Knots and Old Keyholes

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Forum topic by Bagtown posted 12-23-2011 04:04 AM 1078 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1739 posts in 3928 days

12-23-2011 04:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: veneering scrollworking routing keyhole door

So a couple of years ago we renovated a bathroom for a customer and they wanted a “new style” doorknob to replace the old mortised lock set. Which is fine (there’s no accounting for taste), we carefully removed the mortised lock set and made a block to fit and glued it in place. Then the customer noticed there was still a keyhole in the door that had a block of wood in it. “Could you remove the keyhole”? they asked. The doors are probably about 80+ years old and have beautiful patina. My partner told the customer that he didn’t think we should attempt to hide it as drilling a hole and putting a dowel in for a plug wasn’t going to look very good. Late that night in my shop, this kept bugging me in the back of my mind. I finally came up with something. I found a piece of pine with a knot bigger than a keyhole, and I ripped the board so the knot was on the face and about an eighth of an inch thick. i then took the thin piece and set my scrollsaw table at 3 or 4 degrees and carefully cut out the knot. Then I took my knot and found a piece of dark (I don’t remember what type of wood, it was a piece of scrap) clear wood and traced around my knot on the clear wood. Then I set my router to just under an eighth of an inch depth and very sllloooooowwly free hand routed just inside the line. I cleaned it up a little and then glued my knot in the hole. I sanded it flush and filled a couple of small spots around the outside and voila.

I was excited and went over to my partners house at about 9:30 that night, very excited with my solution. I took the board and showed my partner and he looked at it and then looked at me like I was crazy. He asked why I had come over so late to show him a board. When I told him what I had done he looked a little closer and realised I had come up with a great solution. It was going to cost the customer my wages for about a half day but they weren’t the type that were worried about that sort of thing.

The next morning we went to the work site and I told the customer my solution. They looked right through us and said they had picked out a new door the night before.

Oh well, I’m just waiting for this opportunity to come around again. . . if it doesn’t come around for me, perhaps another one of you LumberJockers can use this one someday.

Merry Christmas,


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

2 replies so far

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4941 posts in 3327 days

#1 posted 12-23-2011 04:32 AM

Neat idea.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View peterrum's profile


153 posts in 2876 days

#2 posted 12-25-2011 04:02 AM

Great idea but had a great laugh when you said that the customer had picked out a new door. Murphy’s law.

-- Carpe Diem

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