FINALLY! Some real woodworking. Wood is like Bubba’s shrimp. You can steam it, bend it, carve it, laminate it, or pattern cut it and glue it together. And that’s the approach I took. Make a pattern, rough cut to size, rout to the pattern for matching parts, glue them together, and viola. You’ve got the makings of a curved drawer front.
Here’s a few tips and lessons learned. Spend a lot of time up front perfecting the pattern. After rough cutting, sand the rough blank as close to the pattern as possible as the router bits (even the expensive new one’s) like to catch on the wood and the less you have to take off, the smoother, accurate, and IMO, safer the pattern routing operation. You can use double sided tape, but it may not hold so you may need to use screws or figure out another attachment device. For tall parts you make a cut with the pattern affixed to the piece then remove it to complete the rest of the cut using the previous cut as a reference against the roller on the router bit. And one of the best tips, make the pattern longer than the part you are cutting so you can press the pattern against the bit’s roller thus producing a smooth and safe lead in and roll out to the cut. Not shown in the clamping pictures are the alignments I used to keep the parts aligned during the glue up. It won’t pay to route perfect parts just to have them misaligned after gluing them together.
The last picture shows a promise of things to come. But we will need to do some veneering which means we need to make some forms for the press and figure out our process. And we still need to figure out how to construct the drawers and attach the sides. Although at this point I had a fairly good idea on how to do that.
-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com