Power or By Hand

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Forum topic by DavidsWoodShed posted 04-20-2012 06:27 PM 957 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1667 days

04-20-2012 06:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling shaping carving

My friend bought a cabinet with hardwood doors with a series of round impressions that look like they were carved with a scooping tool. A few of us stood around looking at it discussing theories about how it could have been made in production with a machine but none sounded quite right. Does anyone here know how the doors were made? Powered or By Hand?

9 replies so far

View zachmc's profile


9 posts in 1898 days

#1 posted 04-20-2012 08:02 PM


-- Zach M, Michigan,

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9 posts in 1898 days

#2 posted 04-20-2012 08:04 PM

or its just a template and a router.

-- Zach M, Michigan,

View Loren's profile


8174 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 04-20-2012 08:08 PM

I’ve seen that kind of thing on imported furniture from Southeast
Asia. Traditionally of course it was done by hand.

You’ll see that sort of thing on Danish modern stuff as well, but
in general the patterns are designed in such as way that machining
is a part of the method.

My guess is the doors shown were carved by hand. Perhaps a
drill was used to excavate most of the waste.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2304 days

#4 posted 04-20-2012 08:10 PM

I see differences in many of the holes which tells me this was done by hand.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2395 days

#5 posted 04-20-2012 08:12 PM

There is too much variation in the widths of the different parts for it to be a CNC job.
I think it was done by hand with a gouge most likely, or possibaly with a router

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View DavidsWoodShed's profile


7 posts in 1667 days

#6 posted 04-20-2012 09:14 PM

Thanks for the participation. Some more info. Upon close inspection there was variation of the indent sizes and spacing but they all seemed to be the same depth. Also, the picture shows a portion of the doors only. They are each about 24” x 48” or 60” (going from approx memory…very approx memory.) The indents were each about 1.25” x 3” (x .25” deep.)

I was going with the hand made by gouge. My wife was going with router and template. Billy was going with hand made.

I can see a very large CNC machine doing it with a pre-programmed pattern or any router/template combo or hand made. It’s a mystery. (to me anyway.)

View DS's profile


2147 posts in 1844 days

#7 posted 04-20-2012 09:46 PM

I suppose with the right hand-made template, a router bit with a collar could get it to look handmade, even though it’s not.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1911 days

#8 posted 04-20-2012 10:11 PM

You are all wrong!

It was done by an OCD housewife with a fear of fingerprints on her wood work!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1710 days

#9 posted 04-20-2012 10:53 PM

I actually replicated a similar panel several years ago. Using a router with a core box bit, I made a regular pattern first. Then used carving gouges to tool each depression individually, making them all just a tiny bit different. The object was not to end up with machine precision, but rather a hand-tooled look. I don’t recall that we ever knew the exact origin of the piece I was replicating, but the resulting panel was a perfect mate to the original.

Like yours, the outline of each individual depression was unique, but the depth was very nearly exactly the same for all of them.

Oh and we had to burnish the whole panel with a scotchbright pad on an angle grinder in order to make it look age-worn like the one I was replicating. (It rounded any corner and softened all tool marks to the point you couldn’t see them)

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