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Thread: how would you build these buffet doors?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Orland Park, Illinois, USA
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    278

    how would you build these buffet doors?

    I am about to embark on a Buffet and it will look like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    My question has to do with the two center doors that are curved .... 3/4" thick, 15" wide, 18" tall. If you were to draw a cord inside the arc for both doors, the offset at the center would be 1.5" so it is not a really big curve, ie it is a large radius. Need to have 'finish wood' on all six sides.

    Options:
    * plywood laminate (3 sheets of 1/4") bent on a form, glued and then edged with veneer? Or solid wood edging with a 'V' shape groove to glue into?
    * solid wood pieces glued up and then planed and sanded to meet the curve? Like this: Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	92660 My concern here is the wood movement since the grain will be vertical. Will have to leave a gap at the center since the hinge sides are fixed.

    Looking for the collective wisdom to assist me on this. My thanks for sure.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,987
    My opinion is biased because I have a vacuum forming system and have done a fair amount of bentwood lamination work. Although it requires building a form and such, I love to work that way. I resaw the wood to 1/8" and use plastic resin glue.

    Saying that, for a one-off project like you're describing, band sawing the parts and plane/sand to shape might be simpler.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wapakoneta, OH
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    610
    Check Woodsmith episode 803. They did this and used the coopering technique (edge to edge glue up).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Dennison, MN
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    512
    How big is the radius? Or what is the max thickness of the door? Can you make the door out of 8/4 or something thicker so the back is flat but the face is contoured? If you can, that's the route I'd go.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Orland Park, Illinois, USA
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    278
    Karl, radius is about 70.75", thickness is 3/4". I was planning to make the center drawer front using your 'flat back' method. With the doors being 18" in height they might be a little heavy with all that mass?

    All, thanks for the ideas. Still pondering and have some time since the dining table is up first and currently underway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Dennison, MN
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    512
    Maybe a little heavy, but if you think of it as a door that's 36" tall and solid wood you wouldn't do anything special for hinging. So if it's twice as thick and half the height it should weigh about the same
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  7. #7
    Seems like ply would be the obvious choice here.
    Laminate 1/4 to 1/2 for the flat pieces so you can grain match.
    Personally, I don't like thick edge banding but veneer is too thin. 1/16 seems about right.

    Huge amount of work involved in using solid wood, but still doable if you've got a technique that works.
    The only way I can think of is to use a coopering technique and start looking for a compass plane?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Orland Park, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    278
    I continue to research and solicit ideas, experience, etc. Right now, I am leaning towards the laminated version done in a vacuum bag (I do have one). This way I can do the doors and the drawer front all at one time and the grain will flow continuously up the front. Fine Woodworking #210 and #238 have some great tips for sure. Lots of work to build the bending frame for a one-off but seems way more stable than a solid wood version. Then there is getting the 'wiggle wood' or bendable plywood. Fortunately, I have found a local source. It will be a learning experience for the next project for sure. I'll do the flat side doors/drawer fronts the same way and all should look quite well matched up.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Click image for larger version. 

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