A long ago craftsman (our house was built in 1953), made solid oak doors (six of them) for built-in bedroom closets. Obviously, such construction is prone to changing dimensions with the seasons, and is not a practical way to build closet doors. Considering that we are in the Pac. NW, these doors are unusual, as they are solid oak, which is not native in our neck of the woods. They are of two widths—four at 17” and two at 21 1/2”, and are about 5 feet high.
SWMBO said, “I want those doors to be louvered.”
So began the process:
Rip to width dimensions for stiles
Rip to width dimensions for rails
Run through planer twice, to remove varnish.
Make internal frames for the louvers to fit within the overall door frames.
Make 552 mortises, 1/2”X1/4” for the 276 louvers in those internal frames.
Make 36 mortises for 18 rails.
Cut tenons on the 18 rails (half of these are done)
Scrounge all oak scraps available to make the 276 louver slats.
Resaw on the bandsaw, rip to width, then run through planer to make 1/4”X1 1/4” slats.
Round edges on slats with shaper.
Cut slats to length
Set up RAS with 3/8” dado stack to make 1/2” X 1/4” tenons on the slats.
Assemble (One is done, the louvers have been started in another, a third is framed up)
Sand and finish, which will be water based acrylic sprayed with a HF HVLP gun (I have used this with the same material on another project, and it works extremely well for that application).
Six of the stiles with the final mortises cut (one center mortise is too long, because I cut to the wrong line, but no matter, because it will be covered).
Finished, waiting for final sanding and “varnish” (I’ll be using Deft Water Based Acrylic, semi-gloss, for finish)
The uppermost and lowest slats in place on this door.
Frame of one of the two wider doors.
Some of the 552 1/2”X1/4” mortises. To do this many, I devised a sliding table for the mortise machine, and printed out the cutting pattern on self-stick labels. Have to remember that there are equal numbers of left and right components! Ran each stick through one direction, then reversed and ran through again (in order to get the rectangular mortises).
The sliding table on the mortiser. I can do about 6 linear inches of mortise between the hold downs before having to shift the wood. Hold downs are Bessey toggle clamps, which self adjust for different heights of material.