How to Make a Jig for Raised Panels on a Tablesaw

Written by chris baylor
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How to Make a Jig for Raised Panels on a Tablesaw
(Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Raised panel doors are among the most popular of cabinet door styles. A raised panel is mounted inside a frame consisted of two grooved rails and stiles. In reality, a raised panel is an illusion – the panel is actually recessed, but because it is mounted forward in the frame, it appears that the centre of the panel is raised. Most raised panels are created with a router table, but you can make a jig for raised panels on a tablesaw that is just as effective as a router table.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Table saw
  • Auxiliary fence board
  • Woodworking clamps, 2
  • Glued-up panel for raising

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  1. 1

    Remove the blade guard, anti-kickback pawls and riving knife from the table saw. Then remove the fence assembly from the table top and lower the saw blade.

  2. 2

    Locate the centre of the saw's arbor, and make a light pencil mark on the throat insert to denote the centre of the arbor.

  3. 3

    Place an auxiliary fence board, which needs to be nothing more than a straight 2-by-4, across the saw table perpendicular to the blade. The front edge of the auxiliary fence should be aligned with the pencil mark you made in Step 2.

  4. 4

    Clamp the auxiliary fence board onto the table saw with a woodworking clamp on each end of the table.

  5. 5

    Set the table saw blade to be at 0-degrees, straight up and down. Turn on the table saw motor and raise the blade slowly. This will cut the blade into the auxiliary fence. Stop when the blade reaches 1/2-inch high, then lower the blade and turn off the saw.

  6. 6

    Adjust the blade height to 1/8-inch high, and turn the saw back on. Place the side of the glued-up panel to be raised flat on the table to the right of the blade, with the first edge to receive the panel raising flat against the auxiliary fence.

  7. 7

    Hold the panel flat on the table and hard against the auxiliary fence, and push the panel across the exposed table saw blade. When you reach the end of the blade, lift the panel and return to the starting position. Rotate the panel 90 degrees, and repeat, until you have run all four sides of the face of the panel across the blade.

  8. 8

    Raise the saw blade another 1/8-inch and repeat the previous step. Continue raising the panel in 1/8-inch increments of the saw blade until you have reached the desired depth of the cut of the coves to create the raised panel.

Tips and warnings

  • Placing the auxiliary fence at a 90-degree angle will create the widest possible cove cut. By adjusting the angle of the auxiliary fence, you can narrow the width of the cove. For instance, a 45-degree angle on the auxiliary fence will cut a cove that is half as wide, but steeper than at 90 degrees.

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