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Thread: rail and stile doors,,

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    greensboro nc
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    233

    rail and stile doors,,

    im trying to get into rail and stile doors,,,but i am having a hard time getting the doors square after assembly,,i checked all the lengths and cuts and they were dead on,,im really new at this,,can anybody give me their way of doing this,,,i trimed the insert panel to give it more wiggle room after the assembly,,,but i honestly think they might be a better way of doing it,,,any info would certainly be appreciated,,,

  2. #2
    I've always put pencil lines on the stile back showing where the mortise would be. Face of all door parts had a face
    mark (quick pencil double-dash) on face side . With all rails on the lines squaring would be done with hammer and block
    of wood striking stile ends which would be at least 3/4" 'extra wood' "lug" to be trimmed off later. We were using pneumatic clamps. With common bar clamps you can help square up by angling them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
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    784
    Typically square workpieces and joinery will lead to square glueups, but its still possible for things to go awry because of clamps. Pretty much everything i glueup is tested for square 2 seconds after the clamps are applied and the glue is still wet. Do you have a square you know to be accurate? If so, check your piece with it and adjust accordingly. If you do not have a good square, then measure the diagonals and compare. If one is longer than the other then you need to run a clamp diagonally and apply a little pressure to skew the door back into square.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Westfield IN
    Posts
    37
    When I made interior window shutters - about 3 dozen a week - I was taught to measure diagonals. And, instead of pulling a tape for each check, I was given a trammel stick with a clamp that held it so the points - one a nail, one a pencil - would just contact the inside corners of the assembly.

    This was extremely fast and accurate.

    You mentioned "square after assembly" - that is too late - you have to square them while in the clamps.
    I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
    - Kurt Vonnegut

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    54,626
    If the components are milled accurately, this is mostly a clamping issue. A jig with a "known 90 corner" setup can help with this. It can be easy for things to move ever so slightly when one clamps things "free hand", no matter how they try for a number of reasons including different pressure across clamps, glue slippage, etc.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    4,229
    Depending on how many you have to do or how often you think you will do them, make yourself a simple door/frame table. Sheet of ply (whatever size you choose), cut square, with a fence applied to two sides. Then you simply assemble your doors in that fixture. Every one will be square, flat, and fast. The fixture can sit on a bench or hang on a wall.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  7. #7
    We used the stick method ,too. But mainly for really large window sash. We would drive a nail in the stick as a stop.

  8. #8
    Mark ,on that door jig ...does it have openings for stile "lugs" ? I can see removing the top lugs ,but I like to leave the
    bottom ones just in case it needs more length due to some change in door frame.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    WV
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    4,229
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Mark ,on that door jig ...does it have openings for stile "lugs" ? I can see removing the top lugs ,but I like to leave the
    bottom ones just in case it needs more length due to some change in door frame.
    It can have anything your heart desires. Holes, air cylinders, levers and inclined planes, internal combustion engines.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    The old pueblo in el norte.
    Posts
    888
    pinch sticks
    ~mike

    scope creep

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
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    7,316
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    I would practice making nothing but joints until I got it right. Don't make anything while practicing.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    The old pueblo in el norte.
    Posts
    888
    Even a well made joint can rack, especially with clamp pressure. This is why pinch sticks have been used for.. well, centuries.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  13. #13
    I make a clamping table. It's just two rails screwed to a table at a right angle to each other. Every door is assembled and clamped against them.

  14. #14
    Lowell,

    what about dinner?

  15. #15
    I would double check the ends of your rails to be sure they are cut square to the long side of the rail. If so, only a clamp applied incorrectly or warped stiles would make the doors off square.

    I routinely make doors and drawer fronts to the size of the opening without allowing any clearance, however. I trim them after glueup to give it clearance and to fit it to the opening. That also lets me eliminate any slight angle issues too. Sometimes the opening is not perfect. It's hard to see 1/16 or even 1/8 difference in the rail or stile width due to trimming. But if I'm taking 1/8 I usually trim 1/16 from both sides.

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