Author Topic: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?  (Read 20062 times)

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Offline Dan Lyke

  • Posts: 321
    • Flutterby.net
Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« on: February 11, 2008, 12:29 PM »
I have a problem. I've picked up a couple of hundred board feet of Maple and Mahogany off of Craigslist, and based on actually seeing the wood in person the love of my life has come over to my vision of cabinet faces in two colors. The problem is that we also went to look at cabinet faces in a kitchen & bath places, and she's fallen in love with cabinets that have a very rounded profile. No simple rabbets, round-overs and tight ogees for her, we're talking a fairly wide recurve on the raised panels (no grooves or 90° edges that are hard to clean), and an almost half-elliptical profile on the rails and stiles, with mitered Domino joints on the corners (did I mention that she got us to buy the Domino? I love her!).

I've got an OF 1010, and limited space in the shop. I've kind of resigned myself to finding someone with a shaper or a molding cutter. I could probably swing this into some big beefy thing in a router table, but my shop is pretty tight.

So, anyone got suggestions for either 8mm shank bits to cut a gentle recurve and a rounded edge, warnings to not attempt this
with the OF 1010, alternate ways to cut the sorts of profiles I'm describing, or ways to find someone who'll cut the appropriate profiles (here in Northern California, southern Sonoma county)?

And, bonus question: We're refinishing this house with the goal of minimal maintenance for the rest of our lives here. I've been thinking about running screws into the Dominos from the back of the door (drill a hole over the Domino mortise, mark the Domino and drill a small guider hole in the Domino 1/32" or so towards the center from that hole so that the screw pulls the joint together) rather than gluing those miters to make refinishing the doors easier. I'm planning on testing this on a bathroom vanity that's our immediate next project, but does this sound reasonable?
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

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Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2008, 02:47 PM »
Dan,

The router table problem (since you have a limited requirement IE: One profile you want put on several feet of board) could be solved by making yourself a makeshift small table with a small piece of 1/2" MDF build in on a box to provide support drill holes for the bit and mounting screws, the fence can be glued, screwed or clamped to the top.

The bit: Check with Domain industries, they sell Affinity solid surface countertops. Here in Austin they are also Festool dealers since many solid countertop installers use Festools. They carry big profile bits for undermount sinks which I think would also work for your planned profile (half at a time, requiring two passes). since they sell Festool, they may have them in 8mm shank:  www.afinitysurfaces.com or (866) 385-7775

Screws in the dominos? if you avoid glue that leaves the joint relying on one small screw (the minimum needed to fail) to hold the door, (one style will be hanging on the hinges), bit scary, why the fear of glue? I use wood glue all the time on stain quality joints. Good old fashioned Titebond II cleans up totally with a damp shop towel while the glue is still wet and leaves you with wood ready to take stain. If you really want clean glue lines you can use a professional hot glue gun ($100 from Woodcraft) excess glue scrapes off cleanly with a chisel once set.





Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Dan Lyke

  • Posts: 321
    • Flutterby.net
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2008, 03:35 PM »
Thanks, Steve. I've actually got a router table I built for an old 1/4" fixed speed Craftsman router I've got. It hangs off my MFS. It could be repurposed for my OF 1010, but I'm still concerned about swinging a big bit on that little tiny router. Depending on how the various options turn out I may be able to justify a big honkin' router for that table, but my space is small, except for a few of the Festool detail sanders, I'm really out of space for gadget lust.

I'll check out Domain Industries for router bits and see what they've got. I haven't found a profile yet that is what I want, I've almost resigned myself to a custom bit at a molding cutting shop, but I'm also having trouble browsing these things online. People who build online stores clearly don't shop online much...

Screws in the dominos? if you avoid glue that leaves the joint relying on one small screw (the minimum needed to fail) to hold the door, (one style will be hanging on the hinges), bit scary, why the fear of glue?

The big fear of glue is that I'm putting some really gorgeous mahogany and maple together, and kitchen cabinet doors can get really gnarly after a while. My original hope was to just do flat edged plywood doors, but she with the aesthetic sense prefers something that doesn't look like acres of Ikea and, frankly, I have to agree with her.

So what I'd really love is a way to be able to pull the panels out in 10 or 15 years or whenever and sand and refinish everything without having to start over again from scratch. As we customize this house to our tastes, we're trying to take the long view and plan and optimize costs for 50 years, and in almost every case that means setting up for ease of maintenance because few things will last that long without major overhauls.
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1888
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2008, 03:58 PM »
Festool has a rail and stile (491129,491130) set with 8mm shanks that has an interestingly curved profile. Their is also on roundover to match (491131)and, I believe, a raised panel cutter to match (491138)but this one I have not seen in person. The R & S and roundover give some sweep to the profiles includin a cleavage, if you will between the Rails and Stiles. I like the look, but then I am a cleavage kind of guy.  ;D ::)

These are pretty easy to deal with size wise. The 1010 could do them nicely. I have been planning to make a door with these bits and a large cove panel raise just to see if they look good together. It sounds a little like the look you are after.

I just went back and re-read the OP. If you want mitered corners you might just get away with the roundover on both the panel side and the outside. It is eliptical in form, as are the R&S and would be very compatible to the 1010. Do the edges, miter and Domino. The more I think about it, I think I might do a few miters to see how that looks myself. Pretty simple, depending on the RPs.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Jerry Work

  • Posts: 307
    • The Dovetail Joint
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2008, 04:06 PM »
Hi Dan,

The take apart idea is not a good one for doors.  Too much lateral stress over time and they may well sag.  A better approach would be to fully finish the panels and the R&S pieces before assembly with glue.  Any glue squeeze will not soak into the finished wood and by sealing the components all the way around you minimize the possibility of water coming down off the counter tops and moving into the panel grove where it could soak under the finish if you did the traditional thing and finished the units after assembly.  If you are concerned about adhesion of the glue to the finished wood, use epoxy which sticks well to just about anything.  Just don't run it more than 2" in long to cross grain or miter joint situations.  As Greg stated, the Festool rounded profile is very nice.  It has a clean, simple look that would complement most any style.  Hope this helps.

Jerry
The Dovetail Joint
Fine furniture designed and hand crafted by Jerry Work
in the 1907 former Masonic Temple building
in historic Kerby, OR. 
26 mi SW of Grants Pass on US 199, The Redwood Highway
Visitors always welcome!
http://jerrywork.com
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Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 401
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 04:52 PM »
So you want to be able to remove the center panel for the doors for refinishing?  I think that's what you're saying.  If so, I'd make them like glass paneled doors.  Use some sort of clip, nailed in moulding, or one of the other glass panel mounting systems you can buy.  Then you can take the center panel out of the door from the back.  It depends on how nice you want the inside of the door to look as to what method you use.
Jay St. Peter

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 06:14 PM »
Dan,

Don't have my catalog handy, but I seem to remember Rockler (and maybe Woodcraft) does a plastic strip for fixing glass panels in place in doors, it somes in various colors and uses a 1/8 slot to fix it in place. I think the profile looks like 1/4 round with the extra tab (to fit into the slot). The stuff is flexible (like rubber).

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Eli

  • Posts: 2501
  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
    • Metafizix
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 08:27 PM »
I've used the stuff for glass. You should be able to get a local cabinet shop to sell you some. If they don't feel threatened.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline TahoeTwoBears

  • Posts: 194
  • Sugar Bear - South Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 11:59 PM »
Dan,

Just a thought about your 50 year plan. I'm 33 going on 34 years in the same house. New stuff (cabinets etc.) and I thought that life would be on to the next new thing. Interestingly enough, tastes and attitudes change over the years, and maintenance doesn't seem to be enough. New is what's called for. New technologies (Blumotion for an example) become available and the wants continue. I pray that you can pull it off, but don't be too upset if over time, changes are called for. It's the human condition.............

Best wishes,

Mike
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 09:29 AM by TahoeTwoBears »

Offline Eli

  • Posts: 2501
  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
    • Metafizix
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 04:56 AM »
Not to mention I have yet to meet a woman who will live with the same kitchen for that long. And don't believe what she says right at this moment either.....
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Dan Lyke

  • Posts: 321
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Why 50 years?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 10:21 AM »
On the "50 years" thing, yeah, technology and the like changes (and, yes, the cost of wood is going to be overshadowed by the cost of those cool "self closing" slides), but...

This last summer I was being recruited for a gig at a photovoltaics startup, and, as much as a silicon fab plant can be environmentally sensitive, they understood that part of their pitch was "save the planet", and they were trying to walk the walk. The CEO was a big fan of "Cradle to Cradle", and being the toadying corporate climber that I am (wait, I lie, I actually respect the CEO a lot and consider him a good friend, even if we don't get together all that often) I read the book.

The book is a push towards building products in a way that, at the end of a product's life cycle, it can be returned to components that can be re-used at the same level of the manufacturing process. For instance, right now soda bottles can't be recycled into soda bottles, just into "fleece" jackets and similar things further down the plastics chain. In my first read through I had a "okay, fun cheerleading, but there's no solutions here", but as I've done some product development in the intervening time I've realized that the reasons there aren't solutions in the book is that it's up to us to think about engineering those solutions (and that, in the soda bottle instance, the trade-off was that the economics of returnable glass bottles with a deposit costs more than throw-away plastic, so maybe we need to look at the entire product life cycle and figure out if it really is cheaper, or if we're just hiding costs).

I'm not going to pretend that I'm Joe-eco-friendly or anything, I live fairly comfortably in the United States after all, and I'm sure that styles and kitchen use patterns and drawer slide technologies will change over the course of 5 decades, I even acknowledge that once you lay saw to board the only way to get back to the same level of product is to use the sawdust as fertilizer, but I've got a couple of hundred board feet of mahogany reclaimed from "box beams", a similar amount of maple that, to the guy I bought it from, is cast-off scraps from his manufacturing process, but to me is still going to have to be ripped down to make rails and stiles, and as I process those into cabinets, doors and drawer faces and whatever else I want to do two things: Design those products to be useful for as long as possible, and to think about how the waste from demolishing those products will be repurposeable.

So, yeah, that mahogany that's currently a part of box beams, parts of which are going to be tough to extract because I have to be careful of pin nails used during construction, can become raised door panels, and I'm going to reduce a good portion of that to sawdust because I'm weighing aesthetics over flat expanses of lumber, but a decade or two of me (yep, I do most of the cooking) vaporizing grease in the kitchen is going to reduce that product to either completely unusable, or to something that, with a few compromises now and a little bit of work then, can be worked back into service.

I like the idea of using a detachable strip as the back part of the panel groove, I can probably just mill that myself with a quarter round bit.

I'll chase down that Festool rail cutting bit, the profile looks like it might work, especially if I can pull the slot cutter portion when cutting the shape on the outside of the rails.

The latest issue of Woodsmith has an idea for cove cutting that looks scary as heck and dangerous to bearings (running a circular saw blade, in their example on a table saw, diagonally sideways through the wood) so I may have to see if I can build a jig for my old Skilsaw to try that, and then do something else to cut the recurve where the cove hits the face.

Thanks, all!
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline Ned

  • Posts: 1146
Re: Why 50 years?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 10:31 AM »
...Design those products to be useful for as long as possible...

Good post, Dan, and the quote I've pulled above is part of the reason we like Festool.

Ned

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1748
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2008, 10:38 AM »
Hey Dan,
FYI, I went to a talk Marc Adams gave at one of the woodshows.  He discussed different approaches to making cabinets.  He cited an amazing statistic - the average kitchen cabinet in the US gets replaced every 7.5 years.  From this, he concluded that pocket screws were a reasonable solution...

I think Jerry is probably right about glueless doors, but here's another idea - how about small dowels to pin the dominoes in the miters?  You could glue the dowels, then when refinish time comes, drill them out, apply finishes, replace with slightly larger dowels....

Offline Dan Lyke

  • Posts: 321
    • Flutterby.net
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2008, 12:16 PM »
...the average kitchen cabinet in the US gets replaced every 7.5 years.  From this, he concluded that pocket screws were a reasonable solution...

Seems like there's a feedback loop there... Use pocket screws and MDF and you have to replace your cabinets every 7.5 years. At least it keeps the contractors busy.

This house was built in 1947, and aside from the cabinets getting painted (on the inside edges I can see indications of a color that screams "1950s") I could believe that the cabinets are still the ones from 60 years ago (no plywood, the underlayment to the tile counter-top is diagonal fir boards). The main cause to replace them is updating the kitchen layout from "one woman rules the space with an iron frying pan" to "two people share the space and the party always ends up in the kitchen", and that they don't have drawer slides. But the drawers don't stick, so it's still quite a usable space.

[Edit: I should also point out that for most of those 60 years there was a common occupant, and she was apparently meticulous about maintenance]

Quote
I think Jerry is probably right about glueless doors, but here's another idea - how about small dowels to pin the dominoes in the miters?

Hmmm... This weekend I hope to build a bathroom vanity, that'd be a good place to try it out on a door, and if it doesn't work I can replace just the one door. One thought would be running 1/4" or so dowels down on either side of the Domino, so each dowel is half in the wood beside it and half in the Domino. That way I could drill it out with a smaller bit, pull on the joint to crush the remaining tubes, and perhaps not even have to replace 'em with larger dowels...

Experimentation is needed. Muahahahaha!

« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 01:46 PM by Dan Lyke »
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1888
Re: Why 50 years?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2008, 03:40 PM »
I'll chase down that Festool rail cutting bit, the profile looks like it might work, especially if I can pull the slot cutter portion when cutting the shape on the outside of the rails.


Actually, Dan, if you are going to rabbet the backs for possible RandR later on you don't need the rail cutter, just the roundover with the same profile.

Great post BTW. You have a knack for summing up your life views in a succinct, pleasurable and non-preachy way and with a little humor thrown in from time to time to boot.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Steveo48

  • Posts: 305
Use Glue
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2008, 11:55 AM »

Screws in the dominos? if you avoid glue that leaves the joint relying on one small screw (the minimum needed to fail) to hold the door, (one style will be hanging on the hinges), bit scary, why the fear of glue? I use wood glue all the time on stain quality joints. Good old fashioned Titebond II cleans up totally with a damp shop towel while the glue is still wet and leaves you with wood ready to take stain. If you really want clean glue lines you can use a professional hot glue gun ($100 from Woodcraft) excess glue scrapes off cleanly with a chisel once set.

Ditto the use of a high quality glue.  Titebond II is great, it you are worried about moisture spend an extra $4/gallon and go with Titebond III.  It's not necessary IMHO, but if it helps you sleep better at night it's worth it. 8)

Steve

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Why 50 years?
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2008, 02:03 PM »

The latest issue of Woodsmith has an idea for cove cutting that looks scary as heck and dangerous to bearings (running a circular saw blade, in their example on a table saw, diagonally sideways through the wood) so I may have to see if I can build a jig for my old Skilsaw to try that, and then do something else to cut the recurve where the cove hits the face.

Thanks, all!


Dan,

Cove cutting on a table saw by moving the work piece diagonally across the table while "trapped" between a couple of diagonal guide boards clamped to the top of the saw table is an old, established technique.  I am not familiar with the Woodsmith article, so I may be repeating what is already stated there.  One way to reduce the loading on the saw is to first remove most of the stock by passing it over the blade in the normal way that is used when cutting dados, adjusting the left-to-right position of the stock and the height of the blade to roughly correspond to the cove profile you are making.  As an alternative to the final diagonal coving pass, you could make yourself a scraper and hand scrape the final profile.  I think what techniques are best depends on the profile you want to make and how many lineal feet of that molding you need.  One of the lumber/millwork vendors in my area charges $40 to set up for any of a large varieties of common profiles and $.10/lineal foot above the lumber cost to run them.  And they deliver at no extra cost.  I generally prefer to buy tools and make my own mistakes, but sometimes that millwork shop is a great blessing.

Dave R.
 
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Loren Hedahl

  • Posts: 160
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2008, 02:18 PM »
So you want to be able to remove the center panel for the doors for refinishing?  I think that's what you're saying.  If so, I'd make them like glass paneled doors.  Use some sort of clip, nailed in moulding, or one of the other glass panel mounting systems you can buy.  Then you can take the center panel out of the door from the back.  It depends on how nice you want the inside of the door to look as to what method you use.

This weekend I am cutting a corner kitchen cabinet down from 36" to 32" to be installed in a bathroom.

The existing doors, obviously manufactured and very nice, had a raised panel set loose into a rabbet on the back of the frame.  Then to hold them in and also strengthen the frame, a piece of 5 mm ply covering the entire back of the door was glued around its perimeter to the frame with a couple of small staples added to secure it to the back of the raised panel.

For your purpose, I would make a second rabbet in the frame to set the plywood back into.  Then instead of gluing it on, I would drill/countersink and screw it on.  That way, at a later date the back and panel could be removed and replaced/refinished as appropriate.

In fact, I have it in mind to build a set of kitchen cabinets with doors that the panels are thin plywood covered with vinyl upholstery fabric.  I have done this sort of thing on custom car interiors and figure it would be quite practical and interesting in a kitchen/bathroom.

Yes, I know  --  I'm always being accused of having my head outside the box.
Location (generally):  Thirty five miles west of Seattle by the way the crow flies.

You can tell a Norwegian, but you can't tell him much!

Offline Steveo48

  • Posts: 305
Re: Cutting raised panels and large radius rails and stiles?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2008, 10:46 AM »
Only a married man knows the truth of this statement!  :o

Not to mention I have yet to meet a woman who will live with the same kitchen for that long. And don't believe what she says right at this moment either.....

Your router needs to be variable speed if you are going to use a large diameter bit and have enough umph to keep it moving at speed.

Skip the screws as mentioned by others.  It almost sounds like you are preloading the maintenance you are trying to avoid, however, I believe McFeeleys sells the internal assembly bolts and nuts the Chinese are so fond of if you are really wanting to be able to easily disassemble the doors.

Steve