Sunday, November 26, 2006

Arched Jambs and Raised Panel Doors

Since finishing that set of cupolas, I haven't had anything really major to sink my teeth into. I did make three frame and panel doors last week; they were a rush job, and pretty big, but I got them done in two days. They're pictured below. Other than that I've been working on a set of five arched door jambs with lots of trim, key blocks and whatnot. I'll post more about those soon.

Here is one of the three completed white pine frame and panel doors. These were all about five feet tall and ranged in size from 24" to 36" wide. In the absence of our shaper man, we're trying to switch everything we can to the router table. I think it's the right move. Using a shaper for little beads and whatnot is like using a sledgehammer to squash a mosquito. We got a router bit to raise the panels for these doors, and it worked like a champ. I made two passes, and even the cross-grain cuts were nice and clean.

I mentioned that I'm working on several arched jambs. The picture above shows a set I did about six months ago. When I arrived at the shop, arches like this were done by stacking and butt-jointing strips of white pine, assembling them, then bandsawing and sanding the curve. That's more or less the way that curved drawer fronts have traditionally been made. I find this system inefficient and think it produces an unreasonable amount of waste. Clear white pine is not cheap these days. So, when I get a work order for curved jambs, I'm doing them differently.

Specifically, I'm using bending ply and forms. In this picture you see the beginning of the concave half of a set of bending forms for one of the arches I'm making. I use a router with an arc-cutting jig to cut the radius into a blank of cheap ply material. I then attach that arched blank to a second rectangular blank, bandsaw about 1/16" away from the line of the arc, then flush-trim the second arc so it's a perfect reproduction of the first. I install the blocks between them, cover the whole thing with 3/8" bending luan, then get started on the convex half (not pictured).

More to come in future posts.

1 comment:

Robb said...

Have you done concave flat panels in the archway? If so, would appreciate some tips. - Robb