Raised Panels

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Blog entry by Bill Akins posted 06-20-2008 05:21 PM 1678 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am starting a cedar hope chest soon with some free cedar that was given as a gift. My plans call for raised panels which I have been wanting to try. The only router bits I can find are for 1/2 inch shank and I have a 1/4 inch shank router. I really can’t go out and get $200 worth of bits and a new router at this moment. I tried a test panel on the table saw holding the panels vertically on a high fence jig and it turned out pretty well. I have been studying on trying to do it horizontally on the table saw making a cove cut.

Are there any thoughts or recommendations on these methods? If so, I have seen some information on putting the temporary fence at 90 degrees and some putting it at various angles. Which is preferred?

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

7 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5327 days

#1 posted 06-20-2008 06:13 PM

As long as your fence is secure, use whatever method you like. Depends on the results you are looking for.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 5107 days

#2 posted 06-20-2008 06:53 PM

same as Gary, it depends on what you like. for curves use a sacrificial freestanding fence and have the fence clamped to you table at an angle to the blade and its good to have another fence on the other side of the workpiece to sort of keep it in position. if you are doing it against the taller fence it is good to make it as a jig that slides over the fence so you can clamp the piece to the fence and run it through that way. and don’t use panel raising bits in a 1/4” shank router not a good idea. thats why they only sell them in 1/2” if you have any questions about what i said because i don’t word things very well then just send me a message!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5278 days

#3 posted 06-20-2008 07:02 PM

I’d leave the fence at 90 degrees and adjust your saw blade rather than trying to make a adjustable fence. I have done raised panel with a 1/4 collet router. What I did was use a couple of different bits with multiple cuts and depths varying the distance of the fence from the bit. It’s a tedious process, but with some experimentation, you can get some interesting profiles beyond the chamfer you’ll get on the table saw.

-- Working at Woodworking

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 5083 days

#4 posted 06-21-2008 12:22 AM

Bill, I like making raised panels on the table saw. I find it’s easier to make a jig that slides along the saw fence, with the panel clamped to it at the angle you want(usually about 15 degrees. Saw the end grain first then the long grain. Makes nice panels.

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 5235 days

#5 posted 06-21-2008 02:01 AM

Bill – check out this video, might give you some ideas.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 5037 days

#6 posted 06-23-2008 02:31 PM

Thanks for the info guys, I know where to get the best advice. I made my panels yesterday. I clamped a 2×4 90 degrees across the top of the blade and made coved raised panels. It felt strange pushing the wood across the blade in the wrong direction. The panels turned out beautiful. And yes, only raise your blade up 1/16 per pass. Now on to sanding.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 5054 days

#7 posted 06-24-2008 05:30 AM

I posted a project just like what you are attempting. Check it out under my projects for some inspiration. However I do have 2 separate routers set up for stiles and rails, and a grizzly shaper set up for the raised panels. I am a shop teacher and I do not teach running things vertical unless absolutely necessary. Less stable. So the idea of building a sliding fence that you secure the panel to is best. May take a few minutes longer to make since you have to clamp and unclamp each time, but safety is worth all the time in the world. Good luck. Tooldad

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