I need to make a cabinet door that is 24" x 18" and is curved. Think of
it as a section of the wall of a vertical cylinder. The radius is about
17". The surface will be veneered.
Any suggestions or references that may be of help?
The application is for a set of base cabinets that fit in a corner of a
room. The corner cabinet will have the two curved doors (opening from
You can make forms using MDF scraps. You can layer 1/8 or 1/4 inch ply to
build up the thickness and then veneer it. You can also use wacky wood or
Kerf cut mdf which as I remember is an MDF core with a layer of Italian
poplar glued on one side and the core is slotted to bend around the radius.
If you are talking about a slab style door, rather than a frame and
panel, then it's pretty easy.
Make a form for both the inside and outside curve and lay up sheet
stock of a thickness that will take the curve. Three layers of 1/4"
nominal should get you close to 3/4" thk once you put on the face and
Glue up the substrate first and let it sit clamped in the form
When you take it out of clamps you will want to check the show face
under a strong light and fill and sand any imperfections before laying
down the veneer.
I usually trim the edges and band with thin solid stock before
applying the face veneers.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Think 1/4" "Bending Poplar" plywood.
What you are describing is done quite frequently with fiberglass in boat
Might consider building a bending form that represents the inside form,
then laminate 1/4" layers.
NOTE: Allow for spring back.
Building a frame around is another matter which is a separate discussion
if you are interested.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like glued up layers of thin wood
is the way to go. Now there's the details
1) What kind of wood. People mentioned wacky wood and bending poplar.
I've never heard of these. Do you have any sources? What about pain 'ol
luan 1/4" ply?
2) Is regular PVA glue OK? Or is it too "flexible", leading to more
springback. I guess epoxy would be quite rigid? Polyurethane?
TiteBond will work quite well.
Work with an industrial plywood supplier, they will have bending poplar
which is essentially plywood with the grain all aligned in the same
A word of advice.
When you need good wood, stay from places like the Home Depot.
IMHO, they and most of the other Henry Homeowner places they compete
with are in the garbage wood business.
Mitch, I'm building some right now. See the link
The doors were made from 2 layers of bending luan ply, 1 layer (outside) of
1/16" walnut and the inside is 1/8 birch plywood. I used gorilla glue on
one side of each piece after dampening with a wet rag each side.
The press pictured in the link was made from the same pieces used to make
the curved frame rails.
It was made from scrap particle board, MDF and plywood. The curved insides
were 2 layers of 1/8" birch plywood covered with cork. The cork was covered
with Saran Wrap prior to glue up.
The hardest part was getting the top of the press to evenly drop onto the
glued stack of pieces and still remain square. If I was to do it over
again, I would put guides around the sides to insure an even initial
I made both doors as one large glue-up, cutting to size after glue-up.
<MB> wrote in message Lew Hodgett
Do you have a table saw, a block plane and a miter saw?
If you do why not make solid wood coopered doors. It's
a lot easier than it seems and a lot easier than making
special jigs and laminating or bending things. AND
if you're careful, you can do nice continuous grain.
And when it's glue up time forget clamps and jigs - some
glue and some rubber bands work just fine. A router
table is handy if you want to overlap the doors.
Have a look. If you have questions feel free to e-mail
me or post your question here. (all one line so watch
the line wrap)
Try it, it's easier than you think.
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