Author Topic: Wicker door inserts  (Read 1064 times)

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Wicker door inserts
« on: November 15, 2021, 10:39 AM »
I am going to try my hand at using wicker in place of the center panel on a linen cabinet.  There are lots of articles on Ikea Hacks where the center panel is sawn out and wicker is stapled in from behind.  That is not what I want to do. 

I want to use my router to route a groove around the perimeter of the opening and use a reed spline to lock the wicker in place.  I've watched videos and I think it is within my capabilities.   Here is an image showing the type of work I am describing. 

Cabinets made like this are priced in the thousands of dollars.  I think it looks rich.

My problem is that I will be painting the cabinets.  Do I cut the grooves before paint or after?  How do I protect the finish if I cut it afterward?  Perhaps I mask the slot and paint first?   I am afraid that when I remove the masking it will leave a ragged edge that will be highly visible. 

Or paint it and clean up the groove afterwards?

I will cut these on the router table. 

Also, I usually use 3" nominal (2½" wide) rails and stiles and assemble with stub tenons.  For this application I am thinking of using 4" wide and using dowels.  The appearance of the rails and stiles should still look like they are actually 2½" wide because the rattan will cover close to 1" of the inner dimensions. 

I would normally poplar for painted rails and stiles, but I think maple would be a better choice here.

Is there anyone with experience in this process?

« Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 10:47 AM by Packard »

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Online afish

  • Posts: 736
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 06:13 PM »
Well, I have never made doors like that but can can say the common solution to your painting the groove issue is to find some rope or cord that fills the groove but not overfill. Based on the photo it looks like paracord size to me.  line the groove with the rope, paint and then remove. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2021, 11:04 AM »
Thanks.  I will ask the same question at a painting site.  I'll post the information I get.

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 493
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2021, 12:16 PM »
I have done some doors with wicker and splines, but they were not painted, they were stained and clear coated.

I cut the groove and then finished without masking the groove. The problem with masking is some of the edges of the spline groove will show, and you run the risk of exposing an unfinished edge if you mask. 

I think it is better to allow for the finish when you cut the groove, but that can involve some trial cutting and finishing.

With the clear coat it goes hard very quickly, but some paints can stay soft for quite some time and that will make it hard to install the panel without damaging the finish.

I would soften the edges of the groove slightly to make them more durable and less likely to chip during the spline install.

I would suggest a small trial run to work the bugs out.

Good luck with it.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2021, 12:47 PM »
Thanks for that information.  I will try it myself and if I can't get the results I like, I can either revert to shaker style doors or I can have the local antique restorer do the work.  But I suspect that the cost from the restorer will be obscene.  So we will see.

I will paint the cabinet this weekend and try to get the door frame assembled too.

I think if I spray on an acute angle very little will get into the groove.  After it dries I might have a go at cleaning up the groove. 

I was thinking of using some adhesive-backed sandpaper on the edge of a wide putty knife and lightly sanding off any offending paint. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2021, 02:53 PM »
The feedback I got from the professional painting forums was a "spitball".  A good guess based on years of experience, but no specific experience with wicker.

He suggested that I first prime and paint the door.  Then apply a very low tack masking tape (I will probably use Frog Tape Delicate Surface tape), to protect the surface and then use my router table to cut the groove.

Then remove the tape and apply a very light coat of the finish color to deal with any minor scratches.  The light coat should not build up substantially in the groove. 

It sounds like a good strategy to me.  And it will be my first attempt.

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 493
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2021, 07:51 PM »
That sounds like a good plan. I do like the look of the wicker, and it is a good option for audio cabinets that need some ventilation. You may find a use for your new skills on another project.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2021, 09:12 PM »
I think it will also be good for a linen closet I am going to build. I think the towels will benefit from ventilation.

Unlike chairs, where the wicker is under a good bit of stress, I think the wicker doors will have a long life.

And I agree, it seems like a good skill set to have.


Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6477
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2021, 09:48 PM »
I’ve done the back mount wicker. It does a hold up well when used for doors.

Your application, I would cut the groove, nylon rope in the groove, finish, cut along groove edge with razor blade, remove rope.

Once you have the wicker set, you need to wet it, once dry it will tighten.

This cabinet is meant for towels also.

Tom

Online afish

  • Posts: 736
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2021, 08:11 AM »
 [popcorn] Personally, Im wanting to see how applying tape to a freshly painted surface and routing it goes.  Sounds a little like a nightmare to me with multiple possible issues but I guess well see.  Not sure which "professional" painter gave this advise but who knows, maybe I'll learn a new trick. 

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6477
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2021, 08:29 AM »
The way it is splined in place in the op picture, you could do an L or T moulding to hide any router damage, (which I don't think you'll encounter).

Tom

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 851
Re: Wicker door inserts
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2021, 08:37 AM »
I ordered some Frog Tape, delicate surface masking tape.  It is their lowest tack tape.

Because there is no need for a panel groove, I will assemble using dowels. 

I will pre-paint the frame.

I will apply the Frog tape to the front surface.  I don't have to cover the entire surface and I don't need to seal out any paint.  I only need to raise the surface of the paint so that it does not contact with the router table.  So I will not burnish the tape into position.  Just light pressure.

I will then router the groove and clean up the corners with a chisel. 

Then one light coat of paint.  And the wait a week for the paint to cure.

I got a price from a furniture restorer for installing the wicker:  $270.00 to $290.00 plus tax.  ($292.00 - $314.00).

The materials and shipping are under $75.00.  (Under $50.00 if I can find it locally and save the freight.)