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Woven Wood Doors, Part V Success!4/13
Part Five - Success!
We set a straight edge (door stile) and a rail at a good 90 degrees to each other to hold things straight as we glued all the blocks together. We used spacers as place holders where there was no block edge. Buttered them up with epoxy, and laid tile for a while. The fit was just right to allow things sliding together with a tap every now and then.
No clamping required since this is epoxy.
The hardest part was keeping the alternating grain correct. We watched each other and avoided a calamity. A panel was built on each bench and allowed to cure overnight. Our benches are carefully leveled and have no twist, curve, bow or defect that can be transferred to the work they build.
The next day, the panels were rigid, though we left them in place on the benches since there was no need to tour them around the shop. No sense tempting fate, eh? The track saw was set up to rip off the protruding blocks on all four sides. A router with a long baseplate was then used to mill a new dado into the edges with allotting cutter, on all four sides. This would accept a spline - the same size as the ones on the blocks - that would also fit a plow in the rails and stiles.
The panels look a lot like a solid wood panel, with all the grain going in one direction. The splines were cross grained and would limit some movement. But in my experience, I have not seen Honduras Mahogany move. I have 13” wide panels on a west facing, small overhang exterior door in the house, and after 12 years, they finally almost crack the paint. Almost.
So - how much room for expansion? This is critical because half the blocks are cut off square and will stop short of landing on or touching the rails/stiles. We opted for a slight 1/8” all four sides - .100”. Top and bottom do not need any clearance, but we thought it best for continuity.
The tenons were milled and mortises made, and we added the stiles and rails to the panels right on the bench. A few clamps, and they were assembled. All familiar ground. Remarkably easy, especially compared to the path we had already trod.
We have about 18 blocks left over. Enough for a 4x4 sample panel that we will oil up and try to keep in the shop.
The next day we sanded the frames, eased edges, cleaned up a little glue. Justin machined for hinges and extension bolts. We loaded them up and took them to the finish shop. We did spend a bit of time congratulating each other and smiling a bit more than usual. Satisfaction is the norm around here, but these took it somewhat higher.
The pair are going into a high visibility restaurant as entrance doors. While I may not frequent the restaurant, I should be able to catch a happy hour and admire our work. No one else will ever know, or be able to appreciate what we go through. Nor will they know the pleasure we take from the work.
Once they are in place, I will post photos in an epilogue.
David, thanks for the documentary. Your workmanship is admirable. In the end, do you feel you made the right choice in aligning the grain in the blocks given that if the material were actually woven as in a splint chair seat the grain of the warp and woof would be opposite?
Nice looking and very unique door Dave!
Nice work Dave I think you're starting to get the hang of this woodworking thing.
You finish before install?
Kevin - I would certainly change the grain directions in the future to reflect the design heritage that would have pieces at 90 degrees to each other, warp and weft-wise.
I looked at the original image (with all grain running vertically) and thought of it as a large panel on a CNC bed - maybe. Since that grain ran the same way, I guess I just picked it up and ran with it.
That is the one thing I would change. I am not sure how it got out from under me. I think I was taken up by all the other niggling things that I missed the forest for the trees.
The effect is still very strong and came out better than I hoped. Sometimes, I beat myself (ourselves) up with these missed opportunities, but most observers will never see the level of detail that we all operator on. I try not to become callous in these judgements in fear of accepting a product that is less than it can be. If something is a bad miss, we will scrap and start over. But that is very rare, and has only happened at the start of the project.
Thanks for all the comments.
Installed photos coming next week or so.
This is by far your best post, this is exactly what the forums were created for, to help other craftsmen and to tease our brains into to thinking that anything is possible.
Thanks for sharing, you have some amazing craftsmen working with you. I realize you absolutely love what your doing, it sure makes it easier when you approach life with that mindset.
Kudos to you and your shop employees, a job well done, can't wait to see the installed pics.
Russ @ Mirror Reflections
Thanks for your time . The doors looks amazing
How is the finish coming? I can't wait to see these installed.
They are going in this week. Commercial work. They had to have the doors by end of March. when they could not decide, they moved it to the end of April. When we wanted to deliver them at the end of April, they said they would call us. That happened a week ago.....
Once in, I have to get a clear shot for photos. I think the grand opening is in 2-3 weeks.