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#3202502 - 11/30/13 10:07 PM more woodworking: making pockets
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33691
Loc: New Jersey
Like the panels in a pocket door.



I'm looking to make a toy box for my son, and want it to be something beyond a plywood box. I have my router, and I've had a circular and compound mitre saw for a long time. Anything more complex I can go do at my grandparents' house.

But my main questions are:

1) How do you make the panels in that door? I'd imagine with a real big router bit that just has a fairly shallow angle so that the slope from the center of the panel to the edge is over an inch or more.

2) The actual door structure has a finished edge on the inside where they form the panels' vertical border, but the cross-pieces (horizontal) both creates the horizontal inside edge for the panels, but also connects to the vertical parts of the door's structure. How does one do this cleanly? Would you stop the router on the vertical runs at the spots whe the horizontal ones would butt up, or do the horizontal pieces get routed on the ends with an inverse bit that would let them fit and overlap? If so, how would they be joined?


Now, on another note, I want this to be a toy box, but I'd want it to be longer lasting... Unlike the shelves I made where a finished edge and flat nature were all that really mattered, here I want it to be stainable and well finished. I'm contemplating making it out of cedar so that I can then repurpose it as storage for clothing or other soft goods after it is no longer needed as a toy box. Is cedar advisable?

While no where as fancy as the door shown, I am interested in making it with a "panel" structure, somewhat like the door shown (but just one panel per side). The panel itself wouldn't necessarily have its own raised feature to it, I was kind of thinking to use a nice stainable plywood or something. But what kind of wood would be advisable? It would be stained/shellacked most likely. I'd be afraid of mixing wood types, but does this really matter? Would doing something like finish grade birch plywood with oak for the "frame" be a no-no for matching? Wild making something like this from oak or other dense hardwood be an issue due to weight? I'd be somewhat concerned regarding the lid, which I'd like to be one large and slid piece of wood if it is sensible.

Thanks!

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#3202537 - 11/30/13 11:20 PM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
JOD Offline


Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 3137
Loc: PNW/WA
1) you're right, you need a really big (read--expensive) router bit to make the cut the reliefs to make the raised panel. It's interesting to look at modern raised panel doors, which are more steeply raised; the raised 5 panel doors in my house have a very gentle relief, which was obviously cut with a hand plane, 1904 style!

2)the midrails are joined to the stiles as tenons. Check out this vid @ 2:27: LINK.

I had to pull apart a few of my 5 panel doors to rebuild them when I lifted my house (they were racked from years of house sag), so I got up close and personal with their construction.

Sounds like a fun project! Personally, I think you could mix woods fine. Keep in mind that cedar splinters like crazy, I'd avoid it for tops of any kind.

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#3202541 - 11/30/13 11:26 PM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
TooManyWheels Offline


Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 3682
Loc: Houston, Tex
Google "raised panel" and "rail and stile doors". The technique is pretty simple, but you need a decent horsepower router, as well as a router table and fence.

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#3202593 - 12/01/13 05:01 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
Astro14 Online   content


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 4495
Loc: Virginia Beach
Raised panels can be cut with a hand plane (a panel plane) but these are rare now, expensive, and require technique. The panel cutting bit is not cheap, about $100, and you'll need a 3+ HP router with 1/2" collet. The whole rail/stile/panel set will cut what you're looking for, but they're up around $300. If you're OK with just simple/plain edges on the rails and stiles, you could cut them square (ease the corners) and use just a panel bit...but you're going to need that bigger router and a router table to safely use a panel cutting bit. I have one of these: http://www.freudtools.com/p-121-quadra-cut-raised-panel-bits-with-backcutters.aspx

For wood selection, I would not use cedar - it's too soft. This is going to hold toys, so pick something that can take the abuse, oak, maple, even cherry (we're back to getting to know your hardwood supplier) and worry about the future use in the future. You could always add a cedar lining to use it to hold clothes later. You're going to want to finish this - and finishing the cedar would seal in insect repellent properties of cedar anyway.

I also recommend that you start perusing the Taunton Press selections. http://www.tauntonstore.com/woodworking.html I've subscribed to Fine Woodworking for about 20 years now, great magazine, I've saved every back issue. A couple of good books on furniture making would serve you well...one on Joinery, one on Cabinet making, one on finishing would be a good place to start. Norm Abrams books are criticized for being too simple and not really "fine" woodworking, but I've found them a useful introduction.

Be warned, your growing interest can only be supported with more space...and more tools...

Cheers,


Edited by Astro14 (12/01/13 05:03 AM)
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#3202624 - 12/01/13 07:02 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
tstep Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 329
Loc: PA
I made most of the doors in my house and I do not have a dedicated workshop so it can be done. They are 2 panel rather than the three panel shown, but it's all the same process, just the upper rail removed.

The tools I used were: 3/4" bar clamps, Shop Fox 2hp shaper but a table mounted 2+hp 1/2" collet router would do, rigid 13" planer, a bunch of space and a flat surface along with hand tools. The bits were cheap (I think) that I paid around $40 for a three bit set. Nothing really special here. I went cheap for the trial run I case this proved to be a disaster.

I purchased some 8/4 pine from a local mill on the cheap in 2x6 for styles and top rail, 2x8 for rail at door handle, and 2x10 for bottom rail. Made panels out of 1x6 tongue and groove glued together and panels was raise on one side only. This was a look that matched my rustic timberframe.

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#3202630 - 12/01/13 07:11 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
tstep Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 329
Loc: PA
Problems I came across were:

1) Since I do not have a dedicated shop, slight misalignments occur between rail and styles. To reset bits I ran various scrap, but it's nearly impossible to get it perfect. I think if you know a shop that has a 36" wide sander, it would be worth a couple of bucks to have them sand all joints smooth.

2) I do not have a large and flat glue up table. It is hard to keep everything from racking or twisting regardless of how many clamps are used. I found the best compromise was to build a bottom jig to hold the door steady and I put everything together then mounted vertically to dry. I also added 2 each 1/2" dowels at each rail/style connection about 12" long. This helped hold everything tight and stopped the styles from wanting to rotate around the rail when clamping pressure was applied.

Other than that, it was not too bad of a process. I'm sure better results could be obtained with better equipment and conditions, but I thin they came out great.

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#3202638 - 12/01/13 07:20 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
Pop_Rivit Offline


Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Midwest
They're not that hard to make if you have the equipment-either the old fashioned hand woodworking equipment or more modern equipment.

You don't want to make it out of a single piece of plywood-carving that much from it will make it extremely weak. Use the same design as a door-panels, rails and stiles made from real wood. If you try to cut corners by making it out of a single piece of plywood, the first time the kid sits on it the lid will break.

Use proper joinery and build it like any other cabinet-a biscuit joiner is well worth it when trying to build real furniture. Using plywood will look like-someone cut corners and used plywood.

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#3202645 - 12/01/13 07:38 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: Pop_Rivit]
JetStar Offline


Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 843
Loc: Flatlands of Indiana
I have done these on a router table with a 3 1/2 HP variable speed router and a set of raised panel door bits. Go on youtube and search on raised panel doors, there are plenty of videos to walk you through this, including different methods.
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#3202677 - 12/01/13 08:34 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
Sawdusted Offline


Registered: 12/25/12
Posts: 396
Loc: Lone Star, USA
To cut the raised panel, you can do that on a table saw with the pan standing vertically on it's edge and the blade tilted about 15 degrees. Make sure you make a axillary fence jig to help you hold the panel vertically. QED.
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#3202727 - 12/01/13 09:54 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: JHZR2]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4684
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
You can get large diameter raised panel bits but they also make vertical raised panel bits (mlcs woodworking sells both and are a good source). Or table saw. I own probably 20 planes but I've never raised a panel with one, seems like a lot of work with no benefit over power tools to me.

For the rail and stiles you need a rail and stile bit set. They take a bit of setup to get perfect.

I would not build a kids toybox out of cedar because it is both soft and brittle. Make it out of something more durable and cedar line it or use a cedar bottom if you desire the scent or moth resistance. If you're painting Pine/Poplar are soft but would work better than cedar. If you're staining than pretty much any hardwood would work. Pine is difficult to stain evenly and that will stand out on a piece with large flat areas.
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#3202749 - 12/01/13 10:25 AM Re: more woodworking: making pockets [Re: Pop_Rivit]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33691
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
They're not that hard to make if you have the equipment-either the old fashioned hand woodworking equipment or more modern equipment.

You don't want to make it out of a single piece of plywood-carving that much from it will make it extremely weak. Use the same design as a door-panels, rails and stiles made from real wood. If you try to cut corners by making it out of a single piece of plywood, the first time the kid sits on it the lid will break.

Use proper joinery and build it like any other cabinet-a biscuit joiner is well worth it when trying to build real furniture. Using plywood will look like-someone cut corners and used plywood.


No I wouldn't use plywood if I was trying to make a panel like the doors. I mentioned plywood only as a finished stainable grade if I left the "pockets" on the box flat, so that the wood was full thickness. As I said at the start, Im not really interested in making a plywood box, but something nicer.

The extent of what "nicer" is, according to my ability, which is the point along the learning and capability curve that Im at, is what Im trying to determine...

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