How flat is flat


jussi
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So I'm milling up some rails and stiles for a set of kitchen cabinet doors.  I did it in 2 stages.  Initially I milled everything up so it was a little over 1/16 final dimension.  Let it rest over night and then milled it again to final dimension, including running them through a drum sander.  I didn't have time route the profiles the same day so I had to wait until the next weekend when I had time.  Unfortunately when I went to check them some of the stiles (mostly on the upper cabinets) have a very slight bow.  I seem to have lost my feeler gauges so I don't know the exact number but I'd say 1/64 or smaller.

So my question is do I redo those stiles (I can't joint them again without loosing desired thickness) or will the standard "it's wood, it's going to move" apply here?

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If that bow introduces twist in the door, then it's no good.  If it doesn't, I'd proceed.  Make your panels, try a dry fit, use your judgment.  Fixing twist in doors is basically impossible.

PS...if you remake your rails and stiles, use straight grain stock this time.

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One thing I do with doors is not to fool around. I work real hard to get them in glue as quickly as I can...get the panel locked in. Also, it's important for rail and stile stock to use the straightest of grain as Moderator AKA Eric mentioned. This helps limit wood movement.

Try putting the stock in a plastic garbage bag and sit overnight. This helps get the stock to equalize. You may be surprised the wood will return to shape. If you have to put your milled work aside for a period of time, wrap the wood in plastic or clamp them all together.

-Ace-

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Any time I am milling a bunch of parts for almost any job I run enough extra to replace 2 of the longest pieces. Then if a board does move you could cut shorter parts from it and use one of the replacements. Anything leftover is great for cutting test cut when setting up the router or finish testing later in the job. 

Never throw away scrap until the project is completely done, you might need it. Any time you sand cabinets, doors ,drawer fronts whatever sand the scrap pieces at the same time. Then when it's finishing time stain and finish a few pieces. Feel to see if it's dry on the scrap, don't put fingerprints on the doors !

Finished scrap is a good place to practice touch ups in case you sand through the finish and stain by accident. Those touch ups never work right the first time but with some practice you get the hang of it before you make a mistake worse with a bad touch up.

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Thanks for all the tips.  Will put them to use on future doors.  I actually had planned on putting some weight on them till I could get back to work but I totally forgot.  I'll try garbage back trick.  Even if doesn't straighten them out I'll do as suggested and see what the dry assembled doors look like.  

Tom, flat panel doors but the back is raised so it's flush with the frame. 

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