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Question about small cabinet doors - Aram - 01-16-2020

Hey all,

I'm playing with design ideas for a small cabinet. I don't know the exact size, but for the sake of numbers, let's say it has a right and left door (overlapping at center) a foot tall, 6" wide each. The doors would be, I dunno, 3/8" thick, maybe a bit more, fitted with knife hinges. The doors will be hardwood. I haven't decided what yet, maybe sapele, or something else hard with some crazy figure. I don't want F&P for this idea. It wouldn't look right. 

The doors could twist, which would not be good. Do I absolutely need rift-sawn wood to keep the doors stable? Do I have prayer with anything flat-sawn? Which covers most of my nice boards. Any other considerations? I could use a plywood panel with shop-sawn veneer, but that would be a thin piece of plywood. Finish would probably be wipe-on poly.

Thanks in advance.


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Rob Young - 01-16-2020

(01-16-2020, 04:11 PM)Aram Wrote: Hey all,

I'm playing with design ideas for a small cabinet. I don't know the exact size, but for the sake of numbers, let's say it has a right and left door (overlapping at center) a foot tall, 6" wide each. The doors would be, I dunno, 3/8" thick, maybe a bit more, fitted with knife hinges. The doors will be hardwood. I haven't decided what yet, maybe sapele, or something else hard with some crazy figure. I don't want F&P for this idea. It wouldn't look right. 

The doors could twist, which would not be good. Do I absolutely need rift-sawn wood to keep the doors stable? Do I have prayer with anything flat-sawn? Which covers most of my nice boards. Any other considerations? I could use a plywood panel with shop-sawn veneer, but that would be a thin piece of plywood. Finish would probably be wipe-on poly.

Thanks in advance.

Something to think about...

The "old timers" when they made something with a curved front and swinging doors similar to what you describe would make the doors by building up a core of quarter-sawn material. Then veneer over that. In the case of a curved front (think commode) the door core would be coopered to match the curve. Small doors, tight specs and highly figured or marquetrie'd veneers call for stable substrates. White pine was a possible core choice for stability, cheap and ease of working.

For edges, tops and bottoms they might veneer or they might fit in solid wood. Probably depended on what they were comfortable doing and what sort of mechanical needs were going to be placed on the edge/top/bottom.

I have a recollection of a blog post by Freddy Roman about this sort of door construction but I either I can't find it or I'm mis-remembering who made the posting.


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Aram - 01-16-2020

(01-16-2020, 04:35 PM)Rob Young Wrote: Something to think about...

The "old timers" when they made something with a curved front and swinging doors similar to what you describe would make the doors by building up a core of quarter-sawn material. Then veneer over that. In the case of a curved front (think commode) the door core would be coopered to match the curve. Small doors, tight specs and highly figured or marquetrie'd veneers call for stable substrates. White pine was a possible core choice for stability, cheap and ease of working.

For edges, tops and bottoms they might veneer or they might fit in solid wood. Probably depended on what they were comfortable doing and what sort of mechanical needs were going to be placed on the edge/top/bottom.

I have a recollection of a blog post by Freddy Roman about this sort of door construction but I either I can't find it or I'm mis-remembering who made the posting.

Rob,

GREAT point, thank you. I hadn't even thought about that. 

BTW I am considering making curved doors. Most likely won't, but it would be fun.


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - C. in Indy - 01-16-2020

I think at this small size of door you can do a little less worrying.    I looked pretty long at a David Barron blog posting on a Krenov cabinet before I made the one shown below.  For Barron's and for mine, the doors can conceivably warp a little and still be looking fine with the overhang pieces in play.   Anyway, the one shown below never did warp, over 5 seasons running.   I think when you have dried lumber, right at the resawing stage you get a clue whether it's going to be a wild piece or not.

When I made the cabinet below, some folks said it wouldn't work.  They also said that "all fiddleback pattern maple is quartersawn," but this lumber was not (nor was Barron's).   Flaky oak is quartersawn, yes, but fiddleback maple is often even flatsawn.

From seeing your past work, yours will be nicer than mine!

Chris

[attachment=23004]


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Aram - 01-17-2020

(01-16-2020, 08:20 PM)C. in Indy Wrote: I think at this small size of door you can do a little less worrying.    I looked pretty long at a David Barron blog posting on a Krenov cabinet before I made the one shown below.  For Barron's and for mine, the doors can conceivably warp a little and still be looking fine with the overhang pieces in play.   Anyway, the one shown below never did warp, over 5 seasons running.   I think when you have dried lumber, right at the resawing stage you get a clue whether it's going to be a wild piece or not.

When I made the cabinet below, some folks said it wouldn't work.  They also said that "all fiddleback pattern maple is quartersawn," but this lumber was not (nor was Barron's).   Flaky oak is quartersawn, yes, but fiddleback maple is often even flatsawn.

From seeing your past work, yours will be nicer than mine!

Chris
Interesting, thanks. Nice piece, by the way.


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Hank Knight - 01-17-2020

Aram, I built a chest of drawers for my daughter with curly maple false drawer fronts. I had the same concern you have about keeping the drawer fronts flat. I ended up building them with breadboard ends. They have remained stable and flat for 2 1/2 years.


IMG_1622 by Hank Knight, on Flickr


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Arlin Eastman - 01-17-2020

(01-16-2020, 04:11 PM)Aram Wrote: Hey all,

I'm playing with design ideas for a small cabinet. I don't know the exact size, but for the sake of numbers, let's say it has a right and left door (overlapping at center) a foot tall, 6" wide each. The doors would be, I dunno, 3/8" thick, maybe a bit more, fitted with knife hinges. The doors will be hardwood. I haven't decided what yet, maybe sapele, or something else hard with some crazy figure. I don't want F&P for this idea. It wouldn't look right. 

What is F&P??


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Woodworm! - 01-17-2020

(01-17-2020, 09:58 PM)Arlin Eastman Wrote: What is F&P??

Frame and Panel?


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - Aram - 01-18-2020

(01-17-2020, 10:20 PM)Woodworm! Wrote: Frame and Panel?

Yes, sorry for the secret code, Arlin  Crazy


RE: Question about small cabinet doors - hbmcc - 01-18-2020

Garrett Hack did a curved veneer-covered door for one of his petite cabinets, and fairly detailed, just as Rob described, in what I think was a recent Fine Woodworking article.

All of my crazy-grain Western Maple wants to twist. It even performs to the seasons.