# Question on Rail and Stile measurements

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• posted on January 25, 2006, 5:00 am

Just wondering how you determine length to cut the rail on a cabinet door. I am just getting into using Rail & stile bits, but looking the way they join into the stile I was just wondering how you figure out what you have to subtract. I am figuring if your bit cuts a 3/8" or 1/4" you would have to subtract this from the total width e.g. if you want a 18" wide door and you are using 1 x 3 boards (lets say they are true 1 x 3 ) 18 - 6 = 12 for the rail minus 2 x 1/4 = 1/2" so a total of 11 1/2". Does this sound right or am I setting myself for a re-cut?
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 6:12 am
Also a good idea is to make your rail and stile 1/8 wider than your finish size as to allow you to trim to size and squaring after glue ups. IE: if you want to finish with a 3 inch rail and stile make them 3 1/8 wide but remember to add 1/4 inch to your finish size so when you trim off the extra 1/8 on either side and top and bottom you end up with your finish size. If your finish size would-be 18x25 make your glue up size 18 1/4 x 25 1/4. This way you don't have to worry about clamp bruises and trying to be perfectly square when you glue up if you are out 1/16 you can square up when you trim to size and you would never notice it on the finished door but if you glue up to finished size there is nothing you can do except look at an out of square door in a square cabinet and you notice that a lot more than you do one rail being a little smaller than the other. If you want I could e mail you some spared sheets have made for 5 piece doors that all you have to do is input your finished sizes and it will give you your rail and stile size as well as your panel sizes. The addy is blhmillwork at shaw dot ca I do not use my real email for the group because of the spam but let me know the depth of you cut on you cutters so I could make sure it works for you.
Chris Melanson BLH Millwork LTD.

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• posted on January 25, 2006, 7:03 am
wrote:

Most rail/stile cutters are 3/8 " cut depth. On a rail/stile door, the rails don't lose any length, but the stiles do.
Assume your 18" wide door. Assume the bit cuts 3/8 ". If you cut the rails and stiles at 2 3/8 "wide, that takes care of the bit cut to give 2 " reveal or face of the stile. That leaves a 14 " rail.
Instead of doing a lot of arithmatic, settle on the door size, then the reveal or door face frame size (2 " wide seems to look good for most apps). Then add 3/8 " per rail and stile width.
You need to try this out on some scrap pieces to get a feel for the way it works. Cut the end grain for the rails first, then all the other cuts with the other bit - helps prevent tear/chip out. All of which you will have to do anyways to set the cutter heights.
I use a two cutter set and set them into two routers for my table. After diddling for a few hours (the first time) to get it right, I cut a pair of guide blocks out of 1 " polyetheline for the next times.
Pete
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 3:10 pm

Do you know which is the rail and which is the stile?? Some of each end of the Rail is going to disappear into the Stile. Stiles are cut to the exact height of the door.
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 3:20 pm
I remember it by Rails Recline; Stiles Stand.
works for me.
jc

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• posted on January 25, 2006, 3:23 pm

I like Fence Posts and Rails, Rail Road Rails.
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 3:53 pm
"Leon" wrote in message

of
exact
I've got a couple of really slick "raised panel door" spreadsheet calculators that I've scored down through the years, but I would hesitate to post them publicly without knowing if the original author would appreciate it.
The slickest is by "Roger Medbery" ... does that ring a bell?
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/13/05
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 4:03 pm

No.
I use my CAD program to indicate the length of the rails. I always draw the doors and cabinets to scale and add the depth of the cut in the stile to the over length of the Demension on the rail on both ends.

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• posted on January 25, 2006, 4:33 pm
"Leon" wrote in message

hesitate
appreciate
the
the
Don't know if this is where I got it, but a DAGS picked it up ... I would think it worth the short download for the OP or anyone else interested.
http://tinyurl.com/daoko
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/13/05
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 4:28 pm
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 15:10:57 GMT, "Leon"

Stiles go up and down, rails go side to side (like fence rails). I say it this way to make it easy for those who can't remember. None of the rail length is going to disappear anywhere. The cut edge (the part of the wood that gets machined ) of the stile and rail will lose 3/8 " off the face of the wood and will become 'moulding'. Some of that stile 'moulding' will become the rail's multi profile glue section. The 3/8 " assumes that the cutters are based on the standard that I see these days. If you are not sure what you have, then make the very first cuts on scrap pieces and measure them before and after.
Stile length is cut to your preference for squaring, fitting and sanding.
Pete
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 6:40 pm
snipped-for-privacy@mts.net wrote:
The 3/8 " assumes that the cutters are based on the

7/16" on CMT cutters. That's why they suggest making the parts 2-7/16" wide. With the 7/16 depth, it's easy to figure how long to make the rails to arrive at the need door width.
dave
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 7:28 pm

I do not know about your rails but about 1/2" of both ends of my rails disappear into the Stile when assembled.
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 10:06 pm
"Leon" wrote in message

Not when you use that new Kreg jig you're so proud of ...
;)
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 11:00 pm

:~')
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 7:29 pm
snipped-for-privacy@mts.net writes:

[...]
You forget the part of the rail that becomes the tenon inside the mortice in the stile side.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 11:18 pm
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 20:29:59 +0100, Juergen Hannappel

You mean the part of the stile that disappears inside rail. The stile is the tenon inside the rail. The rail gets the mortise and does not get shorter. Go look at rail.stile door and rethink this.
Pete
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 11:21 pm
nope, you've got it bward pete.

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• posted on January 25, 2006, 11:22 pm

You have that all bassackwards.
I have probably looked at and built 4 or 5 hundred. The STILE has 1 side milled for the joint and that is it. The Rail is milled on 1 side and both ends to mate with the Stile. The ends disappear into the Stiles.
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• posted on January 25, 2006, 11:28 pm

Bzzzzt ... think (rethink) again ... In traditional woodworking joinery, rails have tenons, stiles have mortises.
Be careful, like trains that jump the tracks (rails), whether you jump a fence or a frame, it's the rails that'll trip you up.
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Last update: 12/13/05
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• posted on January 30, 2006, 4:52 am

I understand where he was coming from - with a cope and stick joint, there is the appearence of a bit of the rail entering the stile, even thought that isn't really what is happening.