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Stepped Down Panels: Best Method?2/4
I am quoting an entry door that calls for the panel sections to have the opposite of a raised panel; the bolection moulding lays on a flat section and then the panel depresses
Sounds like a good job for a cnc. Leave your panels thick and have the cnc pocket out the recess.
A sunken panel? That is what I would call it, though not an official term.
I would run a shallow rabbet on both sides of a solid wood panel, and add color/grain matched wood to the rabbets to make the desired thickness. The ends would be end grain of course, to move with the rest of the solid panel. The rabbets will provide good sharp transitions and registration.
I have not seen this anywhere I can recall. We have done what I call 'reversed' panels in doors - where the panel is thicker than the frame, and is plowed to fit over the stiles and rails.
Not a good design for an exterior door. Just another place for water to collect. But David gives a good option. Even a cnc would require inside corner hand sanding on the recessed panel to remove machine marks, and that really eats up the time. A picture would help, but would you consider the molding as a mitered frame and have the recessed panel float in that?
I agree with rich about a potential water trap. We will assume this 'new idea' comes from a design professional thinking themselves clever rather than a seasoned woodworker.
However, a molded inner edge or beveled edge will help shed water. The best door designs have always helped mange the water. Maybe not in the Atacama Desert...
I did find a photo of the reversed panels. Even after 10 years, they still look good. The panels were in a 2-1/4" frame, but were two panels back to back. The inner edge of the frame had two plows, one for each panel, with a 1/2" gap between. The gap was filled with rigid foam.
I thought of these as a water trap on the South facing, short overhang doors, but they show no problems, nor any signs of movement.
I envisioned a flat panel recess, who knows without an image. With a slight draft on a recessed panel a recess could be easily square corner machined on the cnc with little but a few second wipe with paper for cleanup. We are running sharp interior corner recesses regularly that require little if any cleanup. And the draft would help a lot with exterior exposure.
I know it flies in the face of craftsmanship, but it is what it is.
Would be great to see a photo.