Arched Panel Doors

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Many of us really enjoy the look of the various arched panel door styles available for cabinetry, but almost as many lack both the expertise in layout, and the patience, needed to do a good job of matching curves on the panel and frame tops as door sizes change across the face of a wall. It may be for those reasons alone that a lot of woodworkers build and install flat top cope and stick doors, when their preferences run to cathedral or other arched styles. It looks difficult to match the upper rail to the curved panel, or vice versa, but it's really just labor intensive. When you move from a 14" wide panel to a 16-1/2" wide panel, the arch curves have different radii, which means that a proportional change exists, and the work is harder. That proportional change must be followed to keep the cabinets from looking as if they were an odd-lots assortment bought from some store that buys leftovers.

There is a way around the complexity, one that speeds both layout and cutting, simplifying the use of arched panel doors for your cabinets with great accuracy and ease.

Frame & Panel Master indexes, centers and clamps the work and template together for machining. The large feed handles provide maximum control and safety. Use the jig and template for both the flush trimming operation and the panel or pattern cut. The tool insures consistent positioning and precise machining of both the panels and frames. It also converts from one operation to the other in seconds. The whole set-up is much quicker than double face taping or nailing the template to the work.

The templates solve the layout problem by doing the layout work for you. Templates are machined on CNC equipment for a precise fit every time. Made of long wearing and dimensionally stable 3/8" thick HDPE (high density polyethylene), each set contains twenty templates designed for 9-1/2" to 22-1/2" wide cabinet doors. The three available sets of templates include a cathedral arch style, a country arch style and a regular arch style--the cathedral arch rises higher in the very center, with two lower run-out sections, one to a side. The plain arch has a lower peak, and is slightly less ornate, while the country arch has a steep rise, with graceful curves leading into the flat top.

With arches so simple to lay out and make, you may well end up experimenting with top and bottom arches on some doors.

The templates are made of a material that’s thicker than others on the market. Thicker material provides much greater bearing support, so the template edge does not distort. Each set of templates includes two sets of indexing fences. One attaches to a panel template. One attaches to a rail template. They center and square your work to the template. 

Use the templates to mark the cut line on the work. After bandsawing the work to size, fasten the template to the work with the Frame & Panel Master. Rout the finished contour on the edge of the part with a flush trim bit. The Frame & Panel Master works to index, center, and lock the template on the work, and provides a set of large safe handles for feed control, making it far superior to other methods of setting up and cutting arches.


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