Adding Raised Panels to Cabinet Doors

What You'll Need
Table saw
Random orbital sander
Medium sized wood working clamps
Tape measure
Wood working glue
8ft lumber pine with a width of 6 inches
Table saw jointer

Nothing enhances the appearance of your kitchen like a new set of cabinet doors. Raised panel doors give your kitchen an expensive and comfortable appearance. By following a set of simple guidelines, you can learn how to add raised panels to your cabinet doors.

Step 1 - Cut the Lumber

Use the table saw to cut three pieces of lumber measuring 6 inches in width. Make sure all the cut pieces are straight. Use the table saw jointer to make glue joints. Next use the jointer to chop off just enough stock from the edges of the three pieces to make them flat, even and square.

Step 2 - Apply Glue to Panel

After that, apply a thin layer of glue on the edge of each board. Then align the boards into a pair of clamps. Tighten the clamps to make the glue hold the boards together. However, do not squeeze too hard otherwise, the wood working glue will seep out of the board. Next, set the boards in a corner to dry.

Step 3 - Cut the Groves and Stiles

Using the table saw cut two stiles and then chop off 2” from each board. Cut the groves on the side of each of the four pieces holding the raised panel together.  Place one stile on the edge against the tabletop. Next, run the stile through the saw blade. After this turn the board and cut the same grove but from the opposite side this time.

Step 4 - Cutting the Tenons

Cut the tenons at the end of the two rails. The tenons must fit into the groves on the stiles. The stiles are set in such a way that they act as a mortise and a tenon joint. The state of the joints is very important as they determine the strength of the cabinet door. Test to see if the tenon fits into the mortise on the stile. If it does not, make appropriate adjustments on the height until it fits snugly on the mortise.

Step 5 - Cut a Rabbet

After the glue on the panels has dried up, separate the panel from the clamps. Take the table saw and use it to trim the panel to the appropriate size. Next, take the random orbital sander and sand the panel. Then pick the back of the raised panel and lay it on a flat surface. Using your table saw cut ¼ inch wide and ¼ inch deep on all the sides of the panel.

Step 6 - Assemble the Cabinet Door

Apply a layer of glue on the tenons. Allow the raised panel to float freely in the groves. Assemble the rails and the stiles while the raised panel is in the groves. Place the raised panel into a set of wood working clamps. Then clamp the assembly tight. Inspect the joint to ensure that they are sufficiently firm. Sand the cabinet doors and apply the finishing of your choice. Applying urethane would be a good idea, as it gives the doors a natural wood appearance.