A frame isn’t much good without panels to put in it (frame-AND-panel, right?), and this project needs eight of them. In this case, I decided to make them 5/8″ thick. This allowed the raised surface to be flush with the outside face of the frame, while the flat back simplified construction and reduced overall weight. With this in mind, I had previously planed selected boards to thickness, stickered them, and let them relax. Now, parallel to fitting up the frame, I had glued up the boards into oversize panels, ready for trimming to size.
I love Old Brown Glue liquid hide glue for this sort of work. To me, once it has fully cured, it’s easier to remove to remove the squeeze-out than with yellow glues. Also, it seems to form less gummy residue on my scrapers, and is transparent to stain and finishes. Yes, I know my scraper’s getting dull, there’s a sharp one laying to the side, and they were swapped right after the photo.
Once the panels were cut to final size, it was time to cut the raised panel profile. In a previous post, I went into my process for designing the panels, and this was where I put that design to work. I dropped my panel-raising jig onto my tablesaw fence and used my prototype raised panel to set the height and bevel of my saw blade. Then, after tweaking the fence position to yield the desired edge thickness, I cut all the bevels. Note the quick clamp on the front edge of the panel. This helped to counteract any tendency to cup or lift as I cut.
No matter how hard I tried, some of the corners were off a bit. This is one place where accuracy counts because, if the line doesn’t hit the corner of the panel, it won’t hit the corner of the frame. While there are many places where little variances won’t be noted, this isn’t one of them.
For me, the easiest way to correct this is with a sanding block. This is simply a matter of working toward the end until the ridge creeps into the corner. This only takes a few minutes, and makes a big difference in the overall appearance.
With the panels finished, you can now see how all the pieces will go together. Now, it’s just a matter of final fitting everything and gluing up the subassemblies.