Raised panels without panel raising bits


My next project ,hopefully starting Saturday, is going to be a built-in entertainment center similar to this: http://www.finewoodworkers.com/detail_pages/t_builtin.htm The whole thing will be painted white as in the picture. My plan is to make rectangular raised panel doors using 3/4 MDF for the panel and poplar for the frames. Here is how I plan to make the doors, please tell a newbie where I might be going wrong.
Frames 1. take 7/8 thick poplar and roundover one edge for the inside of the rails & stiles (1/2 inch radius?) 2. make ~1/4 x 1/4 groove in the rails & stiles for the panel 3. in a Normish way, miter the roundovers and 'nibble' away the material to join the rails & stiles 4. using router w 1/4 bit make the mortises 5. make tenon shoulder cuts on table saw and 'nibble' away for the cheek cuts
Panels (on the tablesaw) 5. make 1/8 shoulder cut on the face of the panel in ~1 1/5 inches 6. using a tall fence sled run the panels through the saw on edge to finish the panel
I need to make a jig to run the panels through on edge so I could probably use the same jig to make the cheek cuts for the tenons. Unless it is a much better idea to keep the blade in the TS vertical and have the sled angled.
What is the 'correct' angle for the cut to raise the panels? The doors will be around 15 x 27. Will the MDF panels help keep the frames from twisting? Should I paint the panels before assembling the doors? to keep the inserted ends from being unfinished and subject to moisture absorbtion. Do I need to make the edges of the panel 'flat' where they go into the frames or is the angle ok? Does my plan of building this wide enough for a projection LCD have any chance of beating SWMBO's plan to buy more chackis?
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[upper snip]

A jig? I have seen it being done, in white oak for a bed head board. The TS blade raised slightly and the board run over it at an angle, you choose the angle but it's just a fence not a jig, which is another board clamped down on the TS. I would experiment for that angle though, with some junk DF or perticle board. It is really a neat technique.
My search term: angles for raised panels on table saw:
http://home.austin.rr.com/sawduster/Raisedpanels/Raisedpanels.HTM A pdf with some technique: www.shopsmith.com/academy/tblsaw_specialops/090202.pdf
There are a lot of hits on the subject, very common. Remember: DAGS !!

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Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
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Thanks for the links! I was thinking of making the panels like they were done on the last page of the pdf you linked, but now I think I'll try cove method in the first link. It doesn't look very complicated and since I'm using MDF I won't have any chipout problems.
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Just don't do it with your good blade, it puts a lot of wear on one side. I've been using a cheap 30 tooth 9" blade, which leaves ridges along the cove that require a lot of sanding to remove. I'd try to use a cheap 80 tooth.
-Leuf
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"junk DF (assuming MDF meant here) - redundant term.
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RayV wrote:

I'd go with a 1/4" radius. 3/8" at the very most.

I'd go with 5/16" or 3/8" deep. That way you can have a full 1/4" of the panel recessed into the groove and still have some room for expansion.

Personally, I think you're making more work for yourself than necessary. The normal way to do this (with the expensive router bits, of course) is a cope and stick joint. In your case, you'll be nibbling away the rounded portion of the stiles, so your joint would essentially be a tongue/groove. That provides adequate glue surface for a strong joint, and it also means that you can dado along the entire length of the rails and stiles. You don't need to stop it before reaching the ends of the stiles.

Again, doing the tenon as a tongue means that you don't need cheek cuts. Much easier.

Make sure you account for the extra 1/4" or so that you'll oversize the panel on each side when doing your shoulder cuts.

No, I think angling the blade is much easier. Plus, it's adjustable. Making an adjustable sled would be even more of a pain than making an angled one.

It's really a personal preference. If I remember right, I used to do them at around 7 or 8 degrees back before I got my shaper. You can practice on some scraps until you get the look you like. It will depend in part on how far you want the panels to protrude beyond the rails and stiles. If you want the panels to be flush, your angle will be determined by the depth of your shoulder cut, it's distance from the edge of the panel, and the thickness of wood between the groove and the front side of the rails and stiles.

Don't know. Stickering the poplar and keeping it inside your house for a couple of weeks will. It doesn't sound like this is an option for you since you want to start this weekend. Hopefully you have good kiln-dried wood.

Yes, for two reasons. First, even MDF will move with humidity changes. During drier times of year you're likely to see a bit of the unpainted MDF around the perimeter of the panel. Second, if the panels are already in the frames the paint tends to wick into the groove and "glue" the panel in place. That's bad; it needs to float.

You don't really have any choice. If you're doing 'em on a tablesaw, you can't help but taper it. They still work fine tapered. You just might need to put something spongy in the groove at some later point in time if the panels start to rattle.

Keep telling yourself that it does.
This is obvious, but remember that you'll probably have to rabbet the back side of the panels to get the edges thin enough to fit in your 1/4" groove. Make the width of the rabbet a little oversize to allow for expansion.
One other thing: When planning out your door sizes, try to plan for a standard overlay for the doors (if they even are overlay doors, that is. I can't tell from the picture if they're overlay or inset). Most hinges are designed for a specific overlay. Something like 1/2" or 5/8" is pretty standard.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Josh
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Josh wrote: Personally, I think you're making more work for yourself than necessary. The normal way to do this (with the expensive router bits, of course) is a cope and stick joint. In your case, you'll be nibbling
away the rounded portion of the stiles, so your joint would essentially
be a tongue/groove. That provides adequate glue surface for a strong joint, and it also means that you can dado along the entire length of the rails and stiles. You don't need to stop it before reaching the ends of the stiles.
Ray replied: I've made frames the way you described without a roundover and they are plenty strong enough (1.5 years on a 3 year olds kitchen set and still holding). But look at drawing 1F on this site: http://www.jeffgreefwoodworking.com/pnc/curvecope/index.html After I cut away the roundover part I would be left with a half-lap joint or a hal-lap with a very shallow tongue (depending on the depth of my groove) or am I missing something?
I'm planning for the doors to be 1/2" overlay. I'm not ready for inset doors yet.
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That's a good point. You could make the dados deeper on the ends of the stiles to accept a deeper tongue, but at that point it's not much less work than the way you described.
Josh
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RayV wrote:

I think you'll have better stability if you do the cheek cuts first and then use the shoulder cuts to remove the waste.
Otherwise, as you complete the cheek cuts you'll be supporting the panel on the narrow edge with the rest overhaning the blade.
OTOH, if you make the cheek cuts first, it may be easier to pinch the blade.
If you make the cheek cuts with the panel firmly clamped to a tenon cutter, you should be fine either way.
--

FF


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