Grain direction opinions?


Denette
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I'm making a modern-style sideboard/entertainment center thing.  I've got it pretty much figured out, the design is pretty simple, but I'm torn when it comes to grain direction.  The front is divided roughly into thirds.  The center third has two drawers (over & under) that will have solid front panels with the grain running like you'd expect - horizontally.  Those doors are flanked by doors on either side, and these doors will also be solid wood - not a frame & panel.  The doors will be almost square - 14"x14.25" roughly.  Convention would say to orient the grain vertically on the doors, but that would also have the weird effect of making it perpendicular to the drawers, which are at the same level.  I sketched it up.  Traditional orientation is on top, alternative orientation is on bottom.  Personally I'm leaning toward lining up all the grain parallel, since it's one of the defining traits of modern furniture that it has simplicity and looks clean, and to me I feel like making it all look and feel like one continuous grain pattern across the front would help in that.  Just thought I'd pick the brains of the think tank.  

936636762_ScreenShot2019-03-22at2_25_51PM.thumb.jpg.d6d0c01bc5bc7a0b109f7bc30724bc4a.jpg

1039862182_ScreenShot2019-03-22at2_34_37PM.thumb.jpg.e06423df624347a0fd1669631dd0f429.jpg

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You might try a sketch which shows horizontal grain on the drawers [as your description specifies].  That may help you decide.  My vote would be for vertical grain on the doors.  There is another way to do solid wood doors that is both contemporary and more stable: each door would be constructed with a horizontal rail  [each about 1 3/4 wide] at top and bottom and with a couple of seven inch wide vertical pieces of wood between.  When door is assembled a gap of 1/8  is left vertically in the center [so that expansion is accommodated] and then the rails are glued to the panels only at the outer 3 inches at either side [which allows for shrinkage as the centerline 1/8 gap can grow a bit.

This type of door can be easily done with 1/8 splines, or biscuits, or a combination of both.  The beauty of this design is that the outer dimensions of the door remains constant and the doors stay flat both of which are areas of concern with simple, solid-wood slab doors. 

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Thanks for the feedback!

So, problem #1 is that my SketchUp model was stupid - I rendered the grain of the drawers the opposite of what it will be.  The drawer grain will run horizontally, contrary to the image.  Oops.

With that in mind, I’m taking some advice from another user and making my doors vertical while the drawer fronts are horizontal.  Since it’s not all continuous grain from ya same board, lining it up in parallel would only emphasize that I used different boards; making them perpendicular would hide the mismatched grain better and not detract from the overall design.

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  • You have already decided. So, my 2 cents worth is only worth 1 cent. But, here it is anyway. Make the grain all go the same way regardless if it is vertical or horizontal. The horizontal and vertical dividers with mask the lack of matching grain either way. Looking at the last sketch, the end panels and drawers all have vertical grain. Having the grain of the doors going horizontal looks like a mistake.
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On 3/22/2019 at 6:09 PM, wtnhighlander said:

Want to be the coolest kid on the block?

Make it all at 45*.

I thought of that, too.  Might be interesting to model.  I was thinking of a chevron, but not sure how that would come together on the drawer fronts.

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On 3/22/2019 at 6:09 PM, wtnhighlander said:

I third the motion - all drawer and door grain in one direction.

Want to be the coolest kid on the block?

Make it all at 45*.

Neat idea!  If I didn't have all my materials already almost there, I'd totally do it.  As it is, this project is from leftovers from a previous large cherry project and I haven't spent a penny on the wood - I'm running low on materials, haha.

Also, I feel like I should mention that the photo I posted yesterday is of a dry fit - those gaps are NOT final, haha.

 

Anyone have any strong opinions on solid wood cabinet doors that are basically just edge-glued solid cherry?  Because that's the plan.  I've been told it could pose a movement issue, but, at the same time, it'll be in my own house and I could just take the doors off and trim them down as needed if there is a problem when the sweaty days of summer cause expansion.

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Ooh, just realized something else, too!  Since I'm wanting to have just simple solid wood doors on knife hinges, I'm going to have to have the grain run vertically like a normal door panel - that way any movement would not upset the hinges by binding them tighter or pulling them looser.  If I put the grain so that movement will occur along the width, the worst that could happen is a tight door in the summer or a wide gap in the winter, but if I were to put the grain so that expansion occurred vertically, I could blow the case apart if I were careless -Tricky tricky!  I feel like my question was silly now.  Always learning.

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5 hours ago, Denette said:

Anyone have any strong opinions on solid wood cabinet doors that are basically just edge-glued solid cherry?  Because that's the plan.  I've been told it could pose a movement issue, but, at the same time, it'll be in my own house and I could just take the doors off and trim them down as needed if there is a problem when the sweaty days of summer cause expansion.

Nice looking project.

These doors are 2" wide vertical veneer strips over solid material. I'm not totally pleased with it, but there have been no problems.

 

FlipDoorOpen.JPG

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  • 2 years later...
On 3/25/2019 at 1:59 AM, Wimayo said:

Nice looking project.

These doors are 2" wide vertical veneer strips over solid material. I'm not totally pleased with it, but there have been no problems.

 

FlipDoorOpen.JPG

Hi everyone, does anyone know what hinges are used to hide the drawer front up inside like that? Do they have a specific name?  I'm really new to all of this and this is exactly the type of thing I've been looking for for my TV cabinet idea.

Many thanks in advance.

J

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@JCP, it is probably known by another name in Europe. However, the essence of it is little more than a pin in a groove. It isn't difficult to create a shop-built solution. Imagine the door as a flat drawer that slides into a flat pocket. A dowel or pin at each top corner prevents it from pulling completely out, and provides a pivot point for it to swing down against once extended. Also, the bottom edge of the 'pocket' must be cut back by the thickness of the door so it can swing down.

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On 5/24/2021 at 4:31 AM, JCP said:

Hi everyone, does anyone know what hinges are used to hide the drawer front up inside like that? Do they have a specific name?  I'm really new to all of this and this is exactly the type of thing I've been looking for for my TV cabinet idea.

Many thanks in advance.

J

Those upper doors are a shop design that consists of a horizontal slider on rails that are level with the top of the opening. The doors are then hung on piano hinges from the leading edge of the slider. You just lift them up and then push them back along the slider rails. Barrister book case doors work in a similar fashion except they use mechanical hardware. I think the mechanical ones that you see in kitchen cabinets are referred to as "flipper doors". Here is one link:

https://www.sugatsune.com/product/flipper-door-mechanism/

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On 5/24/2021 at 3:31 AM, JCP said:

Hi everyone, does anyone know what hinges are used to hide the drawer front up inside like that? Do they have a specific name?  I'm really new to all of this and this is exactly the type of thing I've been looking for for my TV cabinet idea.

Many thanks in advance.

J

I think they go by two names in US. 1st flipper door slides and 2nd pocket door slides. 

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25 minutes ago, Wimayo said:

Bradpotts. Sorry to disagree. I believe that flipper doors slide up into the top. Pocket doors slide into the side. Not sure, but I think the mechanisms are different.

FLIPPER DOOR SLIDES

Accuride offers slides for cabinet-level pocket (vertical) and flipper (horizontal) doors. These doors either retract into the cabinet or (as in the 1145 and 1155) above it. A pocket door is taller than it is wide, and opens outward. A flipper door is wider than it is tall, and lifts ("flips") open like a garage door. These retractable openings allow for easy access to contents and keep doors from being in the way. Some models of Accuride slides support both pocket and flipper doors. (See product descriptions for more information.)

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