Door Panel and Moulding Assembly Methods

Advice on constructing a door with floating panels and applied mouldings. July 12, 2012

How might you approach this panel? The outer moldings, the ones touching the rails and stiles, are mitered at the corners and notched to receive the interior horizontal and vertical cross pieces. My thought was to assemble the rails and stiles of the door and set a strip in the groove and maybe tenon a cross piece underneath it all for strength. Is this the best way?

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Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor R:
Two ways you could make this door. The first and easiest would be to mortise and tenon your flats, then apply the moulding around each panel opening. The second way, which is how you see it, would be to mill your stiles and rails with the profile, mortise and tenon the stiles and rails and then haunch cut the profile. Either way would work and be fine. The determining factor would be what tooling you have that will allow you to build it efficiently.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. The door needs to be replicated. All of the moldings are separate from the rails and stiles. If I run a groove on the rails/stiles as if there was going to be a big flat panel, but then glue in a filler strip to attach the moldings to... I guess I was wondering about strength and that cross member. I was thinking on tenoning a sub brace horizontally into the stiles and then notching the backside of the applied moldings, if that makes sense. I am pretty sure the rails and stiles (entire door) is glued up first then the panels are added in. The other side of the door is a mirror image.

From contributor R:
I would mortise and tenon all the flats and lap joint the center where they cross. Then trim one panel opening with the molding, set the panel, then apply the molding to the other side. You will have more than enough strength in the frame and if you glue and brad the moldings, that will be ample to hold the panels but still let them float.