Friday, October 16, 2009

Sawing and Shaping White Oak

Door Update

I'm just finishing off the door project and will have the last few coats of finish on by Sunday. I thought I'd show the process from earlier this week when I finally got around to the scroll detail underneath the window.

To begin, I worked off of the pattern I took from an original door example in the neighbourhood and made a template. I only make a 'half template' so there's no discrepancies between the two sides.

I attached it to the blank, carefully tracing the pattern and then flipped it over to establish the opposite profile.

With the profile nicely traced with some heavy pencil lines I can be begin the sawing. I mentioned I ordered the new bow-saw blades from Tools for Working Wood, so having a nice set of fresh blades made this process pretty straight forward. The coarse blade was used to establish the main shape and then I switched over to my medium blade to get into the tight areas of the scroll.

From here it was time to fair out the saw cuts and that was done with an array of rasps, riflers and files. What ever works right? This shaping took a few hours and then another couple of hours sanding. Admittedly, wood carving is something I don't do alot of so the tight spots on the inside of the scroll were a real challenge.

The saw cuts were there and made the rasp work fairly easy but to get into this tiny little spaces was a little frustrating to say the least. Tiny little pieces of sandpaper wrapped around little pieces of dowel and sanding fids finally brought the oak where I wanted it. I don't have any really good rasps like the Auriou line or the TFWW saw makers rasps but if I ever do a project like this again then I'll definitely pick some up before attempting this kind of work.

In this last shot you can see where the scroll lives in relation to the window sill and with a bit more fine sanding and tweaking I'll call this part done. The panels and window details all have three coats of finish at this point and the top rail assembly as well as the mid-locking rails are all glued up. The only thing left is to take the door upstairs to glue the stiles onto the sides and then add these decorative elements.


  1. The scrole look great, and the door look great as well! will you take pictures of the doors instaled at the house? it wold be great to see, the door and the house it goes with.
    than you Tom!

  2. definetly...once this thing is in I can't wait to get a few shots!

    that said, I can't wait to get it out of my shop!
    thanks for the comments...

  3. That's the prettiest door I've ever seen! I just bought one of Joel's smaller, fine rasps at TFWW and it's fantastic.

  4. Thanks for the comment Kari,
    I've been looking at the TWFF rasps, especially the saw handle's on my short list!
    (which is actually getting pretty long again)

  5. Recommendation, I don't know if it works for the Hand Coping/Fret Saw, but there are Some Sandpaper Blades you can insert into your Scrollsaw and sand the small parts with. pretty sure it may work for your Coping/Fret Saw.

    Worth checking into for when you do more small areas such as this!@


  6. Thanks for the tip Handi...

    I've never seen these but even if they didn't fit my bow saw or fret saw frame I could always make a quick handle and use them like a rasp ?
    Maybe a little custom frame to hold them ?
    sounds like I may be making another sanding jig... :)
    thanks for the idea !

  7. It looks great, Tom!

    May I ask what you are using for a finish?

  8. You sound like you know what you want, but let me go ahead and second the decision to go with hand-cut rasps. I don't have Auriou, or TFWW, but I did get some of these (, I got the standard line) and it's like day and night. People always say things like that about tools, and I was always skeptical, but these things are sweeeeeet.

    The door looks awesome, by the way.

  9. Geemoney,

    Thanks for the comment and the link...Dieter Schmid really have a nice line of rasps. I'll be nice to have a few options when it comes time to buy.

  10. Jeff,

    The finish is an Exterior 450 Polyurethane by General.
    Thanks for the comment. :)

  11. Hi.

    Nice work, You'll sure sweat to get this door out !

    If this door is go be outside, how did you manage so the rain water does not get trapped in the mouldings ?

    Thanks and nice job.

  12. Graween,
    thnaks for the comments-

    I'm sure the rain water will sit in some of the folds of the mouldings...they're white oak with 6 coats of an exterior grade it really doesn't matter...hell, you could probably sink this thing in the harbour and it'll be alright for a few decades!
    Remember, this is not my design but a precise replica of the door that was built for these heritage homes some 100 years ago...if all goes well this one will last that long too.

  13. Tom,

    They are as Flemsy as the Scroll Saw Blades, So you will have to use it with a Fret Saw. And as far as I know, they don't include the Pins in the ends of them like some of the older models.

    They are just Flat on both ends, So you would probably have to use it in a Handle of some sort.

    here is a Link if you are able to see, to get a general Idea of what to look for.

    I've never ordered from here, so I don't know what the service is like, but this is the General Idea behind it. There are some others I've seen without that bulkiness behind the clamps or whatever is holding the paper.

    Anyway, hope this works out for you, I've not used any yet, I use Flying Dutchman Blades that require no Sanding, and don't leave hair as I call it on the underside or top side.

    You can eliminate some of that if you use Packing Tape, something I use on my Table Scrollsaw when I scroll, I don't own a Fret Saw yet. Works well with Solid wood, but not real well with Ply, it also reduces Friction and heat cause of the Glue on the tape.

    Hope these help you out!