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Back cutting raised panels

1677 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  PatP
What, if any, are the benifets of back cutting a raised panel? I'm very new to woodworking so please excuse is this seems like an obvious question---
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Backcutting will allow the panel to be placed in the center of the rails and stiles. If you did not backcut, the panel would stick too far out in the front or back of the stiles and rails. Makes for a better looking door when done.
I like using a separate backcutter so I can go to the depth I want for the look I want on the front with the panel raising bit. Then I can use the backcutter to fit the panel to the door frame. It also let you make the panel flush with the front surface of the frame if that is the look you want. I just feel like I have more options with a separate backcutter.
That is what I thought Cabinetmaster, thanks. Tom, I tried that just to see what it looked like and I admit that I thought it made a better looking panel. Let me start out by saying that I have NEVER done woodworking before so I really don't know what I'm doing most of the time.
I don't know anyone that does w/w so my only guidance, till now, has been shows on PBS or youtube. My problem is when I do something I don't know if it is right. This back cut is a prime example. I used a straight cut bit to make the back cut and it seemed to work OK except I had to sand the end grain cut to clean it up. Is there a special bit that one uses to make a back cut? Sorry for the long post.
Pat, Your posts aren't too long.

Try here for a look at one back cutter or" "under cutter"":
Posted again cuz it didn't look like the link was any good in the previous one.

under cutter
they listed all the reasons above but im my opinion set your raised panel a little proud of the rails and stiles. it denotes hand work because facoried set it flush so they can glue everything up and run it all through a big drum sander. im not really a fan of the backcutters and just start off with a thinner panel. but if you dont have a planer they really do work well
Thanks to everyone. I ordered an under cutting bit from MLCS. Time to make some more sawdust!!
Dennis, we always backcut ours and we do set them out in the front. All of our panels are sanded before assembly and never ran through a drum sander after assembly. True, they look better if left proud.
oh yeah. sorry if i was unclear. i wasnt meaning to say that you cant set them proud with the backcutter. just to set them proud for whatever method that you choose. still i like using the thinner material (usually a weak 5/8ths) to make my panels so they set proud. also so i dont have the gaps in the back that you need to leave for expansion and contraction with the backcutter. just leaves that flat back. but backcutters work great too. but just not my prefered method.
I do like the look of a back cut panel. Using 3/4 stock and backcutting, I still have quite a bit of raised panel in front. I guess it's just a matter of taste. Thanks everyone for the posts.
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