Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Paneling Progress....

Rabbeting Rails and Stiles....

I had a week of Vacation, Dear Readers, but you would not know it for the meager progress I made on the Dollmaker's Studio paneling. I had high hopes of completing at least one wall and maybe even adding the electrical fixtures... but there were many other RL tasks that slowed my progress. At least, I can blame it on that, but it probably was more to do with my uncertainty of the method to use for making this paneled wall! You can see in the above picture that I have cut a length of wood for the bottom "rail" of the paneling to fit along the length of the room. I had several unanswered questions about the technique to use to make the "rails"(horizontal pieces) and "stiles"(vertical pieces) of the paneling. Should I rabbet the edges of the rails and stiles so the panels were partly overlapped on each side and thus held securely in place? This would need thicker wood to begin with. Or should I use cardboard "spacers" between the panels and overlap the cardboard and panel edges with thinner strips that didn't require the rabbet on the edges? This would require thinner wood and several thicknesses of cardboard strips. And should I glue all the pieces to a mat board and then place it in the room.... or should I glue everything directly to the plywood wall....?

I started by turning the studio onto its side... or back, 
so that I could work on the wall with gravity in my favor!
I took the bottom rail (1/8th inch by 1/2 inch stock) 
and manually cut a "rabbet" (or rebate) along the under side edge. 
This turned out to be easier to cut than I had feared.
Then I spaced the panels across the wall 
to get a good idea of the precise measures.
The panels would space neatly with 1/8th inch between them
 and 1/4 inch at each end. (This convenient spacing made life much easier!)

I added the next row of panels and tested 
the spacing for the different widths of wood....
1/2 inch wide or 3/8th inch wide stock for the rails and stiles?
I preferred the look of the 3/8th inch stock 
for both the rails and stiles.
And it would still allow enough overlap for 
cutting the rabbets at 1/8th inch on each side.

This is just another view of the Studio on it's side....

Here is a view of the underside of the bottom rail... 
showing my messy manual rabbet...
It is all cut with the exacto-knife.

I decided to make the manual rabbets in the thicker wood (1/8th inch stock)
 in part because I think it will make the paneled wall 
more structurally sound in the long run to use all wood. 
(I could be wrong about this!)
I also decided I needed to build the paneling directly into the room.
 This is mostly because the room dimensions are not perfectly square
 and the plywood is a bit warped in places.
I didn't want to get it all built and then discover it 
wouldn't quite fit past the edges of the opening 
or the floor was too warped....
 (remember the warped floor?)
And knowing how quickly small measuring discrepancies
 can add up to a large error... 
I decided to cut and fit each piece individually... 
no mass cutting of pieces that turn out a fraction too short....!
I started by fitting the end stiles which are against the side walls.
Then made the stiles for every second pair of panels....
you will see the pattern as it develops.

It is hard to see the wood when it is blonde.... 
I am "staining" it with a watered down burnt sienna acrylic paint.
The paneling will not end up this color, so I don't need to match exactly.

The only piece that has been glued in place so far is the bottom rail!

This is the underside of the center stiles.... 
my cutting doesn't need to be exact, just needs to fit between the panels.

Here you can see it from the "side" 
showing how it sits over the edges of the panels.

Once the taller stiles were all cut,
 I could measure accurately for the rails that fit between them...
And then the short stiles between the rails...

All of this fiddling and dithering, Dear Readers,
 took days and days!
And still nothing was glued in place but the bottom rail...

No, I did not glue those vertical stiles in the wrong places! 

The not exact nature of the plywood walls
 meant that the rails in the middle row
 are a tiny bit longer than the bottom.
This is the advantage to building it the slow way!

It was at this point that I decided the bottom row of panels
 and the rails and stiles needed to be glued down.... 
there was too much "shifting" happening... 
and I needed to find out how well the glue part would work...!

So I took my courage in my hands 
and started to apply the glue to each piece....
trying to position them exactly 
and not get too much glue in the wrong places...
And then needed to find the right sized books to weight it all down!
(I had not thought that through!)
Then I let it dry.

The following day I was able to position the 
remaining panels in their places (no glue yet!)
And I also discovered that 
not all the glue was sticking properly.... grrrr...
I am using ordinary wood glue ... 
because this is wood....
but the plywood has been primed
 and I know this interferes with good adherence....
I am still deciding what to do.
One or two of the small stiles are not attached. 
A couple of the ends of others are not Well attached....
There is a chance I will be picking it apart
 and using different glue on some or all of it.
I am not looking at it for a couple of days...
It might not be as bad as I think it is....!
But that is as far as I got, Dear Readers,
On my Vacation paneling project,
Rabbeting rails and stiles.


  1. I like it! I love these panels.

  2. Dear Betsy, it looks fabulous. It can be so frustrating when you think you have a 'mountain' of time to get a 'mountain' of work done. But as they say, all good things take time and the time taken to make your panel wall the 'slow way' is certainly paying off.
    I look forward to hearing how you solve the glue issue.
    Anna x

  3. Betsy,los paneles se ven muy bien,entiendo que es muy agobiante que el pegamento no haya cumplido su función,pero si usas un pegamento más fuerte,tipo adhesivo de contacto,estoy segura de que funcionará y todo quedará resuelto!

  4. Oh, Betsy, I so can imagine your problem! First to tackle the build of this paneling (also because of the warping of the plywood base), than later you got the issue with the glue. But your paneling looks wonderful, allthough it's not done yet. Regarding the glue: I often use a contact glue (cement says my dictionnary). You put glue on both sides (of the paneling in this case) and after it has dried for about a few minutes (than there is a sort of diffuse layer visible) you push them firmly together. In most cases this will do, at least for me. I hope this is helpful??
    I hope you can solve these issues for the panelling, because it will be such a great wall there at the rear side: the look of the warm wood in combination with the (a bit) cold stone floor. Good luck!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

  5. I'm afraid all the technical details, which I'm sure are pertinent for most of your followers, are to me just a tad boring. So I skipped over most of this week's blog. I'm sure the final result will be up to your usual standards...
    Much love, Mom

  6. What marvelous detail! Remember that this type of challenge is just per for the course in miniatures, especially when you are attempting something so magnificent and realistically detailed. You will nail it (lol), it just may take more time than you had hoped. We know you have the patience needed in droves, so take your time and you'll be richly rewarded with an incredibly charming paneled wall... Soon! Hugs!

  7. These unexpected problems when popping up in the middle of our work are a real pain in the neck. I'm sure with patience and experiments you'll be able to solve them. The panels are marvelous.
    Hugs, Drora

  8. The paneling looks great. I'm excited to see how it comes out.

  9. Your wall panelling is looking VERY GOOD so far Betsy! Already it's adding another chapter and layer of Old World Charm to your dollmakers shop!

  10. Do you know the saying "Whenever somebody's busy making plan fate is falling from the chair because of laughing out too heavily"? ;O) I'm sorry that you did not achieve as much as you hoped for, but we all know that things like these are time-consuming. And of course the cherry on the top could not be missed coming along this time in the shape of a glue that would not stick. I'm sorry for all the trouble this gave you - but the result looks stunning.


  11. Your wall panelling is beautifull.