Kitchen cabinet doors

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Project by Roger Strautman posted 678 days ago 1611 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 2763 days

#1 posted 678 days ago

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


907 posts in 1292 days

#2 posted 678 days ago


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

View Karson's profile


34860 posts in 3002 days

#3 posted 678 days ago

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 †

View Oldtool's profile


1749 posts in 793 days

#4 posted 678 days ago

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


1287 posts in 1411 days

#5 posted 678 days ago

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 1626 days

#6 posted 678 days ago

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

6646 posts in 2582 days

#7 posted 678 days ago

Super job, Roger.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Knothead62's profile


2345 posts in 1563 days

#8 posted 678 days ago


View Gshepherd's profile


1437 posts in 803 days

#9 posted 678 days ago

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

644 posts in 2736 days

#10 posted 678 days ago

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"

View Lidiya Blaznina's profile

Lidiya Blaznina

846 posts in 1141 days

#11 posted 678 days ago

Congratulation Roger !!! Impeccable design.

-- Lidiya,Russia.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2594 posts in 2314 days

#12 posted 678 days ago


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


1011 posts in 917 days

#13 posted 677 days ago

“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 CessnaPilotBarry's profile


881 posts in 712 days

#14 posted 677 days ago

Outstanding work!

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Philip's profile


1079 posts in 1141 days

#15 posted 676 days ago

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

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

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