A DIY Guide to Frame-and-Panel Doors
Frame-and-panel doors add an attractive, professional look to any project. You might think you need a lot of fancy woodworking tools and techniques to create them, but this month in Kreg Plus, we'll show you how you can make them using DIY tools.
Rails and Stiles
The first step is to design your doors and figure out the dimensions. SketchUp can help with this. The horizontal parts of the frame are called rails and the vertical parts are the stiles. The panel goes in the middle.

Typical frame-and-panel doors have stiles running the full height, with rails fitting in between, so you can cut the stiles to your desired door height. 
Assemble the Doors
Assemble the door rails and stiles using Kreg Joinery to create a strong frame. Then you can add a panel made from 1/4" thick plywood.

The panel is larger than the opening in the door frame - usually a 1/2" taller and wider. To fit the panel in, you'll need to create a square notch (called a " rabbet ") all the way around the inside of the frame. 
Create the Rabbet

You can make the rabbet using a router and rabbeting bit. The bit has a bearing that will follow the edge of the frame while the bit cuts a square notch. The rabbet needs to be about a 1/2" deep, which is really too much to cut all at once.

Make Two Passes

So, start by cutting just part of the depth. Set the bit to partial depth and make your way around the frame clockwise. As you work, hold the router so the bearing on the bit rides against the inside edge of the frame. Then, set the bit to full-depth and make another pass. 

Square Up Corners
You will see that the panel now fits into the rabbet, but the bit leaves rounded corners that won’t allow the panel to go completely in.

Square up the corners using a chisel and a hammer. First, tap to outline the corner shape. Then, work your way down by tapping and then paring out the waste. It only takes a few minutes to do the door. With the corners squared up, the panel will drop right in.
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