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  1. #16
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    Apr 2006
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    Thanks Rusty and Jim

    My doors are all made from old growth timber milled 130+ years ago - the baltic pine is quite fine grained with about 20 growth rings per inch; the huon pine growth rings are even closer together. Both timbers are relatively hard and heavy for pines.

    I have again rechecked the dimensions:

    Internal doors - Baltic pine - 33 mm thick.
    • Stiles - 100 mm wide
    • Rails - bottom and centre - 225 mm
    • Rail - top - 100 mm.


    Exterior doors - Huon pine - 38 mm thick.
    • Stiles - 100 mm wide
    • Rails - bottom and centre - 225 mm
    • Rail - top - 100 mm.


    Note: The widths of the timber in the internal and exterior doors are the same, probably indicating that the same joiner made them. The exterior doors are taller and wider than the internal doors - the size difference is accounted for by the sizes of the panels, not the stile or rail widths.

    I do not know whether these sizes are "normal" but after 130+ years they are almost run in. I emphasise that they are old growth and not plantation timbers.


    Cheers

    Graeme

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Oberon, NSW
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    59
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    Door dimensions vary quite a bit. Personally I'd consider 35mm the absolute minimum thickness for an external door but I have made thinner. Similarly, I've made external doors with 90mm top AND bottom rails and stiles. Not my recommendation, but nevertheless people have - and still do - plugged their house-holes with 'em.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushie View Post
    This is pretty devastating to read, I did some research (but obviously not enough) before deciding on WRC and a few web articles/blogs said it was suitable for doors.
    At the last joinery I worked, WRC was the 'default' timber for all external joinery inc doors unless requested otherwise. (I will add that this was a high-end bespoke place, too. I couldn't afford one of my own doors made there! )

    To add to the misery, in squaring and now starting to run through thicknesser, some are not making the spec. I had planed on, for example, thought I'd get 95 x 40 out of nominal 100 x 50. Or is that to much to expect?
    That's a bummer, but no matter the timber species there'll almost always be a piece or three that just don't meet expectations. Whether it be unexpected rifts/veins or a surprise tendency to warp after material removal. When making a cutting list, I always allow an extra 10% in total length for just this reason.

    In a worst case scenario, your centre rail can be built up from narrower stock, especially if using wedged M&T's. I wouldn't recommend this for the top/bottom rails or stiles though.
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    SE Queensland
    Posts
    35

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    Thanks all for your suggestions and input, much appreciated.
    Have sent an email to the retailer re rough sawn size and some photos, but won't hold my breath for a positive outcome.
    Do realize the difference between old growth and plantation as, as stated earlier, have done most of my "woodwork" with recycled timber. My only regret at this stage is wading out of my depth.
    Particular thanks to Andy Mc, as you give me some hope.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vic
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    Bushie . I think you should first check the timber sizes available to you . The species you have sounds good , sounds like you just need to get some right sizes to top up, and the leftovers go into panels ? or something nice for the missus ?

    Then when you know what your working with , draw up what you want to build on a bit of paper or a piece of board .

    Just use a ruler and square as best you can to drawer the door with its rails and stiles and panels with the inside bits not seen drawn as dots or dashes to indicate an inside view. Or maybe leave out the dots for another drawing .

    If you use one centimeter / 10mm to represent 100mm it wont be to big. That's a scale of 1:10 . Each mm on the ruler= 10mm on the drawing.

    Or , go 20mm = 100mm if you like for a scale of 1:5. Each mm on the ruler = 5mm on the drawing.
    When you do that and put down what you know you can work on the things your not sure of . Things will start falling into place. Its an amazing thing to watch happen .

    Show the guys here and if it needs more sorting things should be easy from there .

    Once the design is right on paper you can work out a cutting list and the machining steps .

    That's the way to do it . And you will be knowing exactly where and what your doing .

    Rob

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushie View Post
    ......
    My only regret at this stage is wading out of my depth.

    Particular thanks to Andy Mc, as you give me some hope.

    No, Bushie !

    You are nowhere near your limits. The questions that you are asking and the issues that you raise are all very relevant.

    You are just extending your range. You are in control, even if it does not quite feel like that. Stick at it; it will all come together.

    I almost always dislike my work whenever I finish a job. Six months or so later I think - ", I really did that!"

    Most of us, perhaps all, have been through what you are talking about. Most of us have experienced it many times.....

    You'll get there.



    Fair Winds

    Graeme

  6. #21
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sydney
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    Don't use dowels mate, full length tenons add so much strength, a tight fitting tenon all the way through just has a) more surface ares for glue, plus b) each tenon, tightly fitted offers a mechanical resistance to sagging forces.
    Dowels will have a fraction of the mechanical resistance to sagging, they'll pull out over time..
    I'd use x-linked pva with a longer curing time. Epoxy should have 'sloppy joints' as (per the manufacturer instructions) it needs a little bit of space between the mating surfaces to create enough of a glue line for maximum strength. Many people overlook this, a tight fitting joint with epoxy is a weak joint. Slightly sloppy joints means you also have a harder time clamping it square. With pva I just make tight tenons then use a little v carving chisel to make glue 'escape' lines down the tenon.
    If you want to draw bore, personally I rate it. If at a later time you want to paint it and not see the dowel ends, you just countersink the dowel ends and bog it flush.
    If you dowel the door, the top end dowels nearest the top hinge will sag and pull the dowels out. More so if you leave the door open, of course.
    WRC. Well, old growth is fine, plantation/open space regrowth grown WRC will have huge growth rings. As identified, it's a soft wood and dents easily, but indents can either be steamed out, or if you use a non-varnish added oil, you can oil the dint and swell out the indents. If you are not going to kick the door open with steel capped boots, it shouldn't be a drama. If the door is shaded by the verandah, or if it's on the south side, there shouldn't be enough temperature differential to make a difference. If it's out of the sun and rain, and you like natural oil finishes, disregard the bunnings stuff, (which all has freaky highly processed polyurethane varnishes and driers added to it) and give it 3 coats of 100% natural tung oil. "The Wood Works" in Mona Vale, Sydney sell it for $57/litres, and it goes a very long way. Probably find it cheaper, but I made two desks at tops 900x600 plus rails and 90x90 legs and used about 100mL. So it goes a long way. For a completely solid door, I'd look to use about 200mL or less, $10. The bunnings polyu added varnishes you have to sand back for fresh recoats to key in for the new varnish coat, tung oil just needs a wipe down with turps to get rid of dirt and dust, then an oiled cloth wipe over.
    With WRC I'd seriously consider using a wire brush to draw out the grain, make it a feature, if that fits in with your house design. Scrub it along the grain to make a tactile and visually pleasing surface, but maybe I'm just a bit of a timber nerd. ?
    Have fun in your adventures!
    Last edited by Clinton1; 20th Nov 2019 at 01:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton1 View Post
    Don't use dowels mate, full length tenons add so much strength, a tight fitting tenon all the way through just has a) more surface ares for glue, plus b) each tenon, tightly fitted offers a mechanical resistance to sagging forces.
    Dowels will have a fraction of the mechanical resistance to sagging, they'll pull out over time........

    So true.

    Coincidentally, I have just been re-reading George Nakashima "The Soul of the Tree", p.128, and I quote:

    "...The decline in quality of modern furniture is probably due in part to the use of the quick, easy and cheap dowel joint.
    The decline in quality of modern domestic architecture can be traced to the popularity of the stud wall put together with hammer and nails, a type of construction calling for no joinery at all...."


    Provocative, but probably true.


    Graeme

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    So true.

    Coincidentally, I have just been re-reading George Nakashima "The Soul of the Tree", p.128, and I quote:

    "...The decline in quality of modern furniture is probably due in part to the use of the quick, easy and cheap dowel joint.
    The decline in quality of modern domestic architecture can be traced to the popularity of the stud wall put together with hammer and nails, a type of construction calling for no joinery at all...."


    Provocative, but probably true.


    Graeme

    True Graeme .

    When was that written so we know what he is calling modern furniture?

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by auscab View Post
    True Graeme .

    When was that written so we know what he is calling modern furniture?

    Good question, Auscab

    The book was first published in 1981 - don't think things have improved since then - or has the nailgun replaced the hammer, and is the staple replacing the dowel?


    Cheers

    Graeme

  10. #25
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    Nov 2015
    Location
    SE Queensland
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    Thanks Clinton.
    I have given up the idea of dowels due to the learned advice given here, and looking forward to mortise and tenon. Nice to have confirmation that it is the right way to go.

    Also nice information re the glues. I do surprise myself with tight joins most times, so would have erred there with epoxy. Will study x-linked PVA, certainly need slow drying as I'm a panic merchant during glue ups.

    Intend to give it 3 coats of pure Tung oil.


    "With WRC I'd seriously consider using a wire brush to draw out the grain, make it a feature, if that fits in with your house design. Scrub it along the grain to make a tactile and visually pleasing surface"....
    Bit over my pay rate and can't say I've ever seen an example.

    Am stuck with the plantation WRC now and at the moment awaiting confirmation on replacement pieces for the ones that came up short.

    This project has gone onto the back burner for a while as decided to reorganize shop as my main working bench is mostly covered in stickered WRC.
    Then I will probably make a deck chair for the missus while the next lot of WRC is seasoned, stickered after planning and thicknessing.

    Cheers.

  11. #26
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    Hobart
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    Hi Bushie

    I am far less concerned than Clifton with tight joints and epoxy. In my view the potential problem is dry joints, from glue soaking into the pores and leaving insufficient on the surface.

    My preferred epoxy is WEST System or the local fibreglass shops generic copy and I always use their slow hardener. I always strive for tight joints and my epoxy gluing practice is as follows:
    • apply even coat of unthickened epoxy to both surfaces and wait 15 minutes for it to soak in,
    • apply second coat of the same epoxy and assemble joints,
    • clamp firmly,
    • when epoxy is set but not cured clean off squeeze-out.

    If the joint is not tight then the epoxy must also act as a filler and I thicken the second coat (above) with either colloidal silica or sander dust. I have jars of sander dust of different types of timber to facilitate matching.



    Cheers

    Graeme

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    Good question, Auscab

    The book was published in 1981 - don't think things have improved since then - or has the nailgun replaced the hammer, and is the staple replacing the dowel?


    Cheers

    Graeme

    1981 .

    Could say the same for 1901 when the dowel use was in full swing . Once that glue join went all that stuff was thrown away after a few goes of squeezing glue in and trying to make it better .

    Yeah it has got as bad as Nail gun staples and screw . I did a quote for a sofa . I quoted proper M&T traditional construction . I do sometimes get these jobs with people understanding what they are getting .

    This one however had already been quoted by the Upholsterer to supply the frame through his maker to the decorator as well.
    Cheaper job got the go ahead and I didn't get the work . No probs , Ive always got too much doing nice stuff.

    I got to see the horror story before upholstery . No joins except from leg to seat rail I think ? Cant see anything else there . But the rest , all the back and arms , everything above the seat rails are Butt joined, Stapled and screws . Ten staples per joint with poly glue squeeze out every where . Some with no glue and gaps you could slide a ten cent piece through .

    Errr >> Not a nice sight .

    Id love to show the pictures that were sent to me , sent because of how ridiculous a sight it was.
    Cant do that though .
    Rob

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