I'm gonna be a Star!! #1: the beginning

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Blog entry by kolwdwrkr posted 07-19-2009 08:46 PM 1510 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of I'm gonna be a Star!! series Part 2: Mucho progress!! »

So off we go onto a new adventure. One of which I have not embarked upon. I’ve done hundreds of raised panel doors in my day, so the actual process is a cake walk. However, this being a star has already shown some complications. Now if you think this is going to be just a simple raised panel “star” door, well, I guess you don’t know me. LOL. It starts as a star, the thought of stained glass crosses my mind as being a part of the project but so does leather. Breaking out the “Old Timer” pocket knife is going to happen as well, and one can look forward to some chip carving. The door itself is the beginning to this project. There is no design, just a star and some off the wall thought.
To come up with the star I simply printed out a “wing” of the star after finding the center on the computer. I used this template to cut my pieces. With some minor adjustments on the saw the pieces are near perfect, with a very small 1/64th gap on one of the pieces. I believe that the clamping will pull that out, as it is gapped just butted together. I will buiscut the panel together. Here is the how it’s come to be so far.

I started off with a board of pine. I marked my template onto the board 5 times for all my pieces, placing one edge along the straight side of the board. This allowed me to make one long cut for each piece. I set the saw to what I believe was ~55 degrees. Sorry I decided to blog the process after the parts were cut, so I don’t have a pic of that. After cutting out the five pieces I set up the angle to ~36.5 degrees, set up a stop, and cut both sides of each piece. You simply have to flip the piece over.

This is my template

This is how the piece sits on the saw to cut the shorter angles. Simply flip the piece to make the second cut.

After all the pieces were cut I layed them out to ensure they fit. Of course they didn’t. If you are out a butt hair it adds up. I simply adjusted the angle very minimally until I got a near perfect fit. You have to cut both sides of the small angle after you change the angle. Do not try to make one section of the star fit the rest. They all have to be the same in order to make the rest of the door work without to much fumbling around.

I set up the router table with a door panel bit.
and pushed each piece through once with the fence pulled all the way forward. This will do half or so of the cut. You don’t want to try to do the entire cut at once. I pushed the fence back in line with the bearing to make the final pass on each piece. The pieces ride along the bearing. I used a push block for safety.
You may want to add additional safety features, especially if you aren’t a rambunxious wild man like me. I care about my safety, but don’t let it invade the possibilities of my work. What I did here probably should have had a backer piece to help push the piece through. Whatever you think you need to do. Maybe purchase a coat of armor.

This is the star with the raised panel detail.
And then pulled together

The next steps on this piece are to route the back to make a rabbit so that it will fit in the frame, and then biscuit them together. Then work will commence on the frame.

I’m not sure when I will move forward. Hopefully soon, as I am somewhat excited about this now. I will try to do better blogging the process from here on out. I think it was a spurr of the moment deal. As always I welcome constructive criticism, positive or negative. Thanks for reading.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

10 comments so far

View Mely5862's profile


22 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 07-19-2009 09:02 PM

That’s teriffic! I cant wait to see the result.

-- “Who wants an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.” John Candy, Blues Brothers

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4005 days

#2 posted 07-19-2009 09:16 PM

star looks good … having fun yet ?

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3979 days

#3 posted 07-19-2009 10:02 PM

Nice! Tricky operation, but you seem to have a handle on it…I wouldn’t even now where to star….t


View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4110 days

#4 posted 07-19-2009 10:04 PM

Now that is impressive!
What will be the size of the door?


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3607 days

#5 posted 07-19-2009 10:11 PM

Looking sweet KW I would never have thought of tht surprises me how easily you did the large router work so easily good Job Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3768 days

#6 posted 07-19-2009 10:36 PM

That’s really nifty.

As a parenthetical aside for the math wonks following along at home, the angles listed are (I believe) for the chop saw, not the actual angles of the cut. The “0” setting on a miter saw is (to some) actually 90 deg., a “10” deg. cut is either actually 80 or 100 depending which side you’re measuring etc.

Once in a blue moon this will cause a bit of head scratching when trying to work it out on paper . . . especially on pieces not directly based on “square” where the actual angles and miter saw angles are close enough that it isn’t immediately obvious.

Thanks for the progress posts! Looking forward to see where this all ends up.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3549 days

#7 posted 07-19-2009 10:38 PM

Wow, I think you are amongst the best all around craftsman on the site. From the smallest to the largest, you can figure something to make it special.

Very cool!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#8 posted 07-20-2009 12:00 AM

Hey Keith
Great job watch those fingers, I just did a star for my wife, she wanted it to be rustic(thank goodness)
that’s what she got when I was using some old deck left overs.


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3750 days

#9 posted 07-20-2009 01:33 AM

excellent fit. that takes some skill to get a tight fit without visible joints.

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3873 days

#10 posted 07-24-2009 01:07 AM

Keith, another great job in the making.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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