Home > Project Tips > Making a Raised Panel on the Table Saw

Making a Raised Panel on the Table Saw

I wouldn't recommend this technique if you had a lot of doors to do but, if you don't own a raised panel cutter or shaper, here's a way to make a raised panel on the table saw.

Glue up enough boards for your raised panel door center. Use biscuit joinery or edge glue only.

Boards the same thickness as the stiles and rails will produce a door panel that's "proud" (above the surface) of the stiles and rails. If you want the face flush with the stiles and rails on your door frame use a 5/8" thick panel with 3/4" thick stiles and rails. If you want it proud, use 3/4" thick material all around.

Cut 1/4" wide grooves centered on one edge of all stiles and rails. This groove should be 3/4" deep.
The ends of each rail require a 3/4" long by 1/4" thick tenon on each end. These can be made on the table saw as shown.
Clamp a straight edged board across the center line of your table saw. With the blade lowered.

Raising the blade for each cut will produce a raised panel as shown in the next step. However, the attitude or slope of the raised portion can be changed by locating the straight edge in front of or behind the saw blade center. Experiment with a few styles.

Raise the saw blade 1/64" to 1/32" for each pass and push all four edges over the blade before raising again. Take your time and run the panel slowly over the blade to minimize final sanding. Continue making passes until the panel fits the grooves. It should fit with free movement for expansion and contraction.
Support the panel in the center so it won't rock during the pass.

REMEMBER...you are working with an unguarded blade so be careful!!!!

Install the panel in the stile and rail grooves. Assemble the door using glue on the tenons only and clamp until the adhesive sets. Check the door square by measuring the diagonals.

Purchase a roll of 1/4" soft foam  weather strip at your local hardware store and cut small strips which are placed in the grooves before assembly. This will stop any panel rattle and allow the panel to move.