I'm making some raised panel doors this weekend. The style I am making is
simple groove in rail and stile -- no ogee or anything. In the past I have
made the frame of the raised panel using mortise and tennon construction
using my Leigh FMT and then groove the interior of the frame with a centered
1/4" bit. I was looking at some raised panel bit sets to see the how they
attached the rail to the stile and it would appear that there is no "large"
tennon or tennon like structure -- although the joint also has a lot of glue
area and good part of it is long to long grain. If I carry this idea to my
design I would mill a 1/4" x 1/4" groove down the stile and then form a 1/4"
stub tennon on the rail. Obviously a 1" deep full tennon would be a
stronger joint -- just wondering if anyone has any experience making door
with the 1/4" tennon and had luck with them holding up over time.
BTW the application is a media cabinet -- CD's and DVDs -- nothing too
As a matter of fact, I've done exactly that. Stopped the router groove
short so that it did not show in the end grain and just used a tennon to fit
the mortise. Held up fine. It's not so different from the idea behind a
biscuit - look how little biscuit really sticks into the mating piece.
I have a door making set for the shaper that cuts a 7/16" deep by 1/4" wide
groove (with no profile just as you specify). The doors I've made with it
so far seem strong, although I haven't tested them over time. But I did try
to smash apart a 1-day old prototype at the joints to no avail. The wood
surrounding each joint broke first.
I recently made a similar type of raised panel door but the stile and rails
of the frame had a 5/16" bead detail (much like a beaded face frame
concept). It turns out that the tenons in the rails are about 13/32", just
shy of the 7/16" the cutter can actually produce. While this is nowhere
near the 1" tenon you mention, the doors still feel quite strong -- at least
as strong as other cope and stick joints I've made in the past in the same
So...I realize that the tenons I cut are about twice what you're asking
about, but I'm trying to point out that I don't think 1" tenons are
mandatory for a fairly strong door (although they would, in fact, be much
stronger like you said). Keeping in mind that the simple groove in rail and
stile door making set I have was designed to cut a 7/16" groove, is there
any way you can make your groove another 1/8" or so deeper just to be safe?
If not, maybe you could glue up a prototype and try to stress the joints to
Here's a link to the set I have, but it's a door making set designed for a
SHAPER, not a router.
I did a quick check on Amana's site and found a similar router bit set. I
don't know the price.
My 2003 Freud catalog shows an adjustable tongue and groove set which will
cut grooves (and corresponding tongues) from 7/32" to 3/8". Here's a link
to that bit set on Amazon:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
If you don't want to buy a router bit or shaper cutter set, have you
considered forming the tongue and groove using your table saw? It might not
produce as clean a cut, but the results may be acceptable for your
application. Just a thought...
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