Radius Cabinets Photo Essay

Bending and Clamping: Section 1
Content: Four Pictures


Back to Overview | Fabrication Section | Installation Section



"Perfect Miters----Fast"

First Picture
Picture of bending form.
Simple Bending Form


Bending form above is for not only the cabinet door rails but for the door panels and face frame rails as well.. A sheet of plywood was dadoed with a router from two different radius points to form a lopsided circle. The center point (Rail center A) is one apex of the squashed circle. The formula "springback at each end = the width of the arc at its widest point (divided by) the number of plies squared" : was used to determine the pivot points for swinging the router.

This initial dado was used in conjunction with a big pattern bit to cut the rest of the plies making up the form.You may note that the dado had pads in the bottom to hold the rails off the bottom, and holes for the epoxy squeeze-out to drain. The white was pigmented shellac. The entire form was liberally paste waxed, as well all the back of the first ply and face of the last ply, prior to glueup. Back to Top



Second Picture
Picture of Circle Cutting with a Router.

Simple Arch Cutter

Fence look weird does it? That could be because it is installed upside down, and screwed into the plywood. It is a very quick way to make up an arch cutter. But the best thing about this arrangement is that the radius is adjustable with the wing nuts that tighten up the fence rods. So you can cut your archs slightly oversized (or undersized) then take a final light finish cut without a hassle. Plus, it can be constructed from the scrap pile - quickly. Back to Top


Third Picture

Picture of Clamping Curved Door Rails.

Starting the Bend

Epoxy is slipperier than sardines being trolled by a Zamboni. I was already pushing the limits by using 4 plies of cherry to make up 15/16'ths thickness, then slathering them in epoxy, waxing the backs, fronts, and the rounded edge blocks or cauls. I discovered that starting with three clamps worked best. It not only helped in keeping them from flying all over the shop, but also aided keeping them centered in the form. The relieved edges on the blocks cut down sanding time.Once the plies were into the dado, I could breathe easier. I would use 5 plies in a repeat situation though. Naturally, it's easier to work from the center out. Back toTop


Last Picture in Bending Section

Picture of two bends on the same form.

Two Bends are Better Than One

Bar clamp above was needed here to take out the slight twist that developed during glue up. You may be able to see the vertical blocks between door rail and the bessey clamps. There was just enough room between them to slide the thin square. Twisted rectangular doors can be lived with: but twisted concave radius ones are unusable. You may note that the forms extend well beyond the rails, which are longer than necessary in themselves. Incidentally, a little shellac on the forms saved a lot of paste wax. Confusing the picture is a previously glued rail sitting on top of the clamps on the right. Back to Top

Previous Page | Next Page



Overview | Fabrication Section | Installation Section

"Perfect Miters----