Kitchen cabinet doors

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Project by Roger Strautman posted 09-18-2012 06:15 PM 3092 views 5 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some commissions just take time to develop as you will see. I was contacted by a local cabinet company back in Feb. inquiring if I had background in carving acanthus. Answer to them was Yes, even though I have not attempted acanthus before but I felt I could do it. Sometimes I just don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. LOL! I meet with them at which time they gave me a picture of some carved cabinet doors and said that is what the customer wants. Ouch! After a couple of days of thought I gave them a $ for 2 doors. Now the waiting game begins. After 4 months go by with no reply I think my $ was a bit high and I breath a sigh of relief and then that dreaded phone rings. “They approved the doors and it’s a go but they need 5 doors now”! Ouch! After several meeting trips and 2 more months I get to embark on my new journey.

This journey started with making a clay model of the piece. Clay I have never used before so there was a little learn process there but I did find this was well worth my time. The cabinet co. wanted me to use MDF because they are to be painted doors and to prevent the carvings form moving. Ouch! I have never used this and had fear but I found this was very easy to work with.

My journey is almost over with one door down and 4 to go. All parties involved were very happy with what this rookie had carved. LOL!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

19 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4281 days

#1 posted 09-18-2012 06:29 PM

1. did you tell them that you were a rookie?
2. it is absolutely beautiful.
3. oh the dusting and cleaning in the kitchen … but then I’d be running my hand over the carving so often that it would stay clean :D

bravo, my friend.. bravo!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 09-18-2012 06:47 PM


-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Karson's profile


35130 posts in 4521 days

#3 posted 09-18-2012 06:53 PM

Roger. A fantastic door. Is the cabinet shop making the door and you make the carving to glue on. I see the paper layer between your rough cut and the backing. So I guess that these get glued to the appropriate substraight.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Oldtool's profile


2718 posts in 2311 days

#4 posted 09-18-2012 07:31 PM

Beautiful carvings, great work. A true craftsman.
Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 2930 days

#5 posted 09-18-2012 08:00 PM

Looks great ! Just sorry to hear they required you to use MDF. (they specd. mdf to minimize movement ?) This goes to show you that the custamer is not always right.

View randomray's profile


111 posts in 3145 days

#6 posted 09-18-2012 09:44 PM

Wonderful job ! MDF ? what are they thinking ? Hmmmmm how is it to carve ?

-- Anybody can break something it takes skill to make or repair stuff .

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6862 posts in 4100 days

#7 posted 09-18-2012 09:55 PM

Super job, Roger.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 3082 days

#8 posted 09-18-2012 10:20 PM


View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2322 days

#9 posted 09-18-2012 10:33 PM

I bet the mdf is brutal on your tool edges….. Beautiful work though, sometimes we have to push the envelope and we all do it. Well Done. Sadly when it is all done many years down the road someone will say, well they did that with a cnc machine….. Meanwhile back at the ranch….. The cabinet shop owner is reading this with sweat dripping off his chin…..............

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

656 posts in 4254 days

#10 posted 09-19-2012 12:56 AM

Debbi, no way was I going to tell them I was a rookie. I take the attitude that I can make anything. It can be tough at times to block out the doubt. LOL!

Karson, the cabinet shop is making all the doors and a solid upper pane for me to cut out the profile of the carving. They will mount the carved piece into the door. I glue the cutout to 1/8Masonitete for the carving process.

MDF seems to be the big question by most so far. They chose MDF so the piece would not warp after the carving. There will be glass behind the carving. MDF does tend to dull the chisels quicker but the ease of how it carves is an equalizer. A minus is that MDF doesn’t hold detail very well.

For those who don’t know how to tell the difference between cnc and hand carved. Look for undercuts! A cnc cannot undercut but a master carver can and will somewhere on the piece. ;-)

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

#11 posted 09-19-2012 02:34 AM

Congratulation Roger !!! Impeccable design.


View lightweightladylefty's profile


3255 posts in 3833 days

#12 posted 09-19-2012 04:05 AM


Your carving is very lovely, but it would really look wonderful in walnut or another rich hardwood. But then, not everyone has the same good taste ;-) as we LJs do!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Grumpymike's profile


2291 posts in 2436 days

#13 posted 09-19-2012 06:10 PM

“The magic is in the touch of the masters hand”
And you have truely mastered this … I am awed by your talent.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2231 days

#14 posted 09-19-2012 07:14 PM

Outstanding work!

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2660 days

#15 posted 09-20-2012 06:33 PM

Roger, that looks fantastic! and on MDF to boot!

-- I never finish anyth

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