The Molded Edge

The molded edge is, in effect, an extension of the inside edge of the rails and stiles. However, the profile (shape) of this molded edge must leave a small shoulder on the face side of the rails and stiles. Everything you do (as far as measuring is concerned) is done with that shoulder as a reference point.

The first step is to cut the stiles (the pieces that will receive the mortises) to final length (the height of the door opening). The rails (with the tenons) should be cut to rough length for now (they'll be trimmed to final length later).

Then the molded edge can be cut. For three projects shown in this issue (the Cabinet, the Mantle Clock and the Mirror), we used a shouldered quarter round, cutting it on a router table, see Fig. 1.

rabbet or groove. If you're going to insert a panel in the door frame, you also need to cut a groove on the inside edge of each piece. Or, if you're going to insert glass, you need to cut a rabbet.

No matter which cut you make, the depth of the cut is critical. The depth of cut for either the groove or the rabbet must be equal to (in line with) the shoulder of the molding cut, see Fig. 1.

clean off molded edge. Before the mortise can be cut, part of the molding on the stiles must be trimmed off. To determine the width of this cut, hold the stile over the saw blade, and adjust the fence until the shoulder is aligned with the outside edge of the blade, see Fig. 2.

Then set the depth of cut to trim off most of the molding, see Fig. 3. Just make multiple passes until the molding is removed. It's best to keep the depth of cut a tad under the shoulder for these cuts. Then carefully pare off the excess (left from the saw cuts) using a sharp chisel, see Fig. 4. Note: Don't remove too much, the shoul der of the molding must remain intact (untouched).

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