conundrum

About to give up...

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We are looking to do a major remodel in a few months. As part of that the kitchen is getting gutted, expanded and rebuilt including all the cabinets. I've concluded that building the cabinets is easy enough to do and I should be able to deliver much better quality than buying them in our price range. Plus it's a great justification for a new tool or two (grin).  I've played with some door designs and finally came up with one my wife likes. But after playing with it I'm not sure if I can easily make them. So I'm throwing it out here to our knowledgeable base in hopes that maybe I'm just missing something and there is a way to make these.

Here is a picture of the doors I've played with. We've settled on the top one with a light wood, in this case Birch with a clear finish. I will also be doing the inlay of Purple Heart around the frame. The biggest issue right now is the descending top area of the door. I have a CNC carving in there which we really like and it looks good for all the top cabinet doors.

I bought a set of router bits to do the frame and those work well for the basic square. However, the part that descends is a real problem. I can cut one side of it using the standard frame router bits and then I can re-saw it on the bandsaw so it just fits on top of the inside panel. I then end up with a half circle of sorts that can glue right in to the top of the frame. But it needs to have a Ogee type edge on the descending part to look good. I don't know of any easy way to put the little half circle through a router consistently to make that. Then I have to get it resawn and glued in right to ensure there is no air gap underneath it between it and the center panel of the door.

Looking at other cabinet doors I don't see any with a descending oval like this and probably for a good reason. After playing with almost everything to figure it out I'm now considering ordering in doors and then adding the inlay around the border. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Any thoughts?

20160403_113246.jpg

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The one in the picture is actually pre-new router bits where I was just using an Ogee bit with it assembled. The corners are now square and fit nicely. Most of the nice doors I see have raised panels which also would be an issue. Leads me back to perhaps ordering in pre-made doors, adding the inlay and forgetting the carving. I talked to several custom cabinet shops and they all order in their doors and drawers - They say that it's cheaper and better quality than they could do in-house.

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I agree with Mike...rethink the design.  And keep in mind that the more risks you take with a design, the more likely you'll absolutely hate it in six months.  These will be a part of your house and you'll have to look at them and interact with them on a daily basis.  I hate my kitchen and it's a terrible feeling, but when I finally get to tear my cabinets out, I won't have to deal with the pain of destroying what I built.

It's always safe to keep it simple.  I strongly urge you to rethink all that flair.  Rails, stiles, panels...make them well out of nice wood and you'll be happy for years.

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I'll second Mikes aesthetic judgement. While the design has interest, a whole kitchen full of those doors is just going to be a mess.

The routed corners beside the curved carving need to be squared up as well. Rounded routed edge on a squared corner just looks awful.

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I was wondering what other would say.And I agree too many design elements.

I was thinking does he really like working with Birch.I haven't use it that much and found it it be kinda squirrelly wood very unpredictable.It is nice looking and have eyeballed it at Petermans. Always looks like a pile of large bananas.Good luck.

1 hour ago, Eric. said:

I agree with Mike...rethink the design.  And keep in mind that the more risks you take with a design, the more likely you'll absolutely hate it in six months.  These will be a part of your house and you'll have to look at them and interact with them on a daily basis.  I hate my kitchen and it's a terrible feeling, but when I finally get to tear my cabinets out, I won't have to deal with the pain of destroying what I built.

It's always safe to keep it simple.  I strongly urge you to rethink all that flair.  Rails, stiles, panels...make them well out of nice wood and you'll be happy for years.

Aj

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Hmm lots of good thoughts. I get it. Now I just need to sell it to the wife. Sounds like my best bet is to have the doors made. I have a friend with a cabinet shop - they do really high end stuff - and he can get them done at an amazing price. Then I'll just focus on the cabinets themselves. The only reason I aspired to do the doors is because they were so custom but if that's toned back...

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I know these designs look cool but couldn't even think about keeping them clean. All the nooks and cranny's after a few months of cooking. The grease will settle in and you will be forever scrubbing.  I don't mean to rain on your parade but unless this kitchen is just a showroom I'd stick to something simpler.

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FWIW...I recently bought cabinets for my basement that I'm in the process of finishing.  After doing the math - and factoring in labor hours - it simply wasn't worth it.  We got a whole "kitchen's" worth of cabinets for just over 4k, and they were pretty nice.  I have way better things to do with my time than build kitchen cabinets.  Boooorrrring.  Food for thought.

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I did my own cabinet doors a number of years ago. 20 of them and the way kitchens go the most you can hope for is two that are the same so every time you do a couple you have to kind of go through a new set up.  I am glad I can say I know how to build doors but I would pay to have them done in the future.  Also make sure when you think you are going to do it cheaper remember all the hardware.  You can damn near spend more on that then the price of the lumber.  Kitchens are a some what closed in floor plan and all that design in the door can get pretty busy pretty quick.

 

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I don't know what the underside of the carving looks like, but if you have a groove for the panel, you could cut a panel that would fit and raise the panel edge with a bearing guided panel bit, even around the curve. Having said that, you need to know that the large panel bits can be dangerous! Take multiple very small cuts and make sure that if the panel gets grabbed by the bit, your fingers don't get dragged into the bit. Fingers don't look good with an ogre profile..... Think about a way to make a holding and shielding jig. A smaller panel raising bit would be good too.

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One possibility is to order the doors but with a wider top stile on a few then you can put them in your CNC and add the carving after you get the doors.

FWIW, on the oval.in your design - the only way I know to make that joint is to do what your doing with a router and then go in with chisels and carving knives to create the finished angle. That is not something I am skilled enough to do, but I am sure there are guys who can do it

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