Not So Radical As You May Think
Think of a
regular door with "parallel" jambs. We all backplane the
striker stile 3 degrees, and most of us do the same on the hinge stile
to prevent hinge bind. But on concave doors such as these, which describe
a quarter circle, the jambs are exactly perpendicular to each other.
That means that your striker side must be 45 degrees even before you
start backplaning. But that is not really much of a problem anyhow,
except maybe on doors with very narrow stiles.
The problem is in
fitting and hanging the door. If the top is out on a regular door,
you can cheat the top hinge in and the bottom hinge out to compensate.
On these doors that technique will drastically increase the vertical
reveal going up the striker stile to the top rail, cause the bottom
of the door to hit the bottom face frame rail somewhere near the middle
and will create a big lopsided smile in the "door to face frame"
reveal up top. It looks like the door rails have been re-cut with
giant cookie cutters of varying accuracy every time you try an adjustment.
Imagine you are looking
at a 4" plumbing coupling standing with an little clearance between
two bookshelves. Now tip it slightly forward. That's what adjusting
hinges does. Now make that plumbing fitting 32 inches in diameter.
Fun, fun, fun.
In addition is the
fact that, as the door is closing, it is moving away from the face
frame on the striker side. For every sixteenth that the outside edge
of the door moves in to close once it clears the outside edge of the
face frame, it's increasing its reveal by a bunch more than a 16th.
And it looks like even more. Take another look at the picture above,
and note the door's position relative to a square line drawn out from
the pilaster. That door is hung and closes.
I had hung a bunch
of radius interior doors a long time ago, but they were simple since
they were convex. As they close, the striker reveal gets smaller.
And they weren't a quarter circle either. Who would build doors on
What looks like a
router burn on the inside bottom of the cabinet is the shelves, which
are taped to the bottom with double sided tape. Took me a while to
figure that out.
Hanging the Doors: #2
Miniscule Striker Clearance
if I had a boxful, are not that useful because they are on a plane
and don't show curves well. Remember the position of the door in the
first picture? This one was taken from in front of the adjacent cabinet
well to the left of the pilaster, which the door barely misses. So
you can see how the striker reveal increases tremendously with miniscule
door movement beyond the face frame.
right. I know what you're thinking, and you are wrong. A, That's shellac.
And B, it's not my thumb anyway.
As you can see, I
allowed just enough, possibly 1/32, clearance between the bead and
the door edge. And I wound up with the same reveal that shows on the
top. How much there is now, I have no idea. But he hasn't called to
say he can't shut the doors.
The one good thing
is that any swelling and shrinking that does occur, will have only
half the effect (if even that, practically speaking) that regular
Notice how the concave
surface accentuates the chatoyance of the panel. Learned that word
from Michael Dresdner's book. Haven't had a chance to spout it off
yet; well OK , maybe once or twice.
Hanging the Doors: #2
A Little Closer and We'll
And I was
inside there enough already. Notice that liver spot in the forground?
Now that was a good party.
I finally got the
doors hung with decent reveals all the way around by going very, very
slowly with a hand plane. Basically, I planed and sanded until I couldn't
hear it hitting the bead when closing and then stopped. I also loosened
up the screws holding one of the cabinets together, tweaked it slightly,
then put the back on. Fortunately, I remembered to put the shelves
in before the back went on because they wouldn't fit in there afterward.
What would I do different
next time. If under duress, like the certainty of slow mutilation,
I would hang the face frame on the door, and then put both on the
carcass. Just trying to carry those doors is a pain, and holding them
out of the way to get hinge screws in the stiles was ridiculous. Much
easier to move an opening, which is mainly just a hole anyway, around
Besides, then I could
plane the carcass edges to tweak things if necessary.
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and Clamping Section