Is a "rail and stile" router bit set the same as a "cope and stick"
set? If not, whats the difference between the two? I am planning to
build some kitchen doors using glass. Not sure I if want to do real
lites or fake mullions that will sit on top of the glass. if there is a
difference between the two bit sets will either one of the set do
either of the real/fake options?
They are great as they allow you to make a full length tenon as opposed to a
cope and stick joint. Kitchen cabinet doors with glass lights get a ton of
abuse. The full tenon adds the required strength. Note: a little practice
goes a long way to make these joints perfect.
Rail - The horizontal part of a raised panel door
Stile - The vertical part of a raised panel door
cope and stick - A method of construction raised panel doors where the
tongues of the rails (horizontal) connect to the grooves of the
"Rail and Stile" construction could be "cope and stick" but then again
it might not be.
The router bit sets are designed for "cope and stick".
Please excuse me for being dense but I have never been exposed to any
kind of rail and stile or cope and stick work or tools. I looked at
the Lonnie Bird divided light set. If I understand correctly, it
shapes the profile of the rail and stiles as well as the mullions. Is
that correct? The picture that is illustrated in all the web sites I
visited trying to find more info shows only a mullion shaped on the
side with the coped matching mullion at a perpendicular angle.
http://www.cheyennesales.com/catalog/800_525.htm . The coped end has a
tenon that is shaped by the bit set. The tenon fits into a mortise on
the shaped mullion side. How is the mortise formed? Is it a function
somehow of the bit set or is it formed seperately with another tool?
Mike who is profoundly confused by an evidently simple situation
I believe the tennon is not shaped by the bit set, as it talks about how
it allows you to use full-length tennons.
Same as any other mortise. Drill press, router, chisel, etc.
Essentially, the router bits are there to give you edge treatments on
the inside of the frame. The joinery of the frame itself is separate.
Excuse the ASCII illustrations. A line
drawing would've been clearer but images
aren't allowed in this group.
| | RAIL | |
| +--------+ |
|S | | |
|T | | |
|I | Panel | |
|L | | |
|E | | |
| | | |
| +--------+ |
| | | |
The stiles have their inside
"with the grain" edges profiled
(in the following example the
profile is a simple chamfer)
and a groove between them that
acts as a dado into which the panel
will fit AND as an open ended mortise
for the stub "tenon" on the ends of
the rails to fit in. Both the chamfer
(or other profile) and the dado/open
ended mortise are cut with a single
router bit - the stile bit
/ / / /
/ / / /
/ / / / +--------------
/ / / / +/ RAIL
/ / / / //
+------+ / / /+-------------
| \ / / / \
| +--+ / +-- +
| | / / | Stub "tenon"
| +--+ +--+
| / /
The end grain ends of the rails
"coped" to match the chamfered
inside edge of the stiles and a
tenon to fit in the open ended
dado in the stile. All are cut
bit - the rail bit.
Note that the inside/panel side
of the rail also has a
AND a dado for the panel to fit
inside edge, though on a rail,
with the stile router bit
When the Rail and Stile are put together they fit like this
/ / / PANEL
/ / /
/ STILE // RAIL
| \ \
| +--+ +
| / /
If you are doing multiple panels within the
enclosing rails and stiles, the parts that
will hold the "inside" sides of the panels
(raised wood panels or glass panels) have a
separate set of names to distinguish them from
rails and stiles, because they have a dado/groove
in both long grain edges - and typically also a
profile cut on both long grain edges.
Hopefully this will clarify things a little
- or not.
You use the cope and stick router bits to form the edges of the rails and
edges and ends of the stiles so that you can glue the door together. You
use the cope and stick router bits to form the edges and ends of the
Maybe 10 minutes - edge profile was simple straight line
chamfer - but sufficient to illustrate the stile and coped
For illustrating more complicated joints I'm using a simple
paint mode and object drawing program called Aldus Super
Paint - last updated in 1993. Adobe bought Aldus and shelved
this application because it competed with their Illustrator
application - at about one third the price. They MicroSofted
their competitor. Can you think of a 1993 MicroSoft product
that still works today - and worth using today?
Anyway, I'm starting to put together some web pages on
interesting joints - using SuperPaint. Posted this one to
alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking a month or two ago.
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