A Big Front Door

Laying out the curve

When I saw the cathedral pattern on this board, I knew I needed to use it as a solid door on the front of the case. 

After looking through my collection of grandfather clock photographs (what do you mean you don’t have a collection of grandfather clock photos?) I decided to use an overlay door. I roughed out the height & width about 1/2″ oversize to compensate for the 1/4″ rabbets I planned to cut around the perimeter.

To lay out the curve, I traced the opening onto a piece of paper, taped the paper to the door, and traced around the curve with a compass set to 1/4″. This gave me, more or less, a line 1/4″ bigger than the curve while preserving the outline.

The curve was cut on the bandsaw and cleaned up with a combination of bench chisels and good ole’ sandpaper. I used a shoulder plane to cut a 1/4″ x 1/4″ rabbet on the sides and back. The rabbet on the curve was cut mostly with chisel work.

It took a little fiddling to get the door properly fitted in the opening, but it now fits properly, with a little extra to allow for wood movement. Now I just hope it doesn’t warp.


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