Machining a Three-Quarter-Round Door Sticking

This complex door frame profile is best tackled using a five-head moulder. August 27, 2013

We are trying to make this particular door sticking and are not sure the best way to go about it. We seem to have two options right now.

1 - Make a square shaker door and then mirco pin a dowel rod into the sticking, but we could have issues with filling nail holes and glue squeeze out.

2 - Run each piece on shaper, but would need to run on edge and face in order to get the full three quarter round rod shape. Also we would need to assemble each door like a beaded face frame in order to keep the shape.

3 - Your suggestions?
Thanks for any help. I know I have seen these doors before, but am not able to find an example online.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
1. Order beaded face frame material, or make it. Then groove and round under in one pass. If you have stackable cutters, you'd just replace the straight cutter for the face side with the round-under cutter: might have to be custom. Assemble mitered or haunched (I think that's the right terminology for cutting off the bead in the joint area) with floating tenons.

2. Forget the round-under; it's wasted energy which will lead to more wasted energy. Make two doors, one with the round-under, one with beaded face frame stock, and you can judge empirically the value of that shadow line.

From contributor K:

Just mill it as part of the stile. Miter at the rails. Much faster and less tedious than playing with little sticks. Also a step up in quality.

From contributor L:
Have to agree with the other posts. Forget the dowel thing. If we were making them: run stock through the molder, miter and dovetail key. Quick, simple. If you aren't equipped to do this work, farm it out.

From contributor K:
Contributor L knows what he is doing, but I would mortise and tenon like usual for the rail joints, and just miter the sticking. Different strokes, different folks. Agreed about subbing it out.

From the original questioner:
How would we run these through a molder? There is three quarters of a rod/dowel. No matter how you ran it through you would have to run it through on a face and side to get the full three quarters. If there is an easier way to do it, please let me know.

From contributor K:
The top knife makes the face and nearly half of the bead. This is the easy way. That particular profile, like so many things in this work, is prized because it is somewhat difficult in that it speaks to the skills, experience and knowledge of the maker. If it were truly easy, then no one would want it, except for those that just want cheap and easy.

Trying to route sticks and tack them on is definitely the hardest way to do it.

Now, when I used to make a 3/4" bead profile like yours for others to add to beams, I learned to run it as a four part molding on the shaper, and then precisely rip it into four pieces of molding. Think of a four leaf clover for the cross section, with a flat in between each leaf.

We had several cabinetmakers that would buy this and tack it into square edge cabinet doors and a flat ply panel for beaded doors. They would glue it to the panel and the edge, and nail where they wanted.

From contributor M:
You should be able to mill the entire profile into the rail/stile stock with a shaper or moulder. Heck, you could even do it with a router table if needed. You will probably need to break it down into a couple different operations. The setup time shouldn't be too bad. A couple hours worst case scenario. Trying to pin and glue dowels would be a nightmare in comparison.

From contributor L:
As pointed out, running on a molder you can easily run this pattern. A basic molder has 5 heads an you can set it up in a variety of ways for this. Molders have the advantage of excellent stock holding, good head to head alignment and constant feed. That said you can come close with a good shaper and feed. The blend line between the face cut and the edge cut is less controlled on the shaper and you are probably best off using an outside fence to better control reference for the 2nd cut. Assuming you have good shaper skills you can hand grind the knives on an 8" bench grinder and do lots of custom work with your shaper, this door profile included.

From contributor S:
If you have to make 10-15 doors or less, make the doors square edge cope and stick and apply the bead. Make the bead like contributor K said, easiest way. Dowels are no.

If you're doing enough doors to justify the setup and run time, then mill the bead to the frame stock and jack mitre the stock to assemble.

The full bead will show a different, deeper shadow than a half bead as suggested and in my opinion should be kept in place, especially if an architect specified it. After all, most of a moulding's effect is the shadow that it casts.