Wave Cabinet Woodworking Plan

Wave Cabinet Woodworking Plan

Acoustic vibrations were the inspiration for this CD and DVD cabinet, or rippling soundwaves at least! This is a time-consuming project, which requires many evenings spent gluing up laminated wavy shapes, but the results are worth it: a curvaceous one-off that is sure to grab people’s attention and attract some compliments. The doors are each made from seven identical panels consisting of layers of plywood topped with cherry veneer. So, show off your woodworking skills by making this laminated beauty.

Wave Cabinet Woodworking Plan
Wave Cabinet Woodworking Plan



• Table saw, planer, and thicknesser (or buy prepared wood)
• Sliding compound mitre saw
• Bandsaw
• Router and 10 mm (3/8 in) straight cutter with a guide bearing at the tip
• Spokeshave
• Smoothing plane and block plane
• Crosshead screwdriver
• Cordless driver, screwdriver bit, and twist bits to suit dowels, shelf pegs, and fixings
• Orbital sander, 80-grit, and 600-grit sandpaper
• Pencil, ruler, tape measure, and try square
• Three sash clamps and six G-clamps
• Iron
• Wood see drawing – maple, birch plywood, maple iron-on edging veneer, cherry veneer; offcuts for former
• Door hinges of your choice: 6, with screws
• Knobs and catches of your choice
• Shelf pegs to suit your requirements
• Fluted dowels: 48 x 6 mm (1/4 in); 16 x 8 mm (5/16 in) for feet
• Cam-dowels: 8
• Plugs and screws for fixing to the wall
• PVA glue, water, and cloth
• Paper for lining former
• Finishing oil and wax
• Oiling and polishing cloths



1. Making the original curved shapes of the former from offcuts

Use the glid on the drawing as a guide to plotting out one side of the curved shape on a piece of wood Calculate the thickness of the lamination by stacking the layers (1 paper, 1 veneer, 2 plywood, 1 veneer, 1 paper). Mark this thickness at Intervals of 10 mm (3/8 in) or so to one side of the curve. Draw a smooth curve through these points. Cut out the two curved shapes and smooth them with a spokeshave.

2. Duplicating the shapes

The curved shapes need to be duplicated and stacked together to make a former that is a solid block of nine shapes. Draw around the originals and cut out the shapes, leaving about 1-2 mm (1/32-1/16 in) extra material all around. Make a baseboard with dowels as shown, drill location holes in all pieces and use the route: and bearing-tipped cutter to trace around the original shapes.

3. Gluing the former together

Arrange the clamps and practice clamping the shapes together to make the two halves of the former. When you are ready, apply glue and reclamp. Check that the block is square and flat (the pieces may slip out of position) and make adjustments as necessary. Wipe off excess glue with a damp cloth.


4. Laminating

Add scraps of plywood to one-half of the former as shown to prevent things from slipping. Prepare the door panels: 1 layer paper, 1 layer veneer, 2 layers plywood, 1 layer veneer, 1 layer paper. Place the glued layers, with paper on either side, in the former. Tighten the central and then the side clamps.

5. Trimming the door panels

It is important that the curved panels are perfectly square and identical in size. Start by planing one of the long edges flat and smooth. Use the bandsaw and parallel fence to remove the waste on the other long side. Plane down to the finished width and check that the edges are parallel. Cut off the ends with the compound mitre saw.

6. Making the dowel joints in the door panels

Make a simple drilling jig from wood and scraps of plywood as shown above: this guides the drill and produces holes in the same position each time. Use the same jig at each corner and for all the curved panels (the top and bottom panels of each door do not need drilling in the top and bottom sides) Glue and clamp the doors, checking that they remain rigid.


7. Making the carcass

The carcass is made from plywood joined with cam-dowel fixings. Mark out the wavy front edges of the top and bottom pieces (use a door as a template) and cut out on the bandsaw (keep the waste for clamping on the edging veneer) Glue strips of edging veneer to the exposed plywood edges of the carcass and shelves. Mark the locations of the cam-dowels and drill the holes.

8. Completing the cabinet

Drill holes for the adjustable shelving – to suit your requirements. Make feet with beveled edges as shown. Fix the feet to the bottom panel of the cabinet with four dowels. Assemble the cabinet and hang the doors. Fit the handle and catches Disassemble, sand the surfaces smooth and round over sharp edges. Apply on oil and wax finish, and reassemble.


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