Neandering raised panels: Random observations

Galootish wreckers and other interested wooddorkers,
Short version: used some planes and a marking gage to raise some panels without killing any electrons.
Long version:
I've got a bunch of raised panels to do for my current project, and it's been a long time since I've done any so yesterday I got out a scrap piece and did a trial run. They will be done in pine, which means it comes dangerously close to being an exercise in sheer futility. (If you've worked with pine, you know what it tends to act like when going crossgrain, and it's not always pretty.)
Anyhow, got out my L-N #140 (low-angle block rabbet plane with skewed iron, Jeff), my LV rolling-wheel marking gage (got the new one with micro-adjust and recessed screw; it's a keeper), my #90 and my LV low-angle smoother. (A plow plane or dado plane (with a batten) can be substituted for the #140, and an unfenced block plane will do most of the stock removal if you are careful.)
Laid out the bevel by scribing the desired depth all around the outside of the panel and then re-set it for the perimeter of the field of the raised panel. It helps to make deep scribe marks at the perimeter, to get a clean shoulder to the raised field. And it's OK to re-scribe that while you are removing waste (the recessed screw is nice here, as the head of the previous model's screw could leave a mark on the field).
Anyhow, set the fence on the #140 so it's just a GA (RCH, Paddy) shy of the scribe and start by removing stock to establish the depth of the "flat" or "shoulder" at the perimeter of the raised field. (I start on one crossgrain end and work it completely, then proceed to the other crossgrain, etc.) After that, I leave the fence set up, but angle the plane so that I start right at the edge and gradually work my way back towards the center, creating the bevel in the process.
The idea is to make each stroke full-length so that you are getting a consistent bevel. You can clean things up later somewhat (that's what the shoulder plane and low-angle plane are for), but the more you fiddle with it, the less likely you are to get a crisp transition at the corners.
If you get it right, you will reach the scribed mark on the outside edge at the same time you reach just shy of the flat at the perimeter of the raised field. I can't offer any secret here; just eyeball your scribe mark as the bevel widens. If needed, get rid of any tearout or ragged grain by using the shoulder plane (it's especially good for touchup right next to the field) or the low-angle plane (works well for crossgrain cleanup, but either set up a batten or be very cautious so you don't munge of the edge of the raised field).
Repeat for other crossgrain and then long grain sides.
After that take the marking gage and set it for the depth of the groove that the panel will fit in. Then scribe that on top of the panel, set the fence on the #140 for that (minus the RCH), and turn that bit of the bevel into a rabbet (working crossgrain first, as usual). You have to concentrate on holding the plane vertical, which will remove stock from the scribe-mark back towards the edge with each pass. Stop when the slope has been removed.
Finally, touch up any rough areas with a scraper or sandpaper and you are there you have it. If it was done in pine, you will likely have some areas that are ragged (especially on the crossgrain cuts), but do your best to smooth some of the more obvious spots. (With a fenced plane, you *will* have one direction that looks worse than the other, and that can be complicated by the fact that a glued-up panel may have a reversal of the grain in the middle of the crossgrain.) Odds are it won't be perfect at the transitions, and you may even notice a mark or two where the plane went too deep on a crossgrain cut, but if you wanted machine-perfection, you wouldn't be doing it this way anyway. :-)
Chuck Vance Just say (tmPL) It takes a while, but it's a lot easier on the blood pressure than running some monster panel-raising bit or doing some balancing act on the tablesaur.
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"Conan the Librarian" wrote in message ...

I'd like to see it in person Chuck. You describe it very well, but pictures are, well, better.
ps: I tried a router plane the other day, and have a few questions: 1. how on earth do you get those things to fit in the chuck, and 2. stay there when you turn the thing on?
--
Greg




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Greg Millen wrote:

Yeah, they usually are. :-) You can go to John Gunterman's old website to see some pictures of a couple of methods: http://www.shavings.net/RAISED_PANELS.HTM
I don't do mine exactly like they are shown there, but the technique is basically the same.
FWIW, when I described using the L-N #140, it has a removable side-plate, and obviously for this purpose, you'd want to remove the plate. Also, since I bought mine, L-N has offered them with a nicker which would be useful for establishing the shoulder of the raised field, but would have to be retracted when cutting to the final depth. Also, they now offer a "left-hand" version of the plane, so for those of you who are always on the lookout for more toys^H^Hols, you can now have a matched set. (This could actually be usfeul, as you invariably wind up going against the grain at some point when doing raised panels.)

Er ... I dunno. My problem has always been how to get those bits to fit into the plane.
Chuck Vance
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brought forth from the murky depths:

You need the special Reverse Coriolis routah with the Darwin Collet down there, Grogs.
--- - Friends don't let friends use FrontPage - http://diversify.com Dynamic Website Programming
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Do you have the 140 with a nicker or without. I have the pre-nicker 140.
If you attach a beveled wooden fence to the brass fence, it makes one heck of a chamfer plane.
The 140 and the Veritus apron plane are my two most used planes. :-)

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Eric, I have a 30 year old 60 1/2. With the apron plane and the 140, the 60 1/2 never gets used.
The 140 is good for dressing up raised panels made on a shaper as well as fixing wide tenon faces. Those are the uses that I bought the plane for. If were buying them today, I might get the new LN low angle rabbet block plane instead of the 140. I have the Veritas apron plane and the Veritas shoulder plane that have replaced the 140 for some uses.
I wouldn't want to be without any of them.

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Lowell Holmes wrote:

Pre-nicker #140. I've thought about sending it back to have them retrofit it (they used to offer this service; don't know if they do anymore), but figure it's not that big a deal. I use my gage with the same result, maybe better.

I've never done that, but I'll bet you're right. I do have an auxiliary wooden fence for it that works well for steadying it at the beginning and end of a cut.
FWIW, you can buy a chamfer guide to go with your Veritas low-angle block. It works quite well.

Interesting. While my #140 comes in handy for certain things, it can sit in its box for months at a time without being used. But when I need it, I really need it. :-)
As for the apron plane -- I've got one, but have never really found a lot of use for it. I dunno if it's too small, or it lacks an adjustable mouth, but I find that my trusty old #60-1/2 is the closest thing I've got to an apron plane (i.e., a block plane that I reach for first for all sorts of tasks). My Veritas has started to supplant it for some uses, but the #60-1/2 is still more handy for some things.
Chuck Vance
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snipped-for-privacy@swt.edu (Conan the Librarian) wrote in

Yeah, I tried this a while back just as an experiment. I was surprised at how quick & easy it was to raise the panels by hand - the end result was actually pretty ugly, but I didn't take the time Chuck did to properly mark out everything. I can see that a little care & a little practice would quickly result in very presentable panels. I used the two frames & panels for the ends of a storage box in the shop, where noone else sees them :-)
(used an L-N #102 low angle block plane and a batten for a guide. A fenced plane would be easier...especially since one wouldn't run one's knuckles into the clamp holding the batten in place).
John
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John McCoy wrote:

Hey, I've got a lot of shop stuff like that. :-)

I'm guessing you were just cutting simple beveled panels, no? Because in order to get a raised panel with the field defined by a "flat" or "shoulder", you need something with a cutting edge that's exposed on the side. That's where the #140 (or a dado or plough plane) comes in handy.
I "practice" doing beveled panels all the time when I am thicknessing stock. After flattening one side I mark the thickness for the other side on the ends/edges and plane bevels down to just shy of the marks. This gives me a visual reference point when scrubbing or otherwise removing stock. It also helps avoid blowing out on the far side when using a scrub or other plane set for a deep cut.
Chuck Vance Just say (tmPL) And it gives me what amounts to practice freehanding raised panel bevels.
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Yes, just a simple bevel. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, I was originally just going to cut 2 rabbets (using Normite methods) to leave a tongue to fit the frame, and then I decided to try cutting a bevel instead. The block plane was handy, I'd have had to go indoors to find either the #140 or the #10 1/4.
It was quick enough that I'll try again sometime, and do a proper raised field.
John
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