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Templating - is there a better way?

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tim

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I am going to be making some under stair storage for a client which will look similar to the images below.

As you can see, that whilst not over complicated, there are two different angles to the understair ceiling and there is also a newel base to add another 'fun' element.



and from a slightly different angle:



and with the furniture:






Because all the doors need to follow the lines of the staircase exactly (otherwise it will look odd), I need to be sure of replicating that angle exactly. For this, as I have in the past, I would make a template out of ply strips that can be bolted, marked, disassembled and reconstructed as required in the workshop. It does work well but I'm wondering if anyone has a smarter, slightly less (what appears to me) Heath Robinson affair.



For completeness, the small end is 500mm and the highest point is just under 2 m. All the doors are hung on the right (facing) to clear the slope and the wide panel is to get around the newel post without making everything too (visually) busy. Its only a panel - the cabinets are wider inside than the door width.

Any ideas gratefully received.

Cheers

Tim
 

MikeW

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Hi Tim,

The only way I've been able to do something similar is after the boxed-in portion covering what I assume are stairs is completed.

If it is completed (unsure from the message) or after it is done, one can build the cabinet in the shop from the measurements and allow enough extra at the top for scribe fitting on-site the areas which hit the boxed-in portion. As well as the last portion being attached the angled "rails" which fit to the boxed in work.

This would mean the portion that fits against the walls/angled portion is a faceframe that extends above/beyond the edges of the cabinet proper.

The doors would be made a bit over-sized or a snug fit and trimmed after the cabinet is in-place, squared up and leveled.

Kind of like an entertainment center built-in to fit a prescribed space.

Hope that was reasonably clear. I seem to be having a difficult time communicating today (ask my clients <g>).

Mike
 

tim

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Mike

Not sure if I do understand you.

The top two images are as it is now ie an open space below a boxed in staircase. The furniture I am making is the stuff in the second two images which comprises cupboards with shelves, some hanging space and filing drawers.


I understand about leaving space, scribing etc but what I am wondering is whether there is a better way of replicating the angles of the staircase so that the door frames and doors will match. Any site fitting of these will obviously alter the angles and so will look strange.

Cheers

Tim
 

Chris Knight

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Tim,
I reckon you have the best method already. Anything less "Heath Robinsonish" would likely be based on measurements and rods (story sticks) which, unlike your method, do not replicate the full size and shape of the space you are dealing with.

I think I might wish to pin as much as possible on site - given the constraints imposed by needing to transport the frame back to your shop - using a nail gun. I find that a nail gun is ideal for fixing a framework without disturbing it whereas screwing it together can, because of the tendency of the screw's rotation to move one part or the other. I use one a lot for making quick, throwaway tee squares and other angled guides etc.

By pinning it in site you reduce the chances of a small error creeping in when assembling your template back at the shop.
 

tim

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Chris":2m1p133l said:
given the constraints imposed by needing to transport the frame back to your shop
I think thats the problem - otherwise I would. When I have done this before I have pinned the joints with a couple of staples that just join the parts and then run a couple of screws through each intersection. I also mark reference lines on each of the pieces so that I know that they all line up on reassembly.

Cheers

Tim
 

Adam

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Only other thing I can think off is to lay a sheet of plywood or similar underneath, (possibly marked with a grid), and then dropping a plumb line, and measuring the height, and position on the plywood. However its likely just as timeconsuming, difficult on your own, and maybe sjubect to error.

Adam
 

garywayne

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Tim.

I get the feeling that I'm going to look real dumb after this.

I don't no what you mean by facing? I get the impression that you are hanging the doors with the hinges on the long side of the doors.

When I last done this, I had to shape the extreme top of the door to allow room for the top rail to clear the frame.

Putting the hinges on the short side eliminates any alterations.

I hope I have not poked my nose in where it's not wanted.

ATB Gary.
 

simuk

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Gary you wont look dumb mate your right :D . The top of the door will catch the frame on the leading edge if the doors are hung on on the long side & the door sits inside the frame . Need to have a straight top rail at least part of the way for the doors to be able to close.

Simon
 

Adam

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garywayne":1yx0jaco said:
Putting the hinges on the short side eliminates any alterations..
Surely as the door opens, it'll hit the staircase if its hinged on the short side? From the picture, it appears to be inset somewhat, and has a potential to not open fully as the top points of each door will strike the underneath of the staircase?

Adam
 

Adam

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Are you going to use hinges to allow the doors to fold fully back? It looks like it could be hard work getting into the small cupboard.

Adam
 

garywayne

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Good point Adam. I new I would miss something.

That means Tim will have to shape the inside of the top of the top rail so as to miss the frame.

ATB Gary.
 

tim

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The top part of the door frame is bevelled to clear the frame. It doesn't need to be too severely shaped to clear it especially when using concealed hinges because they automatically throw the door forward a few mm before the rotation starts.

I've done it before as shown below (although detail is not that clear). The point is that even without a side frame to hide the bevelling, you really can't see it.









Adam, you are right about the bottom cupboard and it will have 170 deg hinges, plus its only going to be used for low usage stuff.

Cheers

Tim
 

wizer

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Awfully sorry to thread hog. But this is my next planned big project (building under stair storage). I'm afraid i'm lost as to what you mean by "I would make a template out of ply strips that can be bolted, marked, disassembled and reconstructed" I understand the why, but not the how?

Also, I seem to be drawn to 'built-in' furniture at the moment. Anyone recomend a good book on the subject. There are a few titles out there. Just wondered if anyone has come across a particularly good one.
 

tim

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Wizer

Its easier to see than explain (but here goes). Basically all that you are trying to do is create a replica of the shape that the furniture will fit into so that you can effectively reconstruct the understairs (or whatever) in your workshop.

In this instance I will use some 18mm ply about 100 mm wide (dims chosen to ensure rigidity) and will cut them on site to fit the various wall dimensions. They won't be scribed to fit because I want the whole angle rather than an exact replica of each individual lump and bump. However if there was for example a big bow in the ceiling which would materially alter the dimensions then I might take that into account.

Each piece is long enough to overlap the adjoining piece so that they can be fixed together with at least two screws (to prevent any rotation).

I have amended the pic from above to show some of the separate pieces in different colours with some fixing points.



It is frankly a pain to do but necessary because this is a client's house and it is also 30 mins from my workshop. If it was at home, which I imagine is what you are talking about, then I would be much more comfortable to use a bevel gauge and try a couple of angle cuts on offcuts, offer them up and then use them for a guide for the making process. Or you could use thick cardboard and do the same but again this is only really suitable for sites near the workshop.

Hope this helps.

How did that happen? :? I asked about better ways to make templates and then ended up explaining my (not so brilliant way). Happy to help though Wizer so please don't think you shouldn't have asked.

Woody, Jason: how do you do yours?

Cheers

Tim
 

wizer

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Thanks very much for explaining that tim. Makes sense now. Clever way of doing it really. I can see how it can be a pain tho.
 

RogerS

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Just a thought, Tim, but those nice people at UK Marble in Hereford have large sheets (8x4) of templating plastic sheet that can easily be cut with a knife. You could cut one off to the height of the lowest point, then with an erstwhile colleague hold it vertical and the mark a scribe line on it. The stuff is very, very stable (and can be rolled up).

Roger
 

tim

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Thanks Roger - I've got to go in there next week about another job so I'll ask. The only prob is the 'erstwhile colleague'. How thick are the sheets?

Cheers

Tim
 
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