted to use spaceballs to center panel(they are 1/4") This is where my problem arose-These bits cut the panels edges down to just under 5/32 and mating groove in stiles and rails 5/32 wide and only 9/32 deep. All plans i have seen in multiple books and internet call for 1/4" panel ends and 3/8 deep channels in rails and stiles. I am making these out of hickory. Woodcrafts techline says this should be ok. But while they weaken the panel, I feel they will also weaken the rail-stile joint also (less depth of rail "tenon" into stile. I would appreciate some advice...
 

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I would use the panel bit set that you got and eliminate the space balls but rather just put a little squirt of silicone in the stiles and rails. Not the whole length of the stile or rail but little ball like globs. Once it hardens it will effectively do the same thing as the space balls but you can still leave the panel the dimensions that it needs to be.

I think I explained that well enough. If you don't understand then let me know.

Edit: I may have misunderstood your original post. If you are referring to the glue joint where the stile and rail meet then I would think you would be fine just be sure to apply plenty of glue and clean up with a damp rag of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
tenon strength?

My main concern with these bits are the relatively small tenon size they leave and will the rail-stile joint be too weak and also the panel
to stile/rail joint (the entire outside diameter of the panel edge is only 5/32 as compared to other bits sets that machine this dimension to 1/4".
 

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As long as the mating surfaces on your stiles and rails fit snugly, you will be fine. There is quite a bit of glue surface in that joint and it won't fail, done properly. As far as the depth for your panel. I wouldn't worry about that much either. You have over 1/4" on both sides in which the panel can contract and expand. The panel itself doesn't add much strength to your door frame but will help keep the frame from twisting.
I don't use spaceballs as there is only so much room for the panel to go (don't forget, you have a radius on your panel where it goes into the groove. It's only gonna go so far anyway). If I have measured correctly, the panel is gonna be centered enough regardless how far it is to one side or the other. I don't think the eye will pick up on 1/8" or so left to right or top to bottom.
Though I don't want my panels to rattle, I do like to be able to move them around with some pressure as needed.
Make sure you do a trial run, just like you are going to be glueing and clamping on each door before you go for it. Though you think every single cut is perfect and the same, little hidden problems can arise to foul up your day. DAMHIKT
 

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Rob; PREFINISH YOUR PANELS before assembling the doors.:thumbsup:
I think he means pre-stain you panels, or you will have unstained lines on the edges when the panels shrink in the winter. If you pre-finish them only use one coat of finish and sand it lightly before assembly. Then you can glue up the styles and rails without worry if you get a little glue seepage on the panel corner, it won't hinder the staining because it is already done. Correct me if I am wrong and you had different thoughts Skymaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Im not sure yet at this point, but as far as finishing these cabinets I was only gonna use a wipe-on poly or spray on water based poly. Im using hickory, trying to go mostly heartwood. I like the look of the golden pecan cabinets made by kraftmaid, i messed around with different stain/poly combos on scraps but cant seem to reproduce it, any ideas? Some one said maybe a shellac...Should I pre-poly the panels and inside the stile/rail channel, or is the issue only stain here?
 

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I have had pretty good luck with Sherwin Willaims matching a stain. Take a smple of what you want to match and the wood you will be using (prepped just like it is ready to stain) and see what they can come up with.
I'm a big fan of the wipe-on poly method of finishing if I have to do something by hand. I'd go ahead and give the panels 2 coats of wipe-on, scuff a little and do one more coat before putting them in the frames. Then put a few more coats on after they are all assembled.
Sounds like you are making progress.
 
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