How to Build Radius Cabinet Doors

What You'll Need
Hardwood with a Straight Grain
Bending Form
Rotary Tool
Wood Clamps
Circular Saw or Table Saw

Replacing cabinet doors can revitalize the appearance of a kitchen without the cost of a complete remodel.  DIY radius cabinet doors provide the look of a new kitchen at a fraction of the price.

Step 1 - Choose Your Wood

Use a quality hardwood for this project, such as Cherry or Oak.  These woods will hold up well over time, and work well for your cabinet doors.  Make sure the wood complements the look of your kitchen, and choose a stain or finish that matches any existing fixtures or hardwood flooring.  Staining and sealing will occur after you have finished building the cabinet doors, and before they are installed.

Step 2 - Measure and Cut the Cabinet Doors

Radial doors are excellent at creating a finished look in tight corners.  If your cabinets already have radial doors, you can use the measurements of the existing doors to determine how much wood will be required for the replacements.  If the cabinet doors are to be installed on new cabinet fixtures that are designed for radials, measure the length and height, plus the desired overlap for your cabinet door and hinges.  Remember to measure along the curve for the horizontal measurement, and to get slightly more wood than you think you will need. Take the measurements to your local lumber yard or hardware store, or use a circular saw or table saw to cut the wood at home.

Step 3 - Bending the Cabinet Door Panel

Use your rotary tool to round the edges of the panel to your desired specifications. Even edges are essential to the final look of the cabinet door, so take your time with this step. Measure the curved radial of the door, and choose a bending form that matches the specifications. Attach your cabinet door to the bending form with the clamps, and tighten slightly. This process will take many days; tighten the door slowly to insure that it does not crack or chip. If you have access to a steam tool, this can also help to speed the process. Once your door is in the proper shape, drill holes for your hinge hardware in line with where you want the hinges to meet the cabinet.

Step 4 - Stain or Finish

Once your door is completed, you can apply a stain or lacquer to the cabinet door before installing. Use a fine-grained sandpaper and smooth the wood after the varnish has dried—be sure to wait the time recommended on the varnish label.

Step 5 - Install the Cabinet Door

Once the finish is dry, the cabinet door is ready to install.  First attach the hardware to the door itself, and then carefully line the door up with the cabinet itself and install the hinge at the marked location.  Be careful not to over tighten the screws, and use screws that are the appropriate size for your cabinet door.  You may use wood glue on the cabinet door by the drill holed to reinforce the hinge if desire, but be sure to let this dry before completing installation.  Open and close the door to check the alignment, and stand back to admire your new radial cabinet doors.