Early this morning the lights flickered to life in the shop revealing that deadly silence of a blank page. Much like a writer with a clean sheet of paper in the type writer (they still use those right?) or an artist with a blank canvass. I sat and stared at the blank sheet of paper I had lain out representing the door to be made. All too many undrawn lines lay waiting for me to choose just the right one knowing the wrong one would spell disaster. Well I guess just like making an omelet, a few trees had to get busted to get this day underway. I finally dove into it and picked lumber that matched in color as best I could and got to it. Like using a block plane, I just needed a different angle.
I broke down some stock and decided on measurements for the side styles.
I made the side that was to be the center thicker to give the tree more beef and to give me room to curve the two doors together. Then I made the top and bottom rails the same width as the thinner style. This all got mortise and tenoned together.
I fought with laying out the tree limbs to get a look I liked. With a combination of mortise and tenon and doweling I had a good half tree laid out. I sliced away the slag and got down to the bones of it.
The slicing away of the fat is fun, a little too fun as I would soon find out.
In my exuberance to cut out the tree shape I cut a bit too wide. I had drawn out where the door frame would be so I would color outside the lines there, but I failed to trace out the panel to give myself an idea of where to stop cutting away wood. Ooops.
Once the shaped are more refined I will rout a slit on the frame to receive the panel which will be cut over-sized to the shapes of the openings. Thankfully I had a few scraps left from milling the panels that I can add to the width.
I got away with one here, on a project like this it is easy to make one cut or mistake that can jeopardize the project. That happens in woodworking a lot and it is how you modify your design and roll with the mistake that will prove how resourceful a woodworker you can be. I get away with crap all the time and I got away with it again. I am just hoping I don’t make any more goofs in the finishing of these doors.
Even with all the overthinking and planning I missed one little step and now I have to fix it. Of course now that I have been through it once I know what to look for so the second door should go easier. That is how it goes, the second one is easier the third is a snap and so on. I just didn’t want to build a prototype of this, lazy I guess. Hope you enjoyed.
-- Brian Noel