Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Calculus Interruptus

Yes, I'm still working on the doors for my workshop, but I'm also trying to organize all the things I've accumulated for far too long.

Do you ever feel like you've lived a few lives in your lifetime?  This is from my days as a university student at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON about 30 years ago. These are just a few of a pile of study cards I had written to help me remember some of my Calculus terms and equations:

The good old days... unfortunately, in all honesty, I can't remember how to do any of it now.

Believe it or not, I miss it.  Do YOU have a previous life?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Making Interior Pine Doors - Part 6: the large door

This is Part 6 of a series that starts here

Gluing the large door stumped me for a while, as I tried to figure out the order of gluing the parts together.

Because there is a center stile (vertical piece) and that piece has tenons on each end, I have to glue that center stile into the top and bottom before I put the two outer side stiles on.

After much thought, this is the order I glued the pieces together.

First I glued the two right-side rails to the center stile as seen here in red:

Then I glued the two left-side rails to the center stile as seen in blue:

This was really getting unwieldy and my clamps were not long enough, but I hooked a few together to get the parts glued.

The next step was to glue the top and bottom rails on, seen here in green:

Now, I could slide in the panel pieces to one side as I did with the three smaller doors:

And then glue on one side stile as seen in orange:

After this, I glue the other side in the same way. I don't have any photos of this door in glue-up mode, most likely because it was a big struggle and I was frustrated.  But anyway, it worked out well.


Next I will hinge and hang the doors!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Making Interior Pine Doors - Part 5: the glue-ups

This is Part 5 of a series that starts here

Now that the parts of the doors are ready for gluing up there are a couple things to do first.  

Because the tops of the doors will have plexiglass panels as "windows" I need to take off one side of the groove I made.  This will allow the window to sit in from one side.  I don't want to glue the plexi window in the door just in case it gets broken sometime and trapped in there.  So I will take off half of the wood and then put the plexi in and fill in around the edges with small wood strips.

Hard to explain, but I want to get to this:

And I'm starting with this:

So I will put the plexi in and trap it like this with the small strips:
To get rid of the extra piece (the one side of the groove) I use my router table.  First I mark the starting and stopping point of the place where the window will sit and then take off the wood with a straight bit in my router.  I use two passes, running my door stiles and rails along a fence and taking off the wood just where the openings will be.

 * If there is anything you don't understand, please don't hesitate to ask me for clarification.  Some of these steps are hard to explain in writing *

The other thing I need to do is to finish my panel pieces. Because they are solid wood, they will be expanding and shrinking with the seasons and therefore need to be coated independently of the doors. As I said previously I would not use these 3" pieces again for this application.  A piece of plywood would be much easier, plus it does not change size and could therefore be glued into the doors.  I put five coats of wipe-on polyurethane on all these darn pieces.

The first glue up is gluing one side only, so the four rails (horizontal pieces) are glued into one side stile (vertical piece):
I do add the other stile as well when I glue up but without glue on that side, this keeps the door aligned well while the glue dries on the one side:

Now that the door is half glued, I have slots for the panel pieces to fit into:

I slide the finished pieces in, one at a time from the unglued end:

Then I can glue the other stile on and pull the door together with clamps:

Here's just one of the four doors drying:

After the glue is dried I run my orbital sander over the door rails and stiles.  When YOU do this, pay attention and do not fall off the edge of the door rail, or you will take off some of the poly that took so long to apply!!!:

Okay we are getting there, next time, gluing the big door and adding hinges...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making Interior Pine Doors - Part 4: the parts go together

This is Part 4 of a series that starts here

Before I cut my rails to length I make sure the exact size I need.  I won't go into the fractions, etc, because no one will have the same sizes as I have anyway, but it's important to check that the doors will fit the opening with the hinge and a space between.

I laid my pieces out before putting the tenons on the ends of the rails.  I also made sure my pieces of "panelling" would fit into the grooves in the rails.

Here is one of the rails with the haunched tenon ready to go.  With this orientation it would go on the top, the bottom edge is grooved, but the top edge would not be grooved:

It fits into the door stile and the grooves line up.  I am putting a plexiglass window in the top, I'll get to that next time.

Here is a middle rail, it has tenons on both ends, and grooves on the top and bottom edges. (The middle two rails on each door do not have the haunch, that is only on the top and bottom rails)

This shows how the middle rail sits with the panel pieces fitting into each side:

 I put it all together in a "dry run" to see if everything fits okay (not so easy for one person).  I use my long clamps and pull it all together gradually.

Here it the first door propped in place (with the horns still on the top and bottom)

It was nice to see this progress, but I still have much more to do...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Making Interior Pine Doors - Part 3: the haunched mortise and tenon

This is Part 3 of a series that starts here

My pine is all ready to go. Knotty Pine is difficult to work with because there are often holes and cracks in the knots.  I try and work around that as much as possible, but I love the look of pine, and I feel the knots just add character.

For the panels in my doors I was going to put 1/4" pine faced plywood. In my local city I could not find 1/4" ply that had two good sides which I need for the doors because they are seen from both sides.  Instead I bought tongue and groove pieces to fit in the panelled area. These pieces are 3" wide and 8' long, used for walls mostly. I would not use this again for this application as it was a lot of extra work preparing the pieces.  Plywood is a MUCH better product and I should have looked elsewhere or special ordered it.  

So, I'll get to them later, but these pieces for the panels are just under 5/16" thick, so the rails and stiles that contain the panels need grooves that are 5/16" wide.  
I set up the dado blades on my table saw to cut the grooves which are 5/16" wide and 5/16" deep.

For the 3 regular doors I need to cut grooves as shown in red here:

So the top and bottom rails need a groove on one edge only.  The middle rails need grooves on both edges.  The stiles need a groove down one edge only. For the larger door, there is an additional center stile that needs a groove on both sides.

Remember the top and bottom rails are wider at 5 5/8", all other rails and stiles are 5" wide.  This has to be kept in mind when putting the grooves in the pieces.

All the pieces have the appropriate grooves in them:

Now on to the haunched mortise and tenon.  This joint gives stability to a large door, especially one with panels that are not glued in.  My panels are not plywood, but solid wood and therefore must be left to expand and contract with the seasons.

The tenon is supposed to be about 2/3rds the width of the piece.  The tenon cannot go too near to the top or it will not leave enough wood in the mortised piece.  The stile is mortised to accept the tenon on the rail and of course if the large mortise is too near the top of the door, there will be no strength there. The haunch is left at the top (as seen in the photo below) to fit into the groove of the stile that I just did on the tablesaw.

First I make a sample haunched tenon with a scrap piece of wood milled to the same thickness and width as the top rail. Using my tablesaw and a wide dado set, I take off an equal side depth from each side of the scrap rail to leave a tenon thickness of 5/16" thick. The width of the tenon is 2 1/2" so I set the fence at 2 1/2" away from the far left of the blade and take as many passes as needed to get the faces of the whole tenon cut away.

After that I cut the small piece off the top to make the haunch.

Using this piece I take another scrap piece substituting for the door stile and mark the width of the tenon on the edge of it where the groove is.  I clamp two pieces of wood firmly on my drill press so that my stile can fit between them and actually slide side-to-side when drilling. Then I drill out using a 5/16" wide bit to a depth of 2 1/2". I find it the best to drill a hole each end of the mortise and then drilling between those holes, since this keeps straight sides on the deep mortise. (Although this does not show the right-hand side hole drilled, I did drill it before I got any farther.)

Now, will it fit?

* If possible when cutting your stiles, for strength while mortising, it's best to leave a bit of extra length past where the mortise will go, these are called "horns" and can be cut off later *

Here are a few pictures to show the fitting of the tenon into the mortise:

 Here you can see how the haunch part at the top fits into the groove, but not into the mortise:

Ta da!!

So then the horn would be cut off:

And leave this at the top (or bottom) of the door:

Enough for today, hope you are still following!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Making Interior Pine Doors - Part 2: the MATH

This is Part 2 of a series that starts here

For the opening between my front room and the larger workshop part, I have about 56" across.  I have decided that I just want to use the left door (when looking into the workshop) on a regular basis and have the right door bolted shut most of the time. That way, just for going in and out, I will use the one door.  When moving larger objects I can easily use both doors.  I'm making two equal sized doors, each with three equal sized divisions.  So each door is about 28" wide.

Here's a basic sketch, not to scale:

For the opening between the workshop and the garage, it's 70" wide and didn't appear to be a good size for two equal sized doors because they would be too wide at 35" each.  So, I decided to make the left hand door (when looking into the garage) a regular size and the right hand door with almost double the width.  The middle rails will all be the same lengths, but an additional center stile will help join the rails. So not actually double, but the interior panels will be the same width on the right hand larger door as on the left hand narrower door. I'll show how I figured these amounts later.

Best explained by another sketch:

These doors will open into the garage so that they do not block the lumber rack to the right and stocking it.This is the doorway that I will move furniture in and out of and also bring in my lumber supplies.  As with the other door, for most day-to-day uses the right side will mostly be bolted shut, but can easily be opened to allow for a wider passage.

As you can see from this photo, if the doors opened into the shop (towards the photo), the right hand door would block the flow of bringing in new lumber to the lumber rack.

Okay now that I've explained my thinking in the design... it's time to do the math.

(I love Mathematics... LOVE. MATH... had to say it...)

I am going with stiles, the vertical pieces, at 5" wide.  To figure out the rail sizes (horizontal) I just take the total widths of the door opening and "take away" the number of stiles involved.

NOTE:  These are all approximate numbers and I will take into account the spacing for hinges on each side plus a middle gap.

So... for the first doorway, the stiles take up 20" of the 56" so there is 36" left, which means the rails are approx. 18" each (plus the length of the tenons on each end.)  But 18" will be showing.

For the second doorway, there are now five stiles, which take up 25" of the 70" width.  

We have three sections for the 45" left, not two, so each of the rails will be 15" wide (plus the length of the tenons on each end.) So 15" will be showing.  Now because the bottom and top rails INCLUDE the middle stile, I am talking about the middle section rails that are 15" showing.  

I hope I haven't lost any of you.... here this might help:

Whew!  Fun!

These doors will be made with 4/4 ("four quarter" or just over 1" thick), 6" wide rough pine that I will joint, plane and cut up.  The maximum thickness I can get out of it is 7/8" so that will be the thickness of all my stiles and rails.

For the top and bottom rails on each door I am going to make them a bit wider at 5 5/8"  This is the widest amount I can get out of my 6" rough pine to leave me with straight edges. The stiles and other rails are 5" wide. 

I will make tenons at 2 1/2" long, so this will add 5" to the length of all my rails.

The next thing I do is make up a cutting list.  This gives me the quantity of pieces of each size.
I can then sort through my pine and figure out what pieces I can get out of each length.

For the first set of doors I will have 8 rails and 4 stiles, for the second set I will have 10 rails and 5 stiles.  All of this is set out on the cutting list. (I always cut each piece a few inches longer, just in case!)  I'll talk about the panels another time, for now we'll just deal with the rails and stiles.

The next post will be on getting all the pieces cut...