Week 4 – Doors

Version 1 of the Mediastinum mockupThis was a challenging but great week in the project.  Not much happened in terms of woodworking but some major design decisions occurred.  The original mockup of the project had a set of swiveling drawers at the top of the cabinet and two doors at the bottom.  There was much debate about to keep the grain patterns properly aligned between the door and the drawer and how much effort and risk that involved.  There was also debate about how to keep the curvature of the door and the drawer consistent, as there could be slight changes in the shape of the door fronts versus the drawer fronts over time as the drawer fronts would be captured by the drawer sides and completely unable to change while the doors might change.  I seemed to have two options.  Option 1 requires me to perfectly align the exterior veneers of the doors and drawers during each glue up with little trimming or waste along with a lot of luck that the doors and drawers would maintain consistent shapes as they were being constructed.  Option 2 would expose the partition used to support the drawers and use it to provide a transition between the drawers and doors that I could use to hide any disruption in the grain pattern or disguise any difference in the shape of the doors and drawers.  Neither of these options was appealing to me.  I didn’t want to rely on good luck for the success of the project and no matter how I mocked up the divider between the top drawer area and the bottom door area I could not stop the project from looking like a layer cake or ice cream cone.  While lamenting my conundrum with the ever helpful and wise Todd Sorenson, he me if I had considered just having two doors and get rid of the drawers all together, then I would not have any of these problems.  I thought for a minute and decided I would rather trade these problem in for a new and different set of problems.  The swing-out drawers are gone!

Version 2 of Mediastinum mockup

With that monumental design change out of the way, I was ready to start making two doors.  I decided where I wanted the doors to break from the cabinet and cut the curved plywood cores that I made last week.  I glued the curved sycamore edge bands to the top and bottom of the door cores and trimmed those flush.  I then glued straight sycamore edge bands to the front and back edges of the door cores and trimmed those flush as well.  I spent the next day squaring up the doors so that the faces ran plumb and the orientation of the curve was true and identical on both doors.

Door cores with edge captured edge bands