Curved Panels Made Easy
With a vacuum press and 7 tricks, beautiful panels are in the bag
Synopsis: Browse Michael Fortune’s gallery of furniture and you’ll quickly know that he’s an expert on curved work. His method for creating a veneered curved panel uses a veneer press and a shopmade bending form. Ribs, spacer blocks, and a cover sheet make the form strong enough to withstand the vacuum’s pressure and serve as a jig for routing the ends of the panel square. Fortune’s tips for perfect curved panels include using the vacuum bag to make the bending form itself, putting together a cross-grain sandwich for a rigid panel, using the form as a template to trim the ends, dialing in the edges with a digital gauge, banding the edges, and applying the face veneers one at a time.
Furniture with curved panels stands out from the crowd. But common approaches to making them are imperfect. When made from solid wood, either by…