Prefinished plywood and drawers

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Old 03-26-10, 03:58 PM
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Prefinished plywood and drawers

I am building my own kitchen cabinets, useing prefinished maple plywood for the carcasses and drawers, and oak for the face frames and doors. (I love the Kreg pocket hole jig!) The boss has decided that she wants the drawers for the pantry to be curved. They will start out with 8" at the back and then curve down to about 4" at the front. (See attachd drawing)

http://file.walagata.com/w/fubar94/DrawerSide.jpg

The problem I have is the tops of the sides, fronts and backs are to be rounded over, so edge banding will not be an option with these. I've tried rounding some scrap pieces as carefully as I can but there always seems to be some tiny gouges in the soft plies afterwards.

Any ideas on how to avoid this issue or a better way to make them?

Thanks...Randy
 
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Old 03-26-10, 05:06 PM
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I'm not quite sure what you're asking... If you are asking about cutting the parts (in the shape of your picture) or if you're asking about rounding over the top edges after you have the pieces cut out, so as to ease the sharp edges?

What are you rounding them with now?
 
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Old 03-26-10, 05:41 PM
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Ok, I guess my description wasn't very clear. ..sorry about that.

I am going to make several drawers for my pantry, that will have the shape of the drawing that I posted above. Only the sides of the drawers will be that shape. The backs will be 8" high and the fronts will be about 4" high. They will both be straight pieces. The drawers will be made from 1/2" prefinished maple plywood.

After I assemble the drawers I plan to round over the top edges with a 1/4" router rounding bit, both outside and inside, so that the top edges are round, not flat. Then I will finish them with lacquer to match the prefinished sides.

I have been experimenting with some scrap pieces of the plywood to see how it will look when finished, but no matter how careful I am with the router there are tiny gouges in the wood after I am finished rounding the tops with the router.

So, I am just wondering if there is any way to avoid these gouges so that the rounded surface is completely smooth, like it should be. Sanding isn't an option as it would have to go to deep to completely remove them.

This isn't a really big deal. I just thought I'd ask if anyone knows a better way to do it.

I hope this is easier to understand.

Thanks...Randy
 
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Old 03-26-10, 06:41 PM
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I thought that was what you were asking... I'm just tired. LOL

Are you using a round over bit that has a bearing on it? It almost sounds like you're tipping the router, making grooves. Do you have a router table that you could mount the router in? Then you'd run the pieces past the bit instead of running the router over the pieces. Provided you have a perfectly smooth surface for the bearing to run on, you should have a flawless roundover that would only need light sanding.

But if the drawer sides are 1/2", and your roundover is 1/4", are you making a perfectly rounded top on these sides? That probably would create a problem and a lot of sanding, because your pilot bearing isn't running on a flat, level surface. That would make the bit bite more out of one side than the other, and probably would create a line across the top. If so, you might consider dropping back to an 1/8" roundover so that you still have a little flat spot on top. It would be more of a gentle curve, and would still look good.

As an alternative to a big router for something so small, you could use a small laminate trimmer (like the Bosch Colt) for something as small as 1/8" and 1/4" roundovers. They are a lot easier to handle with one hand.
 
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Old 03-26-10, 06:55 PM
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Don't try to do a complete round over it will be a bit flat on top but it will still look good. I would suggest using a smaller round over bit 1/8" or just not use so much of the 1/4". Or, just hand sand it and fill the gaps as they show up. Play around with it til it looks the best. You could use a file to start the round over and than sand it the rest. The other way is to fork out the bucs for solid wood sides. A router bit will create a bit more tear out with ply.
 
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Old 03-26-10, 10:48 PM
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Excellent ideas. I hadn't thought of using a 1/8" bit. I will get one and try it out.

By the way, the experimenting that I was doing with the scrap pieces was on a router table. I tried feeding the piece slow, fast, both slow and fast speeds on the router, and it just didn't seem to matter. I was planning on picking up a new bit to see if that would help, so now I will just get the 1/8" bit and see how it works. I have a feeling that this will work good. I do have the Bosch trim router, which I was planning on using once I have the drawers assembled.

Thanks guys.

Cheers...Randy
 
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Old 03-27-10, 04:58 AM
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Keep in mind that if you try rounding over your edges after the drawers are assembled, that the router bit won't get into the inside corners perfectly and you will have to do a lot of detail sanding on them. Make a mockup of a corner and try to router it so that you see if you mind it or not.
 
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Old 03-27-10, 06:00 AM
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Drawer Sides

Solid wood drawer sides will give you a much better finish when rounding over the top edges. The core layers of plywood are oriented in opposite directions and when the end grain is routed, you get the pull-outs you mentioned.
 
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Old 03-27-10, 10:09 AM
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Ahh, that explains why one side would do it and the other would be fine. I actually wanted to go with the solid maple but I couldn't find a place local that carried it in the dimensions that I need. I'll just have to make this work.


XSleeper, I was planning on doing exactly what you mentioned. I always like to see what the finished product will look like before I begin on the actual pieces.

Thanks guys...Randy
 
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