How do we make curved doors and units?

6th February 2020

curved kitchen cabinet

Nothing says ‘luxury’ like beautiful curved corner cabinets, or a semi-circular end to an island. It’s the ultimate in modern but classic kitchen design. But how do we get the wood to bend? And how can we ensure that all the curves are the same, so that doors shut, everything lines up beautifully but it’s all still as strong as you’d expect?

The secret is in the layers. All curved doors, units, and kickboards are made from sheets of 1.5mm plywood which we glue together in multiple layers. This allows the finished panel to bend when pressure is applied, because each of the layers slides slightly against its neighbour as the curve takes shape. The curve is formed using a powerful vacuum suction bag into which a ‘form’ is placed, with the plywood sheet lying on top of it. As the air is sucked out of the bag, the plywood slowly moulds to the shape of the form. It usually takes 12 hours for the plywood to set into its new shape, but once it’s set, there’s no going back, so we need to make sure we get it right first time!

Each form is made especially for the client’s needs – the most unusual we’ve done are units that gently curve in a continuous wave, all around the room. You can see more photos of this stunning kitchen on our Case Studies page.