I’ll be covering the construction of two different kinds of curved doors. A pair of raised panel doors with one inch thick styles and rails and a 3/4 thick panel. With an outside radius of 20” and an inside radius of 19”. The second is a single six divided light glass door. Its style and rails are also 1” thick, its outside radius is 12 1/4” and the inside 11 1/4”.
Lets start with making the jigs to mill the radius styles for each set of doors. The starting lumber size for the styles will be 1 1/4” thick x 3 1/2” wide. I always make them at least 4” longer than what the finished length will be. The starting thickness and width is also over sized. The doors I’m making are out of poplar.
Lets start with what I will call the sled. It consists of one piece 3/4 mdf or fibercore sheet stock. It is 3 1/2” wide and about 36” to 48” in length. It has two side rails from hardwood about a foot shorter than the mdf base. They are 3/4” thick x 2”wide. They are attached to the mdf sides to creat a sled for the styles to slide through. The drawings below has a small sketch in the corner of the sled. The main drawings are of the the inside and outside radius jigs that I will call the cradles.
If you double click in the drawing you can see the whole thing.
The cradle radius is either 3/4” or 1” smaller or larger than the finished radius of the door its self. I usually make mine 1” different. I use a 1/2” solid carbide down spiral bit that is 4” long to mill my parts. I make a wood base for the router about 5 1/2” square with it will need side rails attached to both sides that are about 1”wide. The cradle rails will go inside of the outer rails. This will keep the router on track if you wiil on the cradles while milling.
The inside radius needs to be milled first. They need to be routed right to the edge of the 3 1/2” width of your materail or you can leave a small 1/8” flat on each side. Just make sure you leave the materail thickness at 1 1/4” thick overall. This will give an edge to ride on when routing the outside radius and the cradles can still help hold the materail down.
The picture below is to show how I use the drawing to check my parts when milling. But its actually a pic of one of the rasied panel sections. The panels sections and the styles and rails are milled the same way.
After I mill the inside radius I go ahead and sand and clean it up before I mill the outside. I usually mill the them a 1/32” thick to allow for sanding and clean up to a final thickness of 1”. Please note that the panel parts are not sanded until after the panel is glued up, more on that later.
Here’s a pile of milled radius parts.
Well I’m sure I’ve left some things out that you need to know so I will check this over when I’m not quite so tired. Then I’ll add it in later. If you have any questions please ask I’ll do my best to answer them. Sorry it took so long to get to part two. I took an evening off to finally get this started.
Thanks for looking, see you next time.
-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)