What Tools Are Needed to Make a Raised Panel Door?


A raised panel door is a functional way to build a door. Raised panel doors are often found in older homes, but modern doors are also produced. The tools needed to build a raised panel door include a table saw, radial saw, handsaw, chisels, a router or shaper, clamps, glue and such possible joinery materials as nails, screws or dowels.


Raised panel doors use a strong wooden frame with suspended panels inside of the frame to create the door. They are nearly always made from wood, although resins, plastics, fiberglass and steel are also used. Doors made from materials other than wood are purchased as prefabrication.


Raised panel doors allow doors to be built without the need for large pieces of wood. Raised panel doors are less prone to expansion and shrinkage because of the framing used to make them.


Saws are used to cut the panels, rails (horizontal pieces) and stiles (vertical pieces). Routers, shapers or table saws are used to create the dado, which is the slot panels fit into, and they are used to create the edging on the raised panel surface. Router or shaper bits allow for a wide variety of finishing details.


The traditional manner of creating rails and stiles is by using mortise and tenon joints. These are created by using saws, chisels or routers.


Different looks can be achieved by the way the panels are positioned. Edges can be cut or raised, and this flexibility allows for a variety of raised panel door designs that fit into a broad array of architectural styles.


Follow all manufacturers recommendations for power and manual tools. Appropriate eye and ear protection should be worn when running equipment. Because finished doors can be heavy, use caution when moving or hanging them.

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About this Author

Melinda Rizzo is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer with 11 years of experience covering business news, trends, local and state government, medicine, the arts, human interest features as well as lifestyle issues. Rizzo’s work appears in Lehigh Valley Style Magazine, The Morning Call, The Express-Times and the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.

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