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Maximum wardrobe door height

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Avery

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So here goes. Can you knowledgeable and experienced folk help me with an unanswerable question? How annoying I know.
Trying to make decent money as a furniture maker is a struggle at the best of times (not a question about money in the end but kind of I guess).
Especially when your wardrobe doors you've spent time and money making and are now fitting have bowed again.
In fact I've met a few who have finally thrown in the towel over wardrobes and presumably wardrobe doors.
So I've learnt over the years not to make my doors talker than 1800mm. These are about 560 wide and 21.5 thick. I use tulipwood and now southern yellow pine which after 2 or three wardrobes stays more stable than tulip for just a bit more money ( getting painted later as is the trend).
I'm adding a 120mm mid rail or larger to help with the stability but I've already made a library panel wardrobe for the same client and this one is supposed to be simpler. She won't take no for an answer no matter how many times I say I never go taller and she likes the look of 3 doors not 6 (when the top box has its own door).
So long and short.... Here goes... In your experience how much will I regret (on a scale of 1 to 10) making my doors 2120mm tall in the above dimensions?
Will this be the straw that broke the camels back.... Stay tuned to "angry furniture maker with bendy door.." ..
 

Cabinetman

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Like others I have sworn never to do a wardrobe again, I think the best you can do is choose the timber for the frames extremely carefully and go with quartersawn, certainly for the uprights. You say you’ve had them bowed? I have found in the past it’s more likely to be twisted. On a plus point they are to be painted so you could use any timber, not sure but somebody on here will tell us what the most stable timber is likely to be.
I’ve never tried it but could it be worthwhile reproducing the moisture content of her house to acclimatise the timber before you start to work on it, then select the straightest, at least then you will know that it’s unlikely to move after fitting. Ian
 

doctor Bob

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I make my doors 27mm thick with a 9mm panel on shaker and 12mm (rebated) on a profiled door.
The thicker the panel the better for keeping doors straight.
I'd quite happily make 2100 and bigger.

If I'm making a 2 door wardrobe I always check the middle meeting styles have the same shape, you only need a 1mm bend one way and the other door 1mm the other way and your starting with a 2mm discrepancy.
 

clive griffiths

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So here goes. Can you knowledgeable and experienced folk help me with an unanswerable question? How annoying I know.
Trying to make decent money as a furniture maker is a struggle at the best of times (not a question about money in the end but kind of I guess).
Especially when your wardrobe doors you've spent time and money making and are now fitting have bowed again.
In fact I've met a few who have finally thrown in the towel over wardrobes and presumably wardrobe doors.
So I've learnt over the years not to make my doors talker than 1800mm. These are about 560 wide and 21.5 thick. I use tulipwood and now southern yellow pine which after 2 or three wardrobes stays more stable than tulip for just a bit more money ( getting painted later as is the trend).
I'm adding a 120mm mid rail or larger to help with the stability but I've already made a library panel wardrobe for the same client and this one is supposed to be simpler. She won't take no for an answer no matter how many times I say I never go taller and she likes the look of 3 doors not 6 (when the top box has its own door).
So long and short.... Here goes... In your experience how much will I regret (on a scale of 1 to 10) making my doors 2120mm tall in the above dimensions?
Will this be the straw that broke the camels back.... Stay tuned to "angry furniture maker with bendy door.." ..
Well mr Avery.

I will watch this post with interest as in a few weeks time I will be making a pair of wardrobes for my youngest son and daughter in law, i purchased the timber (tulipwood) a month ago and it is kept in a spare room that we have until used, the ceilings in their house are 2.6. high.
Watch this space.
 

clive griffiths

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Well mr Avery.

I will watch this post with interest as in a few weeks time I will be making a pair of wardrobes for my youngest son and daughter in law, i purchased the timber (tulipwood) a month ago and it is kept in a spare room that we have until used, the ceilings in their house are 2.6. high.
Watch this space.
Forgot to say they want full height doors the timber is around 32 mm (sawn) plus medite 9mm medite mdf. for the panels.
 

doctor Bob

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Forgot to say they want full height doors the timber is around 32 mm (sawn) plus medite 9mm medite mdf. for the panels.
I buy 1" 1/4 tulip which in new money is about 33mm. Keep it as thick as possible, I machine up loads at a time on a 4 sider and find 27mm a good standard. The thicker you can keep it the better.
 

dzj

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So long and short.... Here goes... In your experience how much will I regret (on a scale of 1 to 10) making my doors 2120mm tall in the above dimensions?
Good advice above.
Tell the client that you'll happily make the doors as tall as they like, but you can only guarantee they stay straight if 1.8m or less.
No regrets that way.
 

REN

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Hi, I’ve had trouble in the past with wardrobe doors bending. Recently I had to make a wardrobe that was full height which also needed to be deconstructed in case I moved house. I went for light weight Japanese style sliding doors. They have so far, touch wood, not bowed. Maybe worth considering?
 

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RobinBHM

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I make my doors 27mm thick with a 9mm panel on shaker and 12mm (rebated) on a profiled door.
The thicker the panel the better for keeping doors straight.
I'd quite happily make 2100 and bigger.

If I'm making a 2 door wardrobe I always check the middle meeting styles have the same shape, you only need a 1mm bend one way and the other door 1mm the other way and your starting with a 2mm discrepancy.
Pretty much exactly what I used to do.

Although I sometimes used to buy a mix of 32mm and 38mm tulipwood - as getting 27mm out of 32mm is a bit tight.

I always ordered in plenty of material and made a fuss about it being selected as "must be flat"

In my experience flat boards stay flat and bowed boards even if flattened seem to curl again.
 

Avery

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These are all great answers to the unanswerable question.
And i was going to use the "touch wood" gag but you beat me to it. Nice ash wardrobe by the way. very delicate .....and straight.
I have posted some irrelevant pics basically because i found the attach button at the bottom. Some of those caused some heartache....
Point taken about twist versus bow. Yes with wardrobe doors we are dealing with both and dont forget cupping.
tulipwood especially prone to all 3. ive found myself cutting , waiting, planing, waiting and planing again. and again.

So ive managed to convince ,( no deposit yet but im still designing and will send the design and quote later today.) my client that a bottom drawer with the frame and panel drawer front along the bottom will not only be useful but it will look good too ( and also neatly solve my wardrobe door height problem). Nicely done eh? Yes i chickened out, but ive had bendy tulipwood doors before and after you have paid for the materials , done all the work, man handled up 4 flights of stairs while paying a helper, levelled up the plinth...well you know the rest ...once bitten....
So im off the hook this time and i think ive dodged yet another bullet so i live to fight another day.

So points taken . An mdf panel (is mdf which ive banned from the workshop-but 6mm panels are allowed) is far better than birch plywood as ive noticed the birch itself can be bent and surprisingly stiff which just exacerbates the problem.
Although im married to 21.5mm thickness for this type of work its true to say the thicker the timber a) the more you can plane off and find that straight piece within and b) The more stable it will be once it finds its emc. ive been known to nuy 32mm tulipwood . it works if you are lucky but its more work , more waste , more time and less money in your pocket.
Ive moved to southern yellow pine and had better results. Im going to stick with it for now.
Putting the timber in the clients house for a few months is a lovely idea and would allow the timber to acclimatize . In my experience its not practicable.
Timber selection. Save yourself a headache and just bin the bendy bits. Or use them for short rails if you dare. Ive seen tulip bend massively off the saw. I guess the size and speed of growth of the tree allows a lot of stress to be locked in. which releases as you cut it and thereafter.
quarter sawn would be ideal . Personally i buy boards to cover so i have to use what i get, its a smart move to keep an eye out before and as you cut and save the outer boards for long stiles where the growth rings are more perpendicular to the face . probably will mess up your cutting list a bit but worth the effort. Or buy twice as much as you need and keep the tangential cuts for something else.
Thanks for all the messages. I think i may have learnt something . Its always a conversation worth having with you knowledgeable folk around.
Right , procrastination over, id better get back to that designing, ...right after I make a cup of tea....
 

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Avery

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oh yes and a 9mm panel from mdf is a fantastic idea. MR mdf. The green stuff. which you can assume will be flatter and stay flatter in time.
right NOW im going to work....
 

Cabinetman

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You’ve been doing some nice work Avery, you seem to be the wardrobe man, I found that beds can be profitable. Ian
 

Chippysu

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So here goes. Can you knowledgeable and experienced folk help me with an unanswerable question? How annoying I know.
Trying to make decent money as a furniture maker is a struggle at the best of times (not a question about money in the end but kind of I guess).
Especially when your wardrobe doors you've spent time and money making and are now fitting have bowed again.
In fact I've met a few who have finally thrown in the towel over wardrobes and presumably wardrobe doors.
So I've learnt over the years not to make my doors talker than 1800mm. These are about 560 wide and 21.5 thick. I use tulipwood and now southern yellow pine which after 2 or three wardrobes stays more stable than tulip for just a bit more money ( getting painted later as is the trend).
I'm adding a 120mm mid rail or larger to help with the stability but I've already made a library panel wardrobe for the same client and this one is supposed to be simpler. She won't take no for an answer no matter how many times I say I never go taller and she likes the look of 3 doors not 6 (when the top box has its own door).
So long and short.... Here goes... In your experience how much will I regret (on a scale of 1 to 10) making my doors 2120mm tall in the above dimensions?
Will this be the straw that broke the camels back.... Stay tuned to "angry furniture maker with bendy door.." ..
I feel your pain! I've also done the convince the client to have bottom drawers which is a bonus but use bottom sliders. You say they'll be painted, when I get asked for full height ones which will be painted I, (and detest using it on the whole,) make an mdf door 18mm, then plant a false frame on & around it. Put hinges maximum of 600mm apart & 100mm in from each end. "touch wood, or rather compressed evil formaldehyde laiden board" that works for me. Let us all know what you do if you get it. 😊
 

doctor Bob

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Sounds like you are buying terrible quality tulipwood.
Today, I've machined 20 cu ft of 33mm rough sawn into 45mm rips and the biggest deviation I have is 5mm over 2.7m.
two passes on the 4 sider and they will be like arrows.
 

John15

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For me this has been the most interesting woodworking subject for over a year. More like this and I'll start joining in again.

John
 

Avery

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Looking at your oriental wardrobe again it's interesting because I had a client a few years back who asked for some stepped wardrobes to be arts and crafts and/or oriental in inspiration. I went for Ash and sapele. I'm not sure why I made that choice but it looks like you came to the same conclusion. I'll post a photo of it tomorrow.
So in the end I quoted for a a 3 door wardrobe with a large drawer in the double below the door and a single below the single. 2320 floor to ceiling. 120 plinth. 100 cornice I forget exactly but 1800 for doors and 300 ish for the drawer height. Deep drawer for jumpers and stuff. I bought medite for the panels and 32mm southern yellow pine for the shaker style frames. Hettich 4d (is there 4 dimensions?) runners. The silent assassins. I havnt had the go ahead yet but I've bought materials anyway as lead times are long at the moment. I've other jobs lined up anyway. I never have enough birch ply, timber, runners, hinges, etc. Having materials stored... It's money in the bank as far as I'm concerned but that's a different conversation. I'll let you know how I go.
 

Avery

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wardrobes wardrobes wardrobes and more wardrobes.
 

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