After discussing with the client, they agreed to give me artistic freedom on the door design. I spent some time working on the frame components of the individual door frames , and I've progressed as far as fitting the door frames into the carcase for test fitting. The door frame components, rails and stiles, are joined with conventional mortise and tenon construction. My natural inclination is to have the stiles on a door frame extend top to bottom of the door and I usually don't think twice about this. Borrowing a page from James Krenov and one of his older designs, I decided to instead extend the top and bottom rails the full width of the door frames instead. The lines become horizontal now rather than vertical. I'm also going to set the vertical stiles back a fraction to provide a shadow effect and give the appearance of horizontal lines running continuously across the top and bottom of the doors.
It is preferable to make a mock-up of the door frame configuration but I did the next best thing and drew the new design and applied it directly to the carcase of jewelry armoire as in the previous photo. I'm taking a blind leap of faith at this point and basing the success of this modified design on a photo of an existing, but different cabinet along with my modified drawing.
At this point, I like the lines of the door frames and panel area and have decided to proceed and prepare the figured maple raised panels. I need to be judicious with this step as the reveal around the raised panel and the door frame needs to be uniform on four sides of the panel. I'm also implementing a cool rabbet between the door frames to have them overlap and not reveal a gap when the door frames expand and contract with seasonal change in humidity and temperature.
A photo of the figured maple door panels will be posted next, after I rabbet the edges and begin to fit them into the door frames. I'm kind of excited at this point and am looking forward to what the completed doors on the carcase look like. It's easy to rush things when anxiety sets in, and patience is a great virtue during some of these delicate and accurate fittings. Steps need to be followed in the correct order before the doors are glued together. Early on when the sketching of this armoire began, one of the proposals was to have one piece veneered doors. A good design alternative, it allows the full width of the individual doors to feature a nicely figured veneer without frame components taking away from the space. Another small advantage is the increased dimensional stability a multiple ply substrate with veneered surfaces provides. I'll be exploring this technique in future designs.