Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shop clean-up and Mouldings

A little Fine Tuning...

I was working on the heritage door the end of last week, the inside mouldings to be more specific. I was planning on getting into the final front window surrounds over the weekend but things didn't pan out that way due to the fact that my client is actually busier than I am! I should back track and mention that my writing book, the graph paper scribbler I use for all of my wood notes, including all of my templates for the moulding profiles I had made earlier this spring, was left behind in Cape Breton this summer. I knew this for the past few weeks and was trying to set up a time with my client to go over and visit the neighbours house again. Get some new profiles off of the window treatments and finally get this thing done!
Anyhow, because of the world we live in and everybody seems to never have enough time, (myself included) I wasn't able to get the profiles so I spent yesterday re-organising my shop space. It was really getting cramped with the way things were, the door only accessible from one side and one end, my offcuts from the project starting to way in on my fragile sanity; I needed to move my bench back over against the wall and re-jig the doors work station.
I have been using my shop 'bents' (a Krenov inspired work horse) with some off cuts of walnut as runners to span the bents and a thin sheet of luan as my main template for the door. This worked out fine while I made the frame for the door but now that I've come to fine tuning my miters and mouldings I really needed to beef things up.
Before I was able to really fine tune all of my miters I had to be sure the door was lying as flat as I could make it, and through it all staying perfectly square. A kind of challenge in this small space where every move means moving all of the pieces around again...and again, and again. (have I mentioned I need a bigger shop lately?) So yesterday morning I purchased a sheet of 3/4" plywood and got a few batons of Ipe from a friend, ipe is a South American hardwood that is very heavy, hard and dense. These 2" x 2" x 6' batons will straddle my bents and the plywood will finish the work area. The door with it's 1/4" luan template slid easily from my work bench over to this make shift one. The shop bents I made are from hickory, another incredibly hard and dense wood. This turned out to be the perfect species for my shop bents- they really need to be structurally sound around my shop. If we consider that between the oak, the ipe and the plywood alone they're probably supporting close to 200 lbs!
No worries, they're working great!
I should mention that the plans and building instructions for these are included in my new book due out in November.
So that was my day yesterday, sweeping and cleaning and pushing and lugging...good for the soul to get things back in a nice state. Cleanliness is what again?
So this morning I spent a few hours going around each one of the panels to insure all of my miters are clean and crisp.
The first thing I needed to do was build a little bench top appliance to securely hold the mouldings as I worked them. Getting them to this level was straight forward between some bench dogs, but now that they're all mitered...holding them in place while you try to take the lightest shaving off can be a real challenge.

I had a 2" x 6" x 4' slab of heavy maple and cut out a few miters and batons with some off cuts. These in turn were glued to the surface of the plank and will act as small fences to hold the work pieces in place while I fine tune things. I used some cyanoacrylate glue that sets up in about 10 seconds. This is all that I needed and off I went to fit and tune these door back mouldings. They honestly didn't require a ton of work but a few places I did get out the moulding planes and onto some sandpaper.

A couple of hours and they're done. My plan right now is to go over to the clients tomorrow and get those other few profiles...

Stay tuned.


  1. Hi Tom,

    You've done a great job on the door. Before you install the mouldings are you planning to put some finish down? I like to finish the panels and apply some finish behind where the mouldings contact the frame and also to the back surfaces of the mouldings before they're installed. What is your finish going to be?

    Cleanliness is next to... impossible.

    Looking forward to your book.



  2. Hey Tico,

    Yeah, that's the way to go...finish before final glue up. If the panels ever move that much then there will never be a way for un-treated wood to show!
    I'm using an Exterior Polyurethane by General.
    Thanks for the comments and the book pre-order.
    keep well.