chamfer the edge of stile and rail door

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    Roy Pierce

    What is the best method with hand tools to apply a chamfer to the inside of a shaker style door frame after the mortising has been done? How do you keep the transition from the 90 deg. to the 45 deg looking consistent on all the inside corners?

    Austin Conner

    I think I understand what you’re asking. In this scenario the rails and stiles are disassembled, correct?

    This is easy enough to do with a bench plane. Orient the plane to remove the edge in question and work to lines you establish on the adjoining faces. Properly registering the plane along the length and accurate planing will take care of consistency.

    Dedicated chamfer planes also exist. I believe Mr. Sellers is in the process of detailing how to make one (according to his blog).

    I hope I understood your question.

    Roy Pierce

    Yes and no. I don’t want the chamfer to foul the mortise and tenon. Imagine a shaker door but with chamfers on the inside of the frame, that have start and stop points 1 inch from the corners.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Roy Pierce.
    Larry Geib

    Assuming it was before assembly with the panel in place, a spoke shave works well. Make some pencil lines first to use as a guide.

    It can be a regular shave, a round bottom one probably isn’t necessary to make the transition from square to champhered. Take light cuts.

    These were done with a 151 shave.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Larry Geib.
    Roy Pierce

    Ah yeah, that’s exactly what I was wanting. Thank you

    Larry Geib

    You might want to tighten up the mouth a bit with a shim behind the blade, depending how your shave is ground. I used a piece of a plastic milk jug for years before my present brass shim.


    If I interpret your question correctly, you wish to chamfer the edges at 45 degrees inside a frame, leaving a short distance before and after the mortise/tenon junction?

    This a ‘stopped chamfer’ and there are various methods to do this by hand. Have a search on YouTube and you will see some contributions, mainly using powered routers.

    Many users who do their own by hand vary the technique.

    My method is to firstly mark the stop and start points. Add a little – about 1/8 inch – and sink a saw cut at 45 deg across the edge that is just lower than the depth of the chamfer. Work backwards, excavating a chamfer from each stop with a hand chisel about a couple of inches stopping just short of the desired depth. For the next part I use a chamfer-spokeshave which has guides that act as a depth stop to level out the chamfer between each of the parts you have just excavated, working from both directions. When the chamfer is complete, pare-shave the final bit up to the stop, then cut the angled stop down to the chamfer level at an angle you want with any decorative cuts you may need.

    It will become easier as you continue, but it needs an amount of practice first to get it right. (I’ll stress that there are variations to this…. but it’s my method).

    Good luck

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