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Building a Small Entertainment Center

Building a Curved Cabinet

Having completed the top and bottom blanks, it's time to get started with the base. Our base will be almost 4" tall, and set back to serve as a toe kick. I used a method which makes fastening it to the cabinet quite simple. Making a number of 3" squares, and fastening a vertical piece to it using glue and screws, will provide the fastening points for the base material. Tip: Notice on the curved areas, the vertical piece extends beyond it base. This prevents the 3" wide square from interfering with the curve. The curved areas are 3/4" bendy board, and the straight areas are 3/4" ultra light M.D.F. 

 
 
 
 

Installing kick base glue blocks  Completed toe kick 

Using 3/8" bendy board, I start the process of installing the cabinet carcass to the top and bottom. Tip: Using blue painters tape will prevent the sides from becoming glued beyond my line. Using yellow glue and staples, I work my way along the piece, keeping any buckles from forming, and also making sure it is flush with the bottom. Tip: Leaving the bendy board a bit long makes getting a tight fit at the end point. This will be trimmed off later.

Installing the 3/8  Installing the first Layer of bendy board

The second layer, is bending plywood, instead of bendy board. I used the bendy board on the inside layer, due to it's smoothness. This will allow me the option of painting the inside of the cabinet. It is visible inside the cabinet. Bending plywood is very rough, providing a good surface for the glue to "bite". This brings the thickness to the desired 3/4", is fastened in the same method, with the addition of Urea Resin glue. The glue is rolled onto both pieces. This time working from the center towards the end, fastening the edges with both screws and staples. Using "Bondo, all the screw holes and chipped edges are filled and sanded.

Urea Resin glue applied between laters  Fastening with screws and staples  Filling the screw holes with bondo

After the glue and bondo dried, I cut the ends of the bendy board to the desired point. Tip: It is much easier to cut it a little long, and plane it to the line. Holding a circular saw on a curved surface, and cutting a perfectly srtaight line would take a lot of time, and would also be quite difficult.

Planing the edges  Ripping a straight edge on the ebony veneer  Cross cut jig

Preparing to add the Ebony veneer for the kick base, I sandwiched the veneer between two pieces of plywood to prevent splitting the edges. I then used a cross cut jig to cut the pieces to rough length. The pieces were then glued with Titebond II and allowed to dry. The base of the cabinet was also glued, and permitted to dry. The pieces of veneer curl up when the glue is applied, but will flatten out when the glue is dry. A good indicator of when the parts are ready to be ironed on.

Chip free veneer  Yellow glue applied to the parts Dried pieces flatten back out

Using an edge banding iron, the pieces are iron on. Once the glue is heated, the veneer is rubbed with a block of wood, or a roller, making certain of a good bond. It's easy to tell if you have any unbonded areas by tapping on the veneer. If it sounds solid, it's bonded. If it sounds hollow, or makes a crackling noise, reheat the spot and apply pressure to the spot. It's important to take your time and get nice tight joints between the veneer.

Gluing the kick base  Ironing on the veneer pieces  Planing the edges on the curved sections

The edges must be cut flush with the substrate. On the straight areas, a laminate trimmer and flush trimming bit work well. On the curved areas a plane is the best choice, due to the kerfs in the bendy board.

Back To pg. #1  Continued pg. # 3

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