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Thread: Question re: proportions for raised panel doors

  1. #1
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    Question re: proportions for raised panel doors

    OK, here's what I hope will be a very simple question that someone with cabinet building experience can help me with...

    I'd like to build some raised panel doors for some existing cabinets in our den. The existing built-in frame is mahagany, and the doors are simply 3/4 mahogany ply. (House was built back in the late 50's). The doors are all 22" tall, and are either 12 1/2" or 19" wide. They will be flush fit with the existing solid wood frame, which is 1 3/4" wide above and below, as well as between, each door. There is a 1/4" cockbead detail which surrounds each opening.

    The question is: What should the proper proportions (width) be for the rails and stiles?

    Thanks in advance.

    John

  2. #2
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    It varies according to your tastes. I'd most likely use 2" for rails and stiles.

    I did just make some raised panel doors and the rails and stiles are 1 1/2" because the project is a big bookcase with lots of Birdseye Maple. I think the smaller stiles and rails look good on these cherry doors since there is so much B/E used.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...read.php?t=511
    A very wise man once said.......
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kairys View Post
    OK, here's what I hope will be a very simple question that someone with cabinet building experience can help me with...

    I'd like to build some raised panel doors for some existing cabinets in our den. The existing built-in frame is mahagany, and the doors are simply 3/4 mahogany ply. (House was built back in the late 50's). The doors are all 22" tall, and are either 12 1/2" or 19" wide. They will be flush fit with the existing solid wood frame, which is 1 3/4" wide above and below, as well as between, each door. There is a 1/4" cockbead detail which surrounds each opening.

    The question is: What should the proper proportions (width) be for the rails and stiles?

    Thanks in advance.

    John
    Hi John,
    In my opinion the proper proportion is the size you like now with consideration given to the existing 1 3/4" surround. The perfect proportion is that one you will come to like more and more over the years. Make up several corners, biscuit, kreg, or scab the backs of different widths, real quick,no big deal, butt joint, you are trying to determine what gut feeling you have for different widths. Try a thin one and a thick one, I suggest
    1 1/2" and 3 1/2" out of plywood scraps. Put it up and step back. Live with it a few days if you haven't decided which you like better already. Next make two more corners, closing in size on the one you like the most of the 1 1/2" or 3 1/2" corners. Maybe 3" and 2 1/2" or 4" and4 1/2". This is an important process that you alone should and can decide. Continue to hone til you like where you are. This is the best way for you to build something you like. To answer the question, I have a number but it is only IMHO, in reality, you too have a number, I am trying to help you get to it.
    Shaz
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  4. #4
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    John, I have used 1 1/2" or 2", but I really like Shaz' recommendation to try different things.

  5. #5
    Great advice from Shaz

    this may be an extraneous additional comment, (and totally obvious to the pros here but just in case......) once you decide on the width, make sure it works on both sets of door sizes, I don't think two different combinations would look good on the overall piece

  6. #6
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    john, i too have to agree with shaz on this one. i personally like to use 3" stiles, because i like a beefy looking stile and rail, and that is just personal preference. so like shaz said the test pieces are the best option and if you aren't in a hurry, take your time, especially since this is gonna be mahogany, which isn't cheap, at least where i live it isn't.

    one more thing, since these will be inset doors (flush) check the openings for square before you start. and when you make the doors make every effort to make sure they are as square as you can possibly make them.

    good luck with your decision and don't forget we expect to see pics when your done...no exceptions

    chris

  7. #7
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    john, on lots of doors i find myself leaning to wider rails than styles....you might give that idea a look while you`re playin` around with proportions...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Just wanted to say "Thanks" to everyone who put in their $0.02.

    Steve -- I looked at your thread, and your doors look great.

    Shaz -- I like your idea. I have to admit that I've used that method for several other projects and LOML just doesn't understand what I'm doing. Like, "why am I wasting my time" and "how come it's not finished yet"? However, she does admit that she likes the end result, which I guess justifies the effort.

    Jay -- That's one of the reasons I asked, as I want to make sure that things are consistent all the way around the room.

    Chris and Tod -- I'll definitely give those options a try.

    It might be a few weeks before I post any preliminary/final results. My local hardwood supplier has a sale, and I was trying to spec out what width mahogany I would need. Guess I'll just have to buy the widest possible, and find something to do with the leftovers...

    Thanks again!

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