Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Minute Door Update

Cutting Tenons

I was just dumping my digital camera getting ready for summer vacation and realised I had some pics of the tenons being sawn for the door project. I'm using my 14" Rip saw and my 12" carcass both by Lie Nielsen. Here is some of the progress.

To begin a nice deep scribe line with my favourite marking gauge establishes the tenons width; in this case they're all 5/8" thick, 3" deep and the rails being cut here are just under 7" wide. The Quarter Sawn White Oak is hard and unforgiving so make sure you have sharp tools when working this kind of wood. I'll go back and forth over the pieces to get these lines as deep as the small cutter on the gauge will allow. The base lines are all established with my engineers square off of one reference edge and then one reference surface.

I begin each cut with a small kerf at the far side of the piece and then slowly establish the straight line across the piece using the back heel of my saw plate. I can bear down and get a nice deep kerf established with this method of using the heel of the saw where the teeth remain the sharpest. Once the kerf is adequate I begin the sawing; I saw down until my back saw just about bottoms out and then I'll rotate the work piece in my tail vise and continue on from this opposite side.

You'll notice in the video below I'll use my Ryoba to finish off the cut to the required depth. From here I get out my miter hook and another bench hook to support the Oak and cross cut to the shoulder line. Again I'll slowly begin the kerf using the heel of my saw plate and work my way down into the cut. Finish sawing with the work piece back in the tail vise and the Japanese pull saw to complete.

I'll do all of the rails and moulions for the entire door before I mark the pieces to saw the haunches in the tenons. In the shot above you can see the first haunches are cut in the small moulion. It's one slow step at a time in the Unplugged Woodshop. Enjoy the process and try to split these lay out lines. The video below will show the always, I was spinning some vinyl...Neil Young's, 'After the Gold Rush' one of his best and still one of my favourites. To get a good idea of the time line to complete this one cut you may notice by the end of the job the record needed to be turned over! Ahh the joys of vinyl. Cheers!


  1. Tom,

    I really have enjoyed your last few posts. The addition of these video clips has been great to see you in action. Thanks for sharing and have a great vacation!

  2. Thanks Shannon,
    I realise the quality is absolutely
    ridiculous but I'm hoping the process is coming across.
    Oh yeah, for others reading these comments, check out Shanons site, The Renaissance Woodworker for lots of great wood working info.

  3. Tom,

    When you were cutting the shoulder, I noticed early in the process you had to stop and move a small engineer's square out of the way.

    Were you using that in the beginning to keep your cut vertical and then didn't need it after the kerf was started? Or was it just in the way and you needed to move it?

  4. It was just in the way...I do use an engineers square when chopping mortises for a reference but not in this case.
    Thanks for the comments.

  5. Tom, lokk's like tought wood that white oak... I didn't see you use any wax(parafin) on your saw plate...I know for me it work great in making the sawing easier!
    Again, good work!

  6. On the contrary David, I did wax my saw never made it to the video but it was there!
    I use a simple parafin wax you buy at grocery stores for canning goods. It works great although there are times when it's still a struggle getting through wide boards like this.
    Thanks for the comments.

  7. In the third picture of the post, if you look closely you can see the wax lines on the saw plate.

  8. I beth, on wide hard wood like that, wax or no wax it would still be a chalange!!

  9. Hi Tom, thanks for the video into the door build. Somewhat off topic, being an unplugged shop I wanted to ask about your basement shop. Had you painted all walls, joists etc. white prior to settling in or had it been so previously? Hand painted or sprayed? I'll take a guess at latex rather than oil (lower v.o.c. for self and family).Being in the basement I am sure it does not see much daylight as your N.B. shop- is lighting mostly flourescent?
    Wishing you the best for the vacation,

  10. Great stuff. Some people follow sports, I follow good woodworking. I'm a fan of this blog.

  11. Hi Tom great post.. Why do you switch to the Ryoba at the end?

  12. The switch to the Ryoba at the end of the cut is due to the depth of the western style back saw 'bottoms out' before I complete the cut...These tenons are 3" dep and my largest back saw isn't quite deep enough...The Ryoba works well here...