Curved Doors - Part 2

Les Hastings

Les Hastings

In Part 1, all the jigs were made to form the stiles and rails. Now we can begin the process of making parts.

It takes a blank of 1 1/8” thick by 3 ½” wide to mill the curved stiles. Cut the proper length for the height of your doors plus an inch or so extra for trimming later. I would mill at least one extra to use for set ups.

The pieces need to be able to slide through the tray smoothly. Don’t make them too tight. The inside radius needs to be run first. With the 1 1/8” thickness of material there is not much waste to be removed. With it in the tray set your router cutting depth so it just starts cutting at the very edge of the material.. 

Curved Doors Part II

Curved Doors

If I did everything right this should match the radius on the full size drawing that I made at the beginning in Part 1. After making a test cut check it on the drawing.

Curved Doors Part II

Now the backside of all the stiles can be run through the jig and routed. Run the router with one hand and slide the parts through with the other hand. Make sure you keep pressure down on the stile while cutting.

The end result will come out much better and make for easier clean up and sanding.

Curved Doors Part II

Now that the inside has been run on all your parts the outside can now be run. It’s the same basic process to cut the outside radius. But this time you’ll need to set things up so you have the right thickness when you are done. Use your extra piece for this to get it set up. Again check it with your full size drawing.

Curved Doors Part II
Curved Doors Part II

When you find your happy place go ahead and run the outside radius on all your stiles.

Curved Doors Part II

The Panels

The cool thing about this is you can use the same jigs to make the panels. The only difference is for a ¾” thick panel you need a piece of ¼” material to lay in the tray to space up your parts. 

The panel blanks will need to be 7/8” thick and 3½” wide. For the two panels you’ll need six pieces. The length is determined by the height of your doors. Add an inch or so to the length for trimming later. Follow the exact same process as you did with the stiles. Cut the inside first and then the outside. Leaving them ¾” thick when done. 

Note: you will be cutting into the tray sides like the picture above. Remember to keep pressure down on your parts while routing. The first time you don’t, you’ll find out why in a hurry.
Lay all these parts aside for now. We will get back to them later.


The Rails

The doors that I’m making have stiles and rails that will be 2½” wide finished. To make the rails you can use whatever thickness of material you want as long as you have a way to trim them down to thickness.

For mine I’m using one piece 8/4 milled to 1¾” thick and one piece of 5/4 milled to 1” thick. Stacked, these will be 2¾” wide and will make my rails at 2½” wide finished.

I rout out a full size template using 3/8” or ½” thick Baltic birch. This template is made a little bigger than the opening of the two doors. It will also be used to make the top and bottom rail for the cabinet.

Curved Doors Part II

Mill your rail material to thickness and using the template mark out the rails on your lumber. Band saw them out cutting a little outside the line. I usually screw the parts to the template and flush trim them to it with a router.

Curved Doors Part II

On thicker material I will trim about half the thickness and then flip the piece over and trim the other half to the first cut.

Curved Doors Part II

After all the rail parts have been trimmed they get glued together for width.

Curved Doors Part II

After the glue up I go ahead and sand them on both sides and get them cleaned up. I use oversized wooden sanding blocks made to the same radius.

Curved Doors Part II

The thick foam pad in the picture is what I use to sand the stiles front and back. Don’t over sand, just remove mill marks for now and that’s all. I use 80 grit paper for this part. It makes it easy and quick.

Curved Doors Part II

Ok this is where I’m going to leave you for now. Next time we will cut and fit the stiles and rails together.  Also, we’ll do the glue up for the panel and get the profile run on it as well.

I’ll be glad to answer any questions just give me a shout.

Thanks,
Les Hastings
Wichita, Kansas

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