# Coopered Doors Help

• posted on September 19, 2004, 8:55 am
In keeping with my pattern of starting out to do a quick and dirty and then having a project get away - I started out to build a small wall mounted cabinet for router bits. Saw the idea in one of the recent WWing mags and it looked pretty simple and straight foreward - some 1/2 or 3/4" ply for the sides, top and bottom, drill some holes in some 3/4" MDF and glue onto 1/4" tempered board which will ride in slots in the cabinet sides. Slide one of the bit holders out, take it to the router ... A simple solution to an existing problems - bits in holes in various pieces of 2x4s, stuck in a drawer.
Figured three pull out shelves should do it. Four pieces of ply, a little MDF and some tempered board. Simple.
Then I thought of bearing sets, allen wrenches, collets, instruction sheets and so forth. A few drawers would be handy.
But why use ply when I've got a bunch of honey - or maybe it's black, locust. And maybe use sliding dovetails to attach the sides to the top and bottom? They'd only add about an inch to the width, why not - this thing will only be 15-16" wide, 21\$" tall and maybe 7 inches deep.
While cutting some MDF for a prototype to be pocket screwed together, cut the top and bottom oversized to accomodate a door - to keep dust out.
If there was going to be a door, why not two? And if there's going to be two doors - well why not make them coopered doors?
And that's when I had to remember my geometry and trig. 15 1/2" opening width, 2 foot radius curve. Got the arc's angle, divided by two to get the angle for each of the doors. Split that angle into three - each coopered door will be made of three, initially the same width, boards. Some more trig and I had the width of the boards as well as the total angle between adjacent boards. That total angle (about 6 degrees) can be all cut on one face of each board or split half and half and cut on both adjacent edges. The latter seems to produce a nicer looking curve using MDF for the prototypes.
Cut a 3+ degree set up block out of MDF on the miter saw, set the table saw blade with it, set the fence to the desired width and cut some prototypes.
Then things got messy.
The edges on the outside needed to be cut to line up with the sides of the cabinet - and that cut wasn't 3 or 6 degrees but 12 instead. And where the two coopered doors would meet I wanted to have each rabbetted for a 1/4" overlap - and they don't meet parallel to each other but with a total included angle of the 6 degrees.
Am also going to have to use knife hinges AND figure out a way to hold the doors closed - bullet catches perhaps.
Rather than continue to re-invent the wheel, other than the few pages in Krenov's book about coopered door making, does anyone have a URL for coopered door making procedures or an article or book that covers the subject in sufficient detail to semi- successfuly make coopered doors?
If I can do the coopered doors I'll then have a go at making parallel curved drawer fronts. No good deed goes unpunished.
HELP!
charlie b fun stuff this woodworking
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• posted on September 19, 2004, 3:29 pm
calmly ranted:

That is WAAAAAY understated, charlie.

Whoa! Wouldn't it be simpler to build the jig and just cut each stave to fit? Oops, forgot who I was talking to. <titter>

Understatement Alert #2

There was a FWW article on coopered panels a while ago, and this one covers gluing:
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pdf/FWW141-044.pdf

Simple. Make another door on the same glueup jig and bandsaur it down to height for several drawer fronts.

Grok that. Consider making the jig and doors, then match the panel cuts to them. No calculations necessary.
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• posted on September 19, 2004, 5:48 pm
Larry Jaques wrote:
snip

Ah - the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach! Where's the fun in that? No geometry, no trig, no spreadsheet?
But it's still necessary to find the angle for the bevel on the staves unless I want to handplane each pair.
The jig will make glue up a little easier though.
snip

Excellent article. Lots of well illustrated "tricks". Will use the jig and clamps method. Thanks!
charlie b
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• posted on September 20, 2004, 2:09 am
calmly ranted:

Aintcha gonna SWAG 'em?

Build the jig for the curve you want, lay the ripped pieces in the divot, and measure the gap. Shave half that much off each piece. Refit, reshave as necessary, and glue. What's to know?

Thanks for making me search for coopering once again. It's yet another of the 4,763,942 items on my learn-TO-DO list. I went on a "field trip" with the SDFWA to a (Hmmm, was that the carving shop or the veneering shop?) before I left LoCal. They coopered the doors in the front office cabinets and that impressed the hell out of me. Several were 20ish inch tall and some were 60". I tell ya, that was the swankest broom close I've ever seen. It was, oh, roughly 8' tall in a 12' entry and ranged downwind about 16'. Quite the entertainment center for the receptionist.
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