Frame & Panel - Basic Question

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Forum topic by unclearthur posted 10-08-2019 09:18 PM 554 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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383 posts in 2873 days

10-08-2019 09:18 PM

Say you are making a frame and panel door, with a solid wood panel. The rails and stiles are to be joined with M&T; the panel is held in a groove in the rails and stiles but is not glued so as to allow for wood expansion.

How is best to build this so that, when you assemble, glue from the M&T doesn’t find its way into the groove and the panel?

For example, using the simplest design it seems to me that glue from the M&T will end up on the panels.

Leaving a space between the mortises or tenons and the groove like shown here would help:

but i) its more work (esp. if the groove and mortise are the same width) and ii) it makes your M&T smaller / weaker than it might be.

Is there a better way ?

Thanks for any responses.

7 replies so far

View Think0075's profile


36 posts in 810 days

#1 posted 10-08-2019 11:13 PM

If your asking about to how to avoid squeeze out in the first picture it’s pretty simple. You only apply glue to about 3\4 or 2\3 of the little stub tenon, keeping the glue away from the groove and panel. I’ve made hundreds of cabinet doors like that with no concern. also space balls help center the panel.

View Madmark2's profile


2665 posts in 1674 days

#2 posted 10-08-2019 11:40 PM

Spaceballs let the panel float 1/8” away from the M&T joint. Keep your squeeze out to a minimum and no problem or rattles.

Rockler’s got ‘em …


-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View unclearthur's profile


383 posts in 2873 days

#3 posted 10-09-2019 01:06 AM

Spaceballs. Never heard of them, but that sounds perfect.

View Robert's profile


4557 posts in 2566 days

#4 posted 10-09-2019 01:48 PM

Sorry, I’ll have to disagree with the poster.

Spacers will neither prevent a panel from contacting glue squeeze out (don’t ask my how I know this), nor will prevent rattle, either. What they do is allow for movement and keep the panel centered on the frame.

Rattling is caused by a panel fitting to loosely in the groove.

Avoiding this problem is all about how you apply the glue.

1) Just a thin coat of glue. Well fitting joints don’t need much.
2) keep the glue 1/8” or so short of the tenon (or bottom of grove)

A thin coat of wax along the edges of the panel can also help.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View ibewjon's profile


2422 posts in 3879 days

#5 posted 10-09-2019 01:58 PM

I have also used the round rubber used to hold window screen in place. Cut a strip and no little balls to drop.

View RobS888's profile


2829 posts in 2930 days

#6 posted 10-09-2019 02:15 PM

I took a cabinet class this year, my teacher used plastic straw pieces about 2 inches long towards each end of the panel.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View ibewjon's profile


2422 posts in 3879 days

#7 posted 10-09-2019 02:52 PM

Another great idea. At least till plastic straws are banned.

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