Door Props and Box

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 08-22-2015 05:56 AM 1632 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This little entourage is what I made yesterday/today. The guy I did the bed boards for (see my one-and-only-so-far blog entry for associated information), asked me for something to prop open the doors of his ‘53 Chevy Pickup in shows. I got the cursory measurements of the door hinges Wednesday evening, started turning the props almost immediately, decided they need someplace to live while not in use, and made the box today. Photo 1: Just after affixing the hinge pins, I found out that I had placed said pins too far forward to get the props in and out. It makes a nice display, but not what I was after. (This, by the bye, was my very first “clam shell” style box.) Photo 2: Beautiful, beautiful box, flanked by the props. Photo 3: The props, of Figured Birch, turned to resemble (apropos of the setting, IMHO) shifter knobs from an old buggy. Finished with BLO/Wipe-on Poly. The one on the left is mounted in a cardboard mock-up of the hinge space in the door jamb of the pickup. It’s all I had to work with. That, and cursory measurements. Photo 4: Beautiful, beautiful box. I got this board, with some others, from a guy in Hawaii about a year-and-a-half ago. Among the list that came in the package was Monkeypod. Looks like Bubinga to me. But, what do I know about trees that grow in Hawaii? Simply butt-joined and modestly sculpted to make up for poor planning that didn’t allow for mitered/splined corners, it’s finished, in and out (in pre-finished, thank you very much – that I did plan ahead about) with three coats of Wipe-On Poly and a couple coats of Paste Wax. Photo 5: Proof again that you can make a piece of wood bigger when you’ve cut too much off. See the Honeydipper.) I this case, I asked myself what I’d do if this were the last piece of wood on Earth. Fill the space with something else, said myself. Beautiful box. Lovely wood. Wish I had more. Photo 6: I hogged out some material from the front wall so the props would fit. In the finger tab notch, I experienced some uncontrolled chisel action, resulting in the blow-out. (Should have used a router – didn’t have time to set it up. By way of redeeming myself for my failure on the bed boards, I made these door props for him. I just handed them over to him. His buggy is at the L.A. Convention Center now, for the weekend. He took off this afternoon, just as I was Trimming them to fit properly. I won’t know until after the show whether they do, unless he calls me. In case they don’t (and my self-confidence has taken a brutal beating lately), I handed him two little wedges that, while having no style at all, should do the job.

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s far too dark to read. You may quote me.

-- Mark

15 comments so far

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2595 posts in 3882 days

#1 posted 08-22-2015 07:01 AM

What you have done looks good to me but given more time you would have excelled. I would give him the big A in future.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2290 posts in 1262 days

#2 posted 08-22-2015 07:05 AM

Thank you very much, Bob.

-- Mark

View Grumpy's profile


24638 posts in 4050 days

#3 posted 08-22-2015 07:17 AM

Great idea Mark

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

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2290 posts in 1262 days

#4 posted 08-22-2015 07:22 AM

Thanks, Grumpy. I can always count on you Aussies to cheer me up in the middle of the night.

-- Mark

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6223 posts in 3552 days

#5 posted 08-22-2015 11:32 AM

I like it! Your work is superb! You work at it until it works! Hold you head up be proud and smile you earned it.

whoops! had to do an edit!!! :)

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16280 posts in 4417 days

#6 posted 08-22-2015 12:27 PM

Your process is as entertaining as your projects, Mark. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2290 posts in 1262 days

#7 posted 08-22-2015 10:04 PM

He said, “What do I owe you for that?” I said, “A buck-and-a-half.” He said, “Okay,” but then didn’t go to his pocket. I don’t know what he thought I meant. He’s, of course, consumed by the big show, so, mebees it didn’t really register. I guess I’ll find out later. What I meant was $1.50. In case he thinks otherwise, please don’t tell him. I’ll happily take $150.00. Our little secret, okay? You deviant.
Shut up and sit down.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2290 posts in 1262 days

#8 posted 08-22-2015 10:06 PM

On the other hand, if he comes back with, “I don’t think they’re worth that much,” it will be fun to say, “They aren’t worth a dollar-and-a-half?”

-- Mark

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2206 days

#9 posted 08-22-2015 10:45 PM

I see the shifter knobs, but somehow I just dont see how they go on the hinges to hold the door open… Maybe he’ll take a pic for us.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Mean_Dean's profile


6900 posts in 3346 days

#10 posted 08-23-2015 01:00 AM

Despite the issues you had during construction, these door props, and the box turned out very nicely! I think he owes you more than a buck-fifty!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View rance's profile


4266 posts in 3359 days

#11 posted 08-23-2015 01:17 AM

Thanks for sharing the WHOLE story. I’m sure he will appreciate them from his friend. You are kind.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2290 posts in 1262 days

#12 posted 08-23-2015 04:40 AM

Joe, hold your hand out, like you’re pretending it’s a pistol, with two fingers extended, and bend those two fingers ninety degrees. Hold your other hand, wrist bent, and point all four fingers and thumb at the floor, parallel to one another. Now, you have a rectangle, with the bottom open. Now, put the thumb of the first hand up, touch it to the other wrist, and swivel the two bent fingers into the rectangle. The back of the first hand represents the door, the fingers, the hinge, the rectangle, the space through which the hinge enters the (I’m trying to think of some easier way to explain this – wait here a minute…, there isn’t one…...I continue) body panel next to your ankle when you’re driving. That panel is, of course, made up of a box of, roughly, 1/8” steel. The rectangle is in the edge of of that box. The door props fill the space between the “back knuckles” of the hinge and the opposite edge of the rectangle – the inside of your vertical fingers. They do this by holding the knob, inserting the actual door prop (the knob is decoration), getting the slot in the top of the prop to straddle the upper edge of the rectangle and lowering the lower slot over the bottom edge. Kinda like installing a sliding-glass door, or pocket door. The whole shebang is kept in place by virtue of the fact that the prop is bigger than the rectangle, except for the solid area between the prop’s slots. The hinge now has noplace to go, and the door remains open. As far as I recall, just about every car or pickup manufactured before, say, 1970 had a door hinge like this. You look old enough to remember them.
But, why not just jam a wooden wedge in there to hold it open?
Because, Smartypants, my doesn’t stink, and I have to be fancy. My fans expect it.
Besides which, I gave him two such wedges, in case the props don’t fit right. Now, sit down and shut up.
So many words. I need a nap.
But wait. I have to read this to make sure I didn’t misspell anything.
It’s okay. Except that I seem to be having some trouble with the italicizer. The last two lines in the head conversation are supposed to be italic. You know how that works. The softer voice is me (most level-headed, calm), the loud_ (bold_) is my echo. And, as I’m sure you’re well aware, my shadow says nothing. He just looks over my shoulder all the time.
Sooooo many words.

-- Mark

View majuvla's profile


13353 posts in 3066 days

#13 posted 08-23-2015 08:49 AM

Nice turning, I like this box and it’s design and colour.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2290 posts in 1262 days

#14 posted 08-23-2015 09:56 PM

Thank you, Ivan.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21722 posts in 3304 days

#15 posted 08-28-2015 04:11 PM

Very nice work!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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