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Pie in the sky or doable?

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GweithdyDU

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HI, folks. Just joined the group so please see my 'hello intro post for a background of my skill levels and approach to making things. I am an OK steel fabrication chap, pretty good in fact, and am a dab hand at site joinery (nails, plates, screws and lap joints but not so good with the aesthetic side of woodwork. I used to be OK at woodturning. Anyway, I wish to improve my skills and to that end intend to add a bench-router and a hand-held one to my tool collection as I'm usually good with powertools. What I want to know, is am I being unreasonable in expecting to be able to make doors similar to the picture attached. Obviously I'll be starting with something less ambitious but would like to be in a position a year from now being able to be reasonably confident I can make 5 internal doors for my house. The problems I foresee are the curved sections at the top of the door and stopping the planks from warping. Please ignore thickness dimensions, they are going to be a bit thicker than that. As a reasonably ok DIY'er in most things that I do (welding to building cooking sewing, paint-spraying, carpet fitting, plumbing etc.) thus-far, am I being unrealistic? Sory the image is not the right way around, I did try to solve it Many thanks all

IMG-20210709-00747a.jpg
 
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Dee J

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Given your confidence in a whole range of skills I can't see, given enough practice, that you couldn't make the doors OK. Biggest issue will probably be getting decent quality timber and getting it stabalised to your house conditions. Does it say painted on your drawings? If so, and if your doors are more aesthetic than they are a woodworking practice then I'd be tempted to layer them up out of manufactured sheet material rather than solid timber - for cost and stability...
 

GweithdyDU

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Thanks and interesting, I hadn't though of doing that but it has merit, certainly. Yes I do intend to paint them and with oil-based paints. I am concerned about environmental issues and have planted over 2.000 trees on my land, refuse to fly etc-blah, will take electric cars etc-blah, but modern gloss/satin alternatives are just rubbish and need redoing almost yearly. Well applied oil-bound will last decades on an internal low-wear surface. Happy, nay desperate to hear I'm wrong though.

I know a good few woodsmen and women ('woods-people' just sounds odd, even to this Diversity Practitioner!) so may have access to some Welsh hardwood timber and am felling my big Ash tree (dieback, grrrrr) so I don't know if there'll be anything good from that. Where you thinking to make both the rails and the planks from manufactured wood or just the rails? My house is not damp anywhere but we do live in a high rainfall/low-cloud are and the hardwood backdoor has never warped although it does have a closed porch protecting it from the worst weather (soft wood door but that shrinks in the summer rather than bulges in the winter! Thanks again for your response.
 

baldkev

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The routers are worth it. You'll be able to increase your abilities fairly quickly. One of your first projects will be to make a router table.... this will be a massive help in the long run.

As said above, if you get the timber in your house so it acclimatises before you machine it, it should be fine. Some people acclimatise, machine to within a couple of mm, put back in the house for 2 weeks, then go for final machining.

If you are looking to use newly cut timber, it'll have to dry out and settle. Green timber can move massively as it dries and the fibres find their new shape ( you cut up a tree and a whole ton of internal stresses can get released, so it can move a lot. If you are looking to use using newly cut, you'll have to store it somewhere dry for a while ( like months or maybe a year ) . A lot of people paint the end grain of cuts with pentacryl or pva etc to seal the end grain so the timber dries slower, reducing the chances of splitting etc. I dont have much info on the best practice....
 

GweithdyDU

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Thank you , all very useful information. I'm happy to use re-purposed wood if I can find it, but am concerned about below-surface nails and the like, wrecking tool-edges.
 

johnnyb

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just to say large joinery like this can and has been done solely with handtools. but I find many cheaper tools aren't meaty enough for bigger stuff. I'd consider having a joiners shop at least size and flatten the larger members and give yourself a chance. I also found door and window joints difficult to picture mentally until you've made a few dozen( seemingly simple but often complex.)
 

Dee J

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Thanks and interesting, I hadn't though of doing that but it has merit, certainly. Yes I do intend to paint them and with oil-based paints. I am concerned about environmental issues and have planted over 2.000 trees on my land, refuse to fly etc-blah, will take electric cars etc-blah, but modern gloss/satin alternatives are just rubbish and need redoing almost yearly. Well applied oil-bound will last decades on an internal low-wear surface. Happy, nay desperate to hear I'm wrong though.

I know a good few woodsmen and women ('woods-people' just sounds odd, even to this Diversity Practitioner!) so may have access to some Welsh hardwood timber and am felling my big Ash tree (dieback, grrrrr) so I don't know if there'll be anything good from that. Where you thinking to make both the rails and the planks from manufactured wood or just the rails? My house is not damp anywhere but we do live in a high rainfall/low-cloud are and the hardwood backdoor has never warped although it does have a closed porch protecting it from the worst weather (soft wood door but that shrinks in the summer rather than bulges in the winter! Thanks again for your response.
Wasn't thinking so much about how dry your house is, more how stable or not your wood is. If making from sheet materials I'd disrupt the whole design and plant fake frames onto a door size panel. But if you've got a supply of well seasoned local hardwood then that's a good way to go - don't know if I could bear to paint it though.
 

profchris

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I think I'd want to use the ash. Oak would be quite ... assertive ... if unpainted, and it would be a crime to paint oak. Ash might look great with oil and wax, and if that doesn't fit the room it's bland enough to be painted.

Humidity and wood movement is your big issue. I see this from making instruments from 1/8 - 1/16 boards, which really move! Two things:

1. Vertical grain - |||||||||||||||||||||||| - moves least. If someone can saw up your ash to get as much of that as possible, that would be ideal. Gives you less usable timber, but more stable.

2. Seasoning/drying. The conventional wisdom is a year air drying for each inch of thickness. And then bring indoors for enough time to match indoor humidity. With luck Sgian Dubh will explain more.
 

GweithdyDU

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Wow, thanks folks, Not quite sure how I'm ever going to contribute to this forum with the amount of knowledgeable folk on here. I was aware timber needed to settle after cutting, but the inch per year is a great 'rule of thumb' to remember. A friend, who is more of a wood worker than I am, suggested seeking out old pitch pine timber as somebody is always knocking down or converting an old Welsh capel in these parts and most reclamation yards have loads of it, both beams and planks. I do have a cheap but OK table saw and am a dab-hand with a chainsaw so it might be an option. I do like the idea of using the Ash though, It would be a great way of using the wood from my only big mature tree that I'm going to miss when it has to come down. However, I need to not run away with myself and first need to learn skills and acquire tools that'll let me make things that are less complicated. Some simple cupboard doors for that Victorian book cupboard perhaps.
 

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