Raised Panel Barrel Arch Doorway

Advice on grain direction, panel construction, and more for a custom door arch. December 14, 2009

With things a little slow, we're updating our showroom. We have a 20" thick wall with a doorway in which we'd like to create a raised panel jamb. We'd like to try doing the jamb in panels with an arched top. With the sides having the grain in the panels running vertical, does it change to horizontal when getting to the arched portion? Thanks for any help with this.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor G:

From contributor L:
It would sure be easier to do the panels if the grain went the short way, but alas, I concur - contributor G has it right, I think. If you're doing this to keep busy, must really be slow.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Any recommendations on creating the panels in the arch? Would you use a 10/4 material or such and bandsaw the panels?

From contributor L:
I'd bandsaw the panels if I were doing it. And if you make the panels fairly short on the curve, this will reduce the chord. I draw all of this stuff full scale, three views. Makes it pretty easy.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Yes, we've been slow for the last two months, but this gives us a chance to try some of the things we haven't had time for in the past 5 years.

From contributor D:
These can be done in shop veneers, cold bent laminated to a form, with a bit of overbend to account for springback. Plan your plies and panel raise to hide the laminations.

From contributor C:
I would probably resaw boards matched for color into thin enough plies to vacuum bag to the desired curve. Pretty routine. Use a vertical panel raise bit with a jig for simplicity after the curved glue up. The vacuum jig is the most work. Flat is certainly easier.

Call Walzcraft; they do this every day. I would have to start at about 2 hours labor per panel without seeing your dims.

From the original questioner:
We're probably going to end up bandsawing the panels. I'm curious, though. With the 20" jamb, we're ending up with about 16" wide panels. How would you resaw and glue up the thin plies? Do you joint each layer together before going to the press?

From contributor L:
What I'd do to produce veneers is purchase them from a veneer supplier as a portion of a flitch so they're grain matched. That size is no problem. If width was an issue, you could always run an additional rail down the center and cut the panel size in half. That said, I'd still band saw the panels out of solid if it were me. I assume you're raising the panels. I wouldn't want to see glue lines.