Having finished carving the panels a few days ago, I now set about fitting them to the frame. The groove-plane from my tongue and groove set, places a 3/16″ wide groove along the edge of a board, 3/16″ from the face. I used this plane to groove the rails and muntins of the face frame. I wanted my 3/4″ carved panels to be recessed by 3/8″. This precluded me using the tongue-plane from the set. I proceeded by forming 1/2″ x 1/2″ rebates on the perimeter of the panels.
Using a skew rebate plane, I deepened the rebates by a heavy 1/16″.
A quick check with a grooved hardwood block helped assure a proper fit.
With the panels recessed by 3/8″ meant they protruded into the inside of the chest by the same amount. The sharp edges were remedied by chamfering the edges.
The panels on the back of the chest will be formed in the exact same way. , except with the flat side to the interior and the chamfers to the exterior.