Tombstone Raised Panel Door Design – Part 2

I’ve finally finished the case of the built-in I’ve been working on for the past couple of months and am in the process of painting it before installing it in it’s final resting place. So I thought it would be beneficial to revisit my cabinet door design before I start the prototype. I was looking at the drawing I did of the door and something just wasn’t looking quite right. At first, I couldn’t place it so I went back through the process I used to design it. For the original post see my entry posted on 10/14/08.


As I was going back over my steps, it hit me. The width of the bevel on the panel did not look consistent around the entire panel. The width of the bevel at the arch of the tombstone looked narrower than the width of the straight sides and bottom. A quick check with my dividers confirmed this and caused me to rethink the design slightly.

The original design is pictured at top left. When I did this design, I determined the width of the tombstone shoulders prior to the width of the bevel of the panel. I determined the shoulder width to be (3/4) M. Then I set the width of the panel bevel to M/2. However, when I then drew in the arches of the tombstone, fixing the shoulder of the top rail at (3/4) M caused a bevel width of more like M/3. That was where I made my mistake. To fix it, I needed to go back to the point at which I began to set the shoulder width.

Rather than set the shoulder width first, I set the width of the [exposed portion of the] bevel of the panel first. This remained at M/2. I then drew the arches and made sure that the arch of the field and the arch of the rail were offset by the same M/2, using the same center point. In other words, the arch of the rail has a radius M/2 larger than the arch of the field. Then, the point at which the arch of the rail intersects the bottom of the rail defines the width of the shoulder. I don’t know what this width is but it turns out it doesn’t matter. This new drawing looks right to me. Before I actually make the door prototype, I’m going to make a full sized drawing on some posterboard to make sure I get it right. This will also allow me to pencil in the extra width to the panel where it will fit into the grooves plowed into the rails and stiles of the door frame. This “extra” material isn’t noted in the drawings done here.


Time to go get some lumber for a prototype!


One thought on “Tombstone Raised Panel Door Design – Part 2

  1. Very interesting, Bob! I’m going to be watching with great interest — this like cabriole legs, is one of those projects I’ve been itching to do, but needed an application. I’ll be interested to see how you cut bevel around the arch.

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