I am new to raised panel doors (just got PC router and table setup). I
made a few raised panel samples and it's cool. Now I like to use a
software to calculate measurements for the pieces of wood.
I download a software, believe it's "Software for Woodworking". Since I
am new, I think I could follow the diagram and measurements. I just print
two sets (40x20 and 15x10) to try study from there.
If there's other software you experienced, could you post the link for
Is it generally common practice for the (top/bottom) rail and (side)
stile set to 2 1/2" wide??
Per above statement (2 1/2" wide), until about how short (overall) width
to start using narrower rail/stile width? I am asking because I foresee a
project where I might will need to use a 5" overall width (two on each
side, permanent, not doors).
If you use Sommerfeld's method, you'll be cutting them 2-7/16" due to
the depth of the tongues on the rails. It makes calculations easier,
because you cut the rails as if the stiles were 4" less than the width
of the door. So for a 10" door, subtract 4" and cut the rails to 6".
Then when the rails' tongues go into the groove in the stiles, you end
up at 10" total width.
Please understand that if your router bits cut different tongue & groove
depths, then you would need to adjust accordingly. I find his method
simple enough for a screw-up like myself to easily understand.
If you are making cathedral arches or other pattern cuts on the top
rail, of course that rail will be taller; usually around the 4-1/4"
range IIRC. Everything else gets cut to 2-7/16" widths.
That is the best way I do it. My cutters cut 7/16 so my rails and stiles
are 2 7/16. You will loose the 7/16 with the cope cut so your left with
2" on each side. Take the total door width and subtract 4" and that's
the mesurment from inside the tongue to inside the tongue. It does not
matter if your door is some odd ball size your rails will be 4" narrower
than the width of the door. Then take off another 1/16 to 1/8 for raised
panels or just a 1/16 for plywood flat panels.
Good point. I should have added for the OP that the panel should be cut
1/8" narrower than the rails (not exposed rail dimension, OP, the total
rail length including tongues). That means width of door, minus 4-1/8".
For the height of the door panel, subtract 4-1/8" from overall height of
door (stile length). This applies only to straight rails; not
I just did another sample following the software measurements. Since I
have 3/8" bit depth, this made the rail 5 7/8". My final output total
width is 10 1/8" (instead of 10").
After the sample panel, I found the panel have (total) 3/8" gap (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 the popular bit depth 3/8" or there are other sizes? I bought the 3-
pieces for $60, to practice, along with pine boards (the pine sure
I guess I will have to play around some more to learn right.
Also, which is used mostly? Rubber balls or two nails (top/bottom) to align
Another thing, while I have a templet for stile and cope, I will need to
make a bigger one for the panel.
BTW, what are the 3 bits called as? Stile, Cope, and Panel?
Yes Chuck free software is available to help with cutting the parts for
raised panels. Quite some time ago someone posted an Excel spreadsheet
program that works good. It produces a dimensioned sketch and a cut list.
I modified the program some and wrote additional programs to handle multiple
panel assemblies. If you have Excel and are interested drop me an Email and
I will see if I can find it for you. As for the width of rails and stiles
something around 2 1/2" is common. However, other widths are used for large
doors and multiple panel assemblies. Do to the cross grain nature of the
rail to stile joint there is a limit to how wide you can go. In most
situations widths up to 5" are okay.
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