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Looking for experience with panel barrels

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  • Looking for experience with panel barrels

    I am making two frames 61 inches wide by 19 high. Into these I will put three panels approx 17 wide and 13 high. The panels are 1/4 inch. I am looking for tips on positioning and assembly. The glue-up will be a bit hairy unless I plan it properly. My plan is to finish everything before gluing. Then I plan on gluing the four vertical pieces into the bottom rail and clamping the top dry fit to ensure all will be square. Then insert the barrels (how many?) and slide the panels in, cut so they just touch the barrels and not move them out of position. Then glue the top rail on. It seems to me that the panel should just touch the barrel but I would like the voice of experience on this in particular.
    Thanks.
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  • #2

    Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

    Should we assume that you are worried about expansion/contraction because you will be using solid wood panels, rails and stiles vs MDF or .... ? The last panel filled frames I made I used veneered MDF panels and solid Ash rails and stiles. I glued it all solid and nothing moved. The dimensions were similar to each of your thirds.

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    • #3

      Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

      Yes John, I am using solid cherry for the panels and stiles and I am concerned about expansion/contraction.

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      • #4

        Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

        A little dab of silicon on the barrels will help keep them from falling out during assembly.i don't know if it's right or wrong,butt I generally use two barrels on short rails and a third on longer ones.

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        • #5

          Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

          Stain the panels first. I would change the install 90 degrees. One side stile and 4 horizontal rails, insert panels and rails one at a time then add the second stile. Obviously the space balls go in first one panel at a time too. I hope that's understandable.
          "Do it Right!"

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          • #6

            Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

            Originally posted by al.m.. View Post
            A little dab of silicon on the barrels will help keep them from falling out during assembly.i don't know if it's right or wrong,butt I generally use two barrels on short rails and a third on longer ones.
            I was thinking a touch of glue might be a good idea. As for sizing Al am I right in having the panels just touching them or with a dab of something to hold the barrels can I make the fit a bit tighter?

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            • #7

              Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

              Originally posted by Rusty View Post
              Stain the panels first. I would change the install 90 degrees. One side stile and 4 horizontal rails, insert panels and rails one at a time then add the second stile. Obviously the space balls go in first one panel at a time too. I hope that's understandable.
              I plan on finishing/staining first as I tried to indicate in my post but not clearly I guess. An interesting idea Rusty but I have the stiles and rails M&T which is why I am going to follow the plan I laid out.

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              • #8

                Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                Originally posted by dwoody View Post

                I was thinking a touch of glue might be a good idea. As for sizing Al am I right in having the panels just touching them or with a dab of something to hold the barrels can I make the fit a bit tighter?
                i don't know the correct procedure ,but I always figured there should be a slight amount of interference,as the idea is to keep the panel from rattling around.

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                • #9

                  Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                  Dennis, I'm, sorry if I am slow on the uptake but please clarify what you are referring to as barrels - a couple of things come to my mind. TIA
                  Start slow; wind down gracefuilly

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                  • #10

                    Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                    Originally posted by Woodwreck View Post
                    Dennis, I'm, sorry if I am slow on the uptake but please clarify what you are referring to as barrels - a couple of things come to my mind. TIA
                    This is what I would call a panel barrel.

                    http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...,44296&p=58675

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                    • #11

                      Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                      Originally posted by al.m.. View Post
                      i don't know the correct procedure ,but I always figured there should be a slight amount of interference,as the idea is to keep the panel from rattling around.
                      Well, barrels or not, whatever they are and whatever they are for, this seems straight forward. Understanding that you are inserting a ¼"panel in a frame cut for it, position it where you want and hold in place while you tack spots of hot glue in the back. If there is excess space in the slot, wedge the panel forward temporarily.

                      P.S. Thank you for the clarification of my quess, John. Yes, the touch of hot glue would hold the panel to the side of the frame and any expansion could come and go - just apply the hot glue neatly where you want it.
                      Last edited by Woodwreck; 02-10-2019, 07:58 PM. Reason: P.S. added
                      Start slow; wind down gracefuilly

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                      • #12

                        Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                        They are most often called space balls.
                        "Do it Right!"

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                        • #13

                          Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                          Click image for larger version

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ID:	1223572 I have made 10 ft long panels by myself. I start by glueing one of the end stiles at the end of the bottom rail. Clamp that and leave for a couple of hours to let the glue set . When clamping use a square to ensure the stile is at 90 Degrees to the rail. On the size of panel you are using I would put 2 spacers on all 4 sides. I should mention that before you start the glue up measure and mark the centres of your stiles where they appear on the rails. The spacers( barrels ) that I use fit snugly in the rails and stiles. Using spacers on all 4 sides helps with keeping the panel centered between the rails and stiles although with a flat panel that is not a concern. The spacers I use require that the panel have 1/8th inch clearance on all 4 sides and this is sufficient to keep the panel snug and not end up rattling down the road.It is not a difficult task if you have the end stile secured in position. With a panel your size it would be nice to have it verticle and the bottom rail clamped so it is not sliding around as you try to assemble it.
                          If I read your post correct you were going to glue the stiles in the bottom rail before the panels were installed. This would make it rather difficult to have barrels on the sides ( stiles)of the panel. I use spacers on all my panels including MDF. Something else I do to give the door a little more weight on flat panels is make the panel a reversed raised panel . This puts the backside of the panel on the same plane as your rails and stiles.
                          The top pic is the backside of the bottom pic. This is obviously a raised panel but the backside of a flat panel would work the same. If using 1/4 thick veneer panels this is obviously not an option

                          Brian Click image for larger version

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                          If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                          • #14

                            Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                            The spacers I use are called Panel Buddies. Space balls are still available but I am not aware of anyone that uses them any more. You can get panel buddies at Amazon.ca. I get mine at trade shows.
                            Brian
                            If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                            • #15

                              Re: Looking for experience with panel barrels

                              Thanks for the comments guys. I am using the panel barrels from lee valley that John provided the link for. I was doing some test fitting today with the panels and found if the panels just compressed the barrels slightly it all worked out well. I will eventually post some pics of this build if I ever get it done.

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