The core blanks are to be edged with, and then faced with, African mahogany. My plan is to resaw 8/4 stock into 5/16 or 1/4 skins for the faces of the stiles and rails. Simple enough if I had done these basic things before, but that is not the case.
As I was setting up for resawing – my first significant resawing experience – I was not happy with my cut quality and was getting frustrated setting the bandsaw fence for the blade drift angle. I have a Rikon 14” delux bandsaw and the fence adjustment involves messing around with the stand-offs that hold the fence rail to the table. Unfortunately this not only affects the drift angle, but also affects whether the fence face is perpendicular to the table. I figured that I had enough on my plate with the door project, so rather than build a resaw fence I bought a Kreg Precision Bandsaw fence. Installing it was not so straightforward since the slot in the table for removing the bandsaw blade comes out the front of the table – right through the middle of the Kreg fence rail. I’ll post my solution in my “jigs and techniques” series when I get some pictures.
I got some advice from the staff at my local Woodcraft store on bandsaw tune up. I pulled the blade and went through the whole blade installation and tune up process. In the end I got much better results, but noticed that I was using a much slower feed rate. Oh, and I also ordered a Woodslicer blade because of its great reviews, although I haven’t tried it yet.
On Lumberjocks I was asking some questions about gluing the faces. Someone who makes doors professionally mentioned that putting hardwood over a softwood core might not be a good idea because the two might expand and contract at different rates and crack or check the hardwood face. As this is an interior door I was hoping this wasn’t going to be an issue. But the other thing is, I didn’t know if the red cedar I had used in my first cores was adequately dried. What the hey, I’m doing this to have fun, right? At least that is what I keep telling myself. So wouldn’t it be more fun to do new cores in poplar?
So about 2 weeks ago I picked up 100 bf of 4/4 #1 common poplar at a bit over $1/bf. Not really any more expensive than the red cedar; too bad I didn’t think of this at the beginning. The downside was that they did not have in stock anything thicker than 4/4, and what I got was typically a bit shy of 4/4, so there were a lot more staves needed to get the required widths. I wasn’t too sure how much more of this fun I could stand, so I decided to make it easier on myself and not limit the stave length to 15” or less. Some are nearly 30”. I also didn’t bother with finger joining the ends of the staves – I just butted the ends together. A third change that I made was to have 2 tunnels for allthread through each of the 2 wide (8”) stiles. To help with the glue-up I got a glue bottle with a 2” roller. I went through what seemed to me to be a lot of glue. I had about the right amount of squeeze-out, so I think the roller worked better than the putty knife I had been using to spread the glue.
Anyway, the core blanks are now done. Here are some pictures…
-- Greg D.