Raised Panels


I am new to the world of raised panel doors.
After made a sample panel from a free software, I found the panel having (total) 3/8" gap sideways (play) and the top have 1/4" gap, is that a lot? When I did the paper/pen measurements, the gap was much tighter.
If my bit are 3/8" depth, what measurements should I use for the side width to make the rail minus 4" (example, for 10" width door, what it take to make the rail exact 6")?
Are 3/8" bit depth popular sizes or there are other sizes?
Which is used mostly? Rubber balls or two nails (top/bottom) to align/hold the panels? I am aware about reading panels never to be glued.
Another thing, while I have a templet for stile and cope, I will need to make a bigger one for the panel. How do you go about adjusting the bit height?
BTW, what are the 3 bits called as? Stile, Cope, and Panel?
Chuck
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The gap on each side of the panel should be 1/8".
Use Spaceballs or Panalign strips in the grooves to center the panel and help reduce rattling.
Like I said the other day, 7/16 depth is what CMT uses.
The cope cutter is used on the ends of the rails. Watch the depth--makes sure you don't leave just a sliver of wood on the top edge. Typical shoulder on front side is 1/8" thick.
The stile cutter is used on all 4 pieces.
Raised panel cutter cuts the panel.
Dave
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OK, so I think the software from "Software for Woodworkers" is not that accurate (their note states it WILL be 3/8"th). I made two more samples today and the panel seems way too lose anyway.
BTW, someone emailed me the Excel measurements, I haven't looked into it yet (three weeks left for school!!!!!!).

OK, will look int it.

OK. This 3-pieces I bought (first time) was for $60. I just want to practice. I am planning to buy CMT (maybe will consider other brands) after this practice. Boy, just for CMT 3-pieces is like $250! 5-pieces easily $500.

"silver of wood", meaning absolutely no gap? I will need to practice the cope (it scatters the edges, noticeable face side).

OK, how do you go about adjusting the bit height? By cutting samples? Including the raised panel?

Chuck
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Actually, setting the height for the first cut is the only one that you'll need to "try out". Get the height correct for the cope, make the cope cuts on the ends of the rails, and then change bits. The second bit's height is a breeze to set up--all you have to do is align the cutter that makes the groove align with the tongue you just cut on the ends of the rails. Any slight mismatch is handled by sanding the completely door frame. Of course, you don't want to be off much; I shoot for perfection, and usually get it close enough that a bit of sanding flushes all the parts. I'm not talking fractions of an inch; I'm talking less than .005.
You'll have less headaches if you get your hands on the Sommerfeld instructions. Start here: http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/tutorial-archedraisedpaneldoors-1.asp
that will give you the instructions!
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Typically you can find a good set of 3 cutters for about $150.

I always cut the cope ends of the rails first. A lot of the tear out can be cleaned up when you later make the stile pass on the rails and stiles. ADDITIONALLY, I always use a SQUARE scrap of 3/4" plywood, about 10" square to guide the rails while cutting the coped ends. I run the plywood along the router table fence to push the rails through. The plywood keeps every thing square and provides a zero clearance back up to help prevent tear out on the back side of the cut.

Any more, I eye ball the height for the cope cut and use the result to set up the stile bit. In the early days, LOL I did use samples to help set up cutter height.
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I see. I used the same little block of wood. Now, I will use bigger scraps and will use fresh corners to help prevent tears at the end (like you said, zero tolerance).
Today, I was looking at the JessEm Mite-R-Slide (just looking at it, it's a $275 toy). But, it doesn't have zero tolerance. Thanks for bring this up.
Chuck

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Chuck, I build the door frames with my typical rail and stile router bits. I dry fit the pieces and measure the inside demensions of the frame and add 1/2" to the width and 1/2" to the length of that opening to determine the size blank to make the raised panel from.

I use the Space Balls.

Practice on same thickness stock and dry fit to the pre made rail and stile frame.
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Where can we find these ball in canada I see that leevalley no longer have them...
Christian
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wrote:

Make your own.
Squirt a line of silicone sealer on polyethylene sheet, leave it a day, then slice it into blobs with a razor blade.
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I get them here http://wwhardware.com / and here www.rockler.com

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Window screen spline comes in more than one size.
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do you use the foam stuff or the rubber stuff?
Christian
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Ribbed rubber tubing. Cut 1/2"-1" chunks that don't roll around much in the dado.
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