I've gone ahead and rabbeted the door panels to fit the groove surrounding the inside of the individual door frames. I perform the bulk of this rabbeting on a router table and make the last passes with a small shoulder plane to have the door panel fit accurately within the groove. At this junction, I have the tiger maple door panels rabbeted and the door frame components prepared. There are alternative methods of joining the stiles to the rails such as dowels, a slip joint, or a half lap joint. In these cases, there would be a need for stopped grooves in either the rails and stiles or in both. I decided to use the traditional mortise and tenon with haunched tenon to join the rails and stiles, this allows me to have the grooves running the full length of the frame members.
The panels were purposely left a fraction of an inch proud of the surface of the rails and stiles when I prepared them earlier. As a sanity check, I intend to fit each panel in its frame as a dry fit and then determine how much more I need to reduce the thickness of the raised part of the panel. This is an extra step, possibly unnecessary, but it leaves me with peace of mind that the panels are exactly flush with the door frame members.
Someone earlier asked to have more information on the rabbet detail where the doors meet, something I referred to in an earlier post. I'll describe it in my next post and also post a photo of the detail. In the photo above, I have the doors glued up with panels in place. Part of the design was to have as small a reveal as possible between the panels and the door frame rails and stiles, this to give the effect of a thick black shadow line surrounding the very light maple panels. I'm very satisfied with the result and from a few feet away this effect is obvious. It was necessary to get the reveal just right and spaced correctly all around. I'm going to spend some time now trimming the doors as I had left some corners with a fractional overhang as a safety margin.The combined width of the doors is wider than the sides of the armoire and I'll explain the logic behind this in my next post along with a paragraph about "dynamic design". The armoire is coming along nicely and beginning to take shape.
If you look out the window just behind the workbench you can see snow. Yes, we had an early winter snow storm up here this past day. Nonetheless, it was nice and toasty in the studio today, something about a pristine snowy setting that makes being in the studio that much more enjoyable.