frame-and-panel door may be built the same way as one side of a ffame – and-panel cabinet (page 48). Although the door illustrated below features standard mortise-and-tenons, you can also use haunched mortise-and-tenons or cope-and-stick joints. The floating panel in the center of the door can be raised, as shown, divided into a pattern of smaller panels or inlaid. The rails and stiles
have an integrated molding cut into them; for added embellishment, you may choose to cut an arch or curve into the upper rail.
The tongue-and-groove door is a popular choice for modern, European – style furniture. It has stiles with grooved edges that accept tenons at the ends of the rails. The rails have grooves on their bottom edges and tongues on their tops,
allowing them to interlock. Should the wood contract and the rails separate slightly, the matching tongues and grooves will hide any gaps.
The board-and-batten door is assembled without glue. Rabbets are cut into the edges of the boards, which are held together by battens screwed across the back of the door. Wood plugs are used to conceal the screw heads. The glass
door is essentially a frame-and-panel door with a glass panel rather than a panel between the rails and stiles. Standard mortise-and-tenon joints are shown in the door below. The piece of glass sits in rabbets cut along the inside edges of the frame; it is held in place by strips of molding.
The veneered-panel door features a frame joined to the panel. To conceal the
plate joints that connect the panel to the frame, rabbets are cut into the inside edges at the back of the frame. The panel then fits snugly into the rabbets.
Although a door is always made to fit a piece of furniture, it does not have to be sized exactly to its opening, as shown below in the drawer-mounting methods. A flush-mounted door can be difficult and time-consuming to construct
because of the fine tolerances required to build and hang the door. Both lip- rabbeted and overlay doors are usually simpler to make.
The entire thickness of an overlay door projects beyond the front of a cabinet or carcase. The lip-rabbeted door has rabbets cut around its outside edges at the back so that only a part of its thickness is exposed.
A frame-and-panel door imparts style to a piece of furniture without sacrificing durability or strength. Its solid frame construction accounts for the structural integrity. At the same time, any one of several stylistic touches can be added to make it more attractive. These include designing an arched top rail or, if the door is large enough, dividing the
panel into smaller sections with horizontal cross rails and vertical mullions.
You can build a frame-and-panel door the same way you would construct a frame-and-panel assembly, using either haunched mortise-and-tenons or cope – and-stick joints (page 48). This section features a door assembled with standard mortise-and-tenon joints and integrated molding. The first step is to size your stock. Make the stiles equal to the door height; the rails should be as long as the width of the door, including two tenons at each end, minus the stile width. The tenons typically are cut about % inch long.
1 Cutting the tenons
Install a dado head slightly wider than the tenon length on your table saw. Attach and notch an auxiliary fence (page 48), then set the width of cut equal to the length of the tenon to cut the tenon cheeks; adjust the cutting height to about one-third the thickness of the stock. Butting the rail against the fence and the miter gauge, feed the stock face down into the blades. Turn the rail over and make the same cut on the other side of the tenon. Then repeat the process at the opposite end of the rail (left, above) and with the second rail. To cut the tenon shoulders, set the height of the dado head at about Vi inch. With the rail flush against the fence and the miter gauge, feed the workpiece edge down into the blades. Turn the rail over and repeat on the other side of the tenon. Cut the tenon shoulders at the opposite end of the rail the same way (left, below). Repeat the process with the second rail. To add integrated molding, fit a router with the appropriate bit and mount the tool in a router table. Cut along the inside edges of the rails and stiles as you would for making a veneered-panel door (page 113).
2 Preparing the rails for glue up
Remove the auxiliary fence and adjust the blade angle to 45°. Make a test cut in a scrap board and measure the cut end with a combination square, adjusting the blade angle if necessary. To set the width of cut, mark a line on the molded edge of a rail the same distance from the tenon shoulder as the molding width. Align the mark with the blade where it exits the table opening, then butt the fence against the rail. Adjust the blade height until one tooth just protrudes beyond the tenon shoulder. To make the cuts, butt the rail against the fence and hold it flush against the miter gauge to feed it mold – ed-edge down into the blade. Repeat to cut the other end of the rail (left) and both ends of the second rail.
Readying the stiles
Before preparing the stiles for final assembly, rout a decorative stopped molding if you wish (page 107). Then mark a line on the molded edge of each stile the width of a rail away from the end of the board. With the table saw blade angled at 45°, align the cutting edge with the mark and cut into the molded edge; stop the cut at the point where the molding ends and the face of the stile begins. Next, slice off the strip of molding between the 45° cut and the end of the stile with a band saw. Then, smooth the cut edge using the table saw. Moving the rip fence out of the way, hold the the stile flush against the miter gauge and slide the stock back and forth along the miter gauge (above, right). Make sure you do not cut into the molded edge of the stile.
4 Cutting mortises
Align a rail with each stile and mark the outline of the mortises as you would when making a frame-and-panel assembly (page 49). Install a mortising attachment on a drill press and clamp the stile to the fence, centering the mortise outline under the chisel and bit. Set the drilling depth to the tenon length, then make a cut at each end of the mortise before boring out the waste in between (right).
6 Gluing up the door
Squeeze some glue into the mortises in the stiles and on the tenon cheeks and shoulders at the ends of the rails; also apply some adhesive on the contacting surfaces of the miter cuts in the rails and stiles. Do not add any glue to the panel grooves. Then, assemble the door and set it on two bar clamps on a work surface, aligning the rails with the bars of the clamps. To keep the clamps from falling over, prop each one on a notched wood block. Protecting the frame with wood pads, tighten the clamps just enough to fully close the joints (right), then use a try square to check whether the corners of the door are at right angles. Finish tightening the clamps until glue squeezes out of the joints, checking occasionally that the corners remain square. Once the glue has dried, use a paint scraper to remove any remaining adhesive.