When the job of patching the siding first came up we made the assumption that we could use the plane and shape the wood, like the contractor did last year when he replaced some of the siding. After we had thought about it some more, during the rain induced break from work, we both agreed that neither of us liked the look of the contractor's work. We wanted the siding to look similar to the old siding.
A little research told us that a router table and a panelling bit would give us the closest profile to that of the old siding. Since we plan on building our own kitchen cabinets we decided to purchase the table and bit. We had to wait for the bit to arrive so first thing this morning PeterC set up his new router table so we could get the siding repair done. A few scrap pieces run through just to get the depth of the cuts right and away we went.
While we were routing the siding pieces we both suffered doubts as to whether the profile was close enough. Once it was installed there were no doubts. The siding looks perfect, except it is still raw cedar at this point. The router table may have cost more than, and taken about the same amount of time as, ordering a siding from Home Depot but in the end I think it was a good decision. Once the siding has been painted, only an expert will notice the difference between the old and the new siding pieces.