How to Make a Raised Panel Cabinet Door Part 2 How to Make a Raised Panel Cabinet Door Part 2

What You'll Need
3/4 by 2 inch boards cut to length for stiles and rails
3/4-inch wood stock for door panel
Table saw with dado head
Drill with 5/16-inch bit
Measuring tape
Wood glue
Bar clamps
Handles and door hinges
Safety glasses/goggles

In part 1 of discussing how to make a raised panel cabinet door, we went over the tools and materials that will be required for the job. We also explained the step-by-step procedure for making the rails that will form the top and bottom of the raised panel cabinet door. At the end of part one, we discussed how to give tenon cheeks to the rails and make grooves into the rails by using a table saw with a dado head and not the expensive raised panel router bit used with a rotary tool. This part will explain how stiles and the panel should be made. 


Step 1 – Measure and Cut Stiles 

Cut the door stiles (the wood pieces that will form the sides of the door) equal to the door length. Measure the door length using measuring tape. To cut the rails, use a dado head in a table saw. Adjust the height of the dado head to a third of the thickness of the wood that you are using to make the stiles. Cut the stiles by feeding them face down into the table saw on both sides. 

Step 2 – Make Tenon Cheeks on Stiles 

After you’re done cutting the stiles by running them through the dado head face down, turn them onto their sides and run them through the dado head. Do this after you have adjusted the height of the head to ½ inch. This will give you a tenon head at the end of each stile. Repeat for all stiles. You can check if the tenon cheeks are right by trying to dry fit the stiles into each other right now. It should be an accurate, flawless fit. 

Step 3 – Cut the Grooves 

After you’ve done cutting tenon cheeks into the stiles, you have to cut the grooves in them for the panel cabinet doors to come out like you want them to. Do this by taking a stile and placing its side by the edge of the table on which your table saw and dado head are placed. Run the stile through the blade and a groove will be formed. Now, flip the stile to the other side and run it through the blade again. This will ensure that the groove that is formed is accurate and is in the exact center of the stile. Repeat the process with all the other stiles. 

Step 4 – Making the Panel 

You have to section ¾  inch wood stock for the door panel. The idea is to make raised panel. To achieve this, start off by setting the table saw blade to a 15 degree angle. After you’ve done that, run the blade against the auxiliary fence on edge. Repeat on all four edges. Then, after setting the blade at 90 degrees, adjust the blade height to the depth of the grooves on the rails and stiles and run them over the blade at the edges. Use sandpaper to smooth out all the edges. 

To learn how to assemble these parts into a raised panel cabinet door, refer to Part 3 of this series.

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