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radiused frame and panel door

stevedoane's picture

I want to build a paint grade 36"x96" 4 raised panel interior door for an opening in a curved wall with a 7'9" radius. The door will open into the room on the convex side of the arc.
I have built flat frame and panel doors but don't know how to build one on a radius.
If I build a form of the arc of the concave side and laminate the frame and panels using clamping cauls built on the arc of the convex side, will the lamination hold their arc when the cauls are removed? Is there a simpler way?
stevedoane

Gary Rogowski's picture

(post #124375, reply #1 of 3)

Hi Steve,
Up for a challenge are we?

Well, here's what I'd do. You've got your radius figured. I'd make up a two part bending form out of mdf or particle board based on that radius. Include room for two pieces of masonite or plastic laminate to line the forms. This will help spread out the pressure and keep any glue from sticking to the form.

Then mill up 8/4 stock to yield your 1 3/8" thick door. You'll be cutting laminates at least 1/8" thick, maybe a hair over so you can plane them smooth. The more laminates the less springback you'll get but the more gluing you'll be doing. So see what thickness will bend easily enough and try to get at least 5 or 6 laminates. At 6 laminates you're looking at only 2% springback.

If you can do this in a warm shop, say 70 degrees, then I'd use a plastic resin glue to gain some time and to minimize creep in the joints over time. Otherwise, you'll be using a yellow glue.

Practice the glue up once to see the issues with it. Have fun.

Gary Rogowski
www.northwestwoodworking.com

Gary Rogowski Director, The Northwest Woodworking Studio A School for Woodworkers, Portland, OR www.NorthwestWoodworking.com

stevedoane's picture

(post #124375, reply #2 of 3)

Gary, Thanks for the quick response. The method you describe is close to what I thought would work.
I have a couple more questions: I've had the best luck with Spanish cedar. It's more expensive than, say, poplar; but it's more readily available in 8/4 stock. Would you recommend any other wood? Would Exterra (exterior grade mdf) be acceptable for inner plys and panels? The stiles are going to be radiused across the long grain on the outer plies. Should I treat those plies any differently?
Thanks, in advance.Stevedoane

Gary Rogowski's picture

(post #124375, reply #3 of 3)

Hi Steve,
I have no experience with Spanish cedar. Any wood will work just fine as long as you mill it properly and clean up the faces before gluing it up.

Exterra is another material I do not see in my world. I imagine it would work fine.

As for the stiles, I wouldn't laminate those. Use solid stock and plane in the required radius. At your 7' or whatever it is, this should be easily done in 8/4 stock.

Gary Rogowski
www.northwestwoodworking.com

Gary Rogowski Director, The Northwest Woodworking Studio A School for Woodworkers, Portland, OR www.NorthwestWoodworking.com