I know this may not be your average question, but it is very important to me. I want to install raised panel oak doors made from red oak plywood. The thing is … the rails and stiles are made of solid red oak boards. When I cut the panels to insert into the rails, the edges of the panel are a different color. The first layer of red oak plywood is red oak, and the rest is plain wood. How do I match the cut sections of the raised panel with the rest of the door or panel? Do I have to use solid oak to make the panels? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I have looked on numerous web sites but could not find the solution.
Michael Dresdner: The only time you will see raw edged (not veneered or laminated) raised panels made from plywood is when the finish is dark enough so that you can shade the exposed edges and have it not be obvious. While it is possible to mock up cut plywood edges to look like some woods, it is difficult, time-consuming, and only works in certain situations. In short, it involves sealing the wood and fake graining it to look like oak. It is definitely not a technique for a beginning or intermediate finisher. It would be far faster and easier to simply make the panels out of solid oak. Prettier, too!
Lee Grindinger: Normally, raised panels are made from solid lumber for precisely the reason you’ve found. However, it’s growing more common to find raised panels that are veneered. Simply run the raised panel profile as a molding in solid wood and frame the plywood panel, mitering the corners. Suitable joints would be a small tongue and groove, a biscuit, spline or dowel. Since the edge of plywood is about 50% long grain, a butt joint would suffice, but alignment would be easier with some other sort of joint.