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Tight curved cabinets - what to use?

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  • Tight curved cabinets - what to use?

    Need to built a curved cabinets. The back where the cabinet is rounded, is around 4" in diameter. 1/8 hardboard will not bend that tight without breaking. What else can I use that is thinner and more flexible but can be a good cabinet material in multiple layers. Need to built up to 0.5 inch.

  • #2
    I never found any traditional material that would bend that tight. I have small diameter bends in quite a few cabs, using Schedule 40 PVC pipe. For example:
    www.billfitzmaurice.com
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    • #3
      Would this work?

      Ron
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      • #4
        Bendy MDF would work...

        http://www.rockler.com/1-4-neatform-bendy-mdf

        http://www.atlantictimber.co.uk/flexible-mdf.html


        Shawn

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        • #5
          Go to a friendly carpet shop, they have often got cardboard tubes 4-5" in diameter. You can veneer the outside & paint or varnish the inside(no water-based stuff).
          To cut it, make a right-angle holder from a couple two-bys, and use a table saw blade w/at least 88T. I have used 'cover sheet' to build up(2-ply flawed stuff they use to protect veneered sheets at lumberyards) but it's far from perfect & you need backed veneer if you use it. But you might use it bare for a prototype you won't be finishing.

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          • #6
            How about a 'sacrificial' or 'backing' veneer? I think it can be purchased in different thicknesses. You'd be using the grain parallel to the curve on all the layers, though... but with substantial glue between each joint, I suspect it would be pretty strong. 7-8 layers would probably get you to 1/2" depending on thickness of the veneer. Maybe make a form out of a piece of PVC pipe of the proper size?
            I have never done this, but have thought about it, and thought it might work.

            Another idea is strips of 1/2" thick wood at shallow angles to make the curve with multiple layers of wood, kind of like a barrel (without the 'belly' in it), which could then be sanded to make the 'flats' round. That may be easier to do than the above idea.

            Whatever you do, I'd love it if you would post some pics, I've never done a curve that tight and would love to see what works for you.

            TomZ
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            • #7
              Have you looked into bender board? It's actually 1/16" and/or 1/8" plywood fabricated for building curved surfaces. I've used it to build tighter radius sections of speaker cabinets. Another option I've used is a variation of strip building, commonly used to build canoes/kayaks.

              The thickness and width of strips can be adjusted to suit your patience and willingness to fair surfaces. For interior/non-water based uses wood glue is a completely adequate substitute for epoxy used in boat building. Googling strip building and bender board will provide you with numerous examples and ideas.

              Good luck with your cabinet project and I hope this helps.
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              • #8
                Great ideas all.

                Bendy mdf has a minimum radius of 6 inches, unfortunately an elipse of over 6 inches raius ends up in a huge midsection, suitable for a 12" woofer but just too much for an 7-8 inch woofer.

                Tapese seems to have 2ply veneer which might work, but gets expensive very quick. Will look for backer veneer.

                Bender board looked promising but I see only 4" strips... Are wider strips available and good source for it?

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                • #9
                  There is a product called "wacky wood" which is flexible plywood. Made by aligning all the plys in same direction so it is stilff in one direction but flexible in the other. Not sure if it can do a 4 inch diameter however. Here's one supplier.
                  http://www.boulterplywood.com/FlexiblePlywood_4.htm

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                  • #10
                    Take a look at the URL below. The Aircraft Ply maybe just what you need. No idea of cost or availability though....

                    http://www.winwood-products.com/eng/...le-plywood.htm
                    If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead.
                    ~ Johnny Carson

                    Bungelow Ed's Photo Album http://techtalk.parts-express.com/album.php?u=8594

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                    • #11
                      Maybe layers of heavy mat board, for matting pictures. Hobby Lobby has a nice selection of it. Also on the cardboard tube suggestion, shipping tubes, most UPS and FedEx shipping location have them.
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                      • #12
                        If you search for curved plywood products, some of these are half round 4" diameter.

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                        • #13
                          In my car audio days we built curved cabinets with MDF using the kerf method, many kerf cuts on the inside of the curve. If your google - kerfing MDF a bunch of good info comes up. It is not as difficult as it looks.

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                          • #14
                            Ani, if you are interested in building a structure vs. bending layers, PM me.
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