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?
ADD to rail length the depth of your cutters times 2.
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.
BLH Millwork LTD.
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.
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
The slickest is by "Roger Medbery" ... does that ring a bell?
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.
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
Stile length is cut to your preference for squaring, fitting and
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.
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.
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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