Help! Want to attach a curved piece of burl wood to a door

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Forum topic by RookieGrasshopper posted 03-22-2017 03:49 AM 1684 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RookieGrasshopper's profile


4 posts in 629 days

03-22-2017 03:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak

The first picture below is ‘face on’, showing the piece of wood being held against the door. The second picture is from the side, showing the curve on the interior surface of the piece. I am a raw beginner @ wood-working, so pretend you are talking to a 6 year old. Pictures and drawings are especially appreciated.

- Interior hollow-core door, 1-3/8” thick, fake everything … no trees were cut down to make this door
- Would prefer not to have anything visible from the opposite side of the door, but could probably find something decorative to attach to the other side (to cover any screw heads, etc.) if the best solution calls for it

- Piece of wood is shaped roughly like Idaho, with a max curve of about 2-1/2 inches at the knot hole, although the amount of curve is variable. The interior side of the piece is not flat; it all has curve to it

- Held as shown, the only points of contact are very small; 1 at the very top ‘corner’ and 1 at the very bottom ‘corner’

- Thickness of the piece is variable and is thinnest around the knot hole; probably 1/2” thick ‘average’
- If drilling on the back face is necessary, I would judge you could only go 1/4” without risking damage to the piece (i.e., 1/2 of the average thickness … most of the piece will give us 1/2” of thickness)

- Open to doing something to the interior side of the piece to make the project easier if the ‘something’ is doable for a rookie

- If drilling is necessary, please include tips on how to map the holes from the piece of wood to the door

Thanks in advance!

9 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3566 days

#1 posted 03-22-2017 04:09 AM

First question is, what is the purpose of the piece you want to add onto the door? Are you planning on adding more than one piece?

View RookieGrasshopper's profile


4 posts in 629 days

#2 posted 03-22-2017 04:24 AM

It is strictly decorative, and it will be the only piece on the door. So, being decorative, I guess another criteria of a good solution would be that the means of attachment do not project beyond the sides of the piece.

It may be worth noting that the side view exaggerates what you can see from that angle; in part because of the shadows the piece itself creates, and also because you have to approach this particular door from pretty much straight on. So, any attachments on the interior are OK, they will not be visible.

View MrUnix's profile


7038 posts in 2397 days

#3 posted 03-22-2017 04:37 AM

I’d drill some shallow holes with a forstner bit in the rear of the piece, at the two contact points you describe Just shallow enough for the head of a screw to fit into it, not all the way through. Then I’d put the head of a standard cabinet hardware 8-32 screw (or whatever size you feel is appropriate) in the holes and epoxy in place. From there, just attach like a standard cabinet handle. Just a thought.

Or, if you want it to be easily removable, just use some screw-eyes or hooks instead :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Aj2's profile


1870 posts in 1996 days

#4 posted 03-22-2017 05:34 AM

I’ve read Op post twice and no idea what he’s asking.Something about a door but there’s a piece of fire wood in someone’s hand.
I’m going to bed!


-- Aj

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3566 days

#5 posted 03-22-2017 05:40 AM

File down the two contact points just a little to give yourself a flat spot on each corner. Use a little bit of 5 minute epoxy to glue the piece onto the door. You can use masking tape to hold it in place until the epoxy dries.

View RookieGrasshopper's profile


4 posts in 629 days

#6 posted 03-22-2017 06:17 AM

Ah! I knew you guys would have some good ideas. If I file down the two corners to be flatter, not only will that give more surface area for gluing and/or wood-working, but it will bring other areas on the outter edge onto the same plane as the two corners, providing even more surface to play with.


View Dustin's profile


593 posts in 939 days

#7 posted 03-22-2017 12:21 PM

How about a couple of rare-earth magnets in the filed down flat spots? You could fix them where necessary, and put the mating ends either flush on the door or on stand-off’s if you wanted to add more for support in the middle. It would also make re-purposing the piece at a later date more feasible if you changed your mind.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View dalepage's profile


367 posts in 1039 days

#8 posted 03-22-2017 12:42 PM


Put a full sheet of sandpaper on a table or bench. Hold the wooden piece and flatten the backside of the piece until you get a couple of places that are co-planar. This will make the piece rest more fully against the door.

I would use some double-stick tape and tape the piece to the door while you get used to seeing it there and deciding exactly where you’d want it. I’d probably put it halfway between your eye level and your significant other’s.

Good for you for seeing the beauty in nature. Don’t pay any attention to Aj2 above. You’re not doing this to make him happy.

-- Dale

View RookieGrasshopper's profile


4 posts in 629 days

#9 posted 04-12-2017 07:27 PM

Victory is ours! Unless a kid does chin-ups on it, that piece of wood is going nowhere!

Special recognition awards as follows:

papadan /dalepage – Sanded down both contact areas to have something flat to work with
Dustin – Ended up using magnets in the upper RH corner of the piece
MrUnix – Drilled a hole for a screw-head in the lower LH corner & glued in a wood screw
AJ2 – For being grumpy & not getting involved, which allowed the helpful comments to dominate

Thanks to everyone!

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