Sunday, November 6, 2011

Passage door update

All the passage doors are built with three of them hung in the openings.

Like I said in my last post I decided upon mortise and tenon construction for these doors. Just to give an extra added bit of strength to the joint, I through pinned each joint with two 3/8" wood dowels. The day I needed the dowels ( more of my great scheduling skills), I went over to the wood working supply store to get a few things and some Cherry dowels. The store was out of Cherry dowels, and in my haste to get a door assembled, I decided to make the dowel a design element, and went with Walnut dowels. The dowels all but guarantee the joints will never pull apart, and to be honest with you, I like the dark contrast of the walnut dowel. I think the doors will really pop once I have some finish on them. In order to prevent blowing out the back of the door while drilling the dowel, I clamped a block of wood where the drill exited the door.

The door project has put a serious hurting on my pile of air dried Cherry lumber, and I'm going to have to harvest a tree or two before too long so I can have dry lumber by next summer. I really do not have enough time to air dry by next summer, so I might be building a solar kiln late this winter to speed things up. In order to save lumber, I decided to buy a sheet of 3/4" Cherry veneer plywood, rip the jamb stock off of the ply, then miter the stock back against itself to make it look like a solid board for the jambs. This worked out well ( more of a suggestion from Captain Ted of LTS Builders), and only took me an hour to rip all the plywood, miter all the end caps and glue and nail theme together. All told I fabricated ten jambs in an hour. I used my brad nailer to pin the miter pieces while the glue set up. You will not see the nail holes as I held the nails away from the miter, and my door casing, with its 1/4" reveal, will cover the nails.

The lumber pile is for sure on the down hill side of the ride, so I had to use some pieces that had a few flaws. My biggest concern regarding lumber quality was finding straight grain, and no cracks or checks. The styles and rails are 4" wide, and while it seems it would be easy, finding ten, six foot long pieces, that I could mill into the correct width with no cracks was a challenge. So given those search parameters, I used some pieces with bad knots. A bad knot is what I call a dead branch knot, meaning a dead branch created the knot. Dead branch knots will fall out or have rot around them. I dealt with the knots by routing them out the same way a dentist would remove a cavity, I then filled the excavation with a Dutchman patch. I really like the character the Dutchman patch gives the piece, and like not having to waste wood. I built five doors and I had to make four Dutchman patches.

I'm pre-hanging the doors on my plywood jambs the same way a pre hung doors comes to any building site. I should have the doors hung and cased by the end of the week, then I'll get some finish on them.

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