Roughing out the door frame rails and stiles

Jay Oyster's picture

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I started working on the rails and stiles for the door frames to cover the front of the chopsaw station shelves on Tuesday night. I don't usually get much time during the week to woodwork, but I'm taking time during the rainy summer days that are all-to-common this summer in Georgia to get this project finished.  At this point in the project my goal is to get something solid built as quickly as I can using the supplies I had on hand. (This latter point ended up being a missed goal, as I'll explain later.) So I opted for thin rails and stiles with a glued-in 1/4" birch plywood panel for strength, since the frame will be very slight. The good point about this is that it will make the doors lightweight.

It turned out that I didn't have enough surfaced and thicknessed poplar in the shop to do the rails and stiles for both doors. So I opted for a motley look and used poplar for the stiles and some clear pine for the rails. I suppose I could paint the door to cover up the different wood selection, but honestly, I just want it to be functional. So much so that I don't even care that the rails and stiles are different thicknesses. At that time of night, I couldn't make the noise to fire up my thickness planer . . .so I just cut the joints to match the front surfaces (mostly) and called it a day.

 

Frames for both doors laid out on the outfeed table for fittingSo I spent about an hour ripping the stock on the table saw to dimension and cutting to length on my spiffy new chopsaw station. The table and chop saws are not so loud that they'll bother the kids upstairs. Aside from one  end of one rail, which ended up with a slightly longer tenon than intended, it all fit together well. I ended up trimming up the rail, and then the associated stile a bit, too, to fit it together without changing the dimensions of the door. A real woodworker would have gone back and cut a new part, but I refuse to waste wood on such a small mistake.  Left them dry fit for the night and went to cut the panels out of a leftover 1/2 sheet of  1/4" birch ply I have in the shop. Eyeing it, I was pretty sure I could get the height of both panels out of the one long, thin piece. It worked!  But then as I was about to cut it, I thought, "This looks a bit less wide than I thought it was."   Son of a bitch! The damned sheet is 1" too narrow. I ended up having to buy 2 quarter sheets of 1/4" ply at Lowes on the way home from work. 

Detail of the chopsaw station's door frame corner joint, simple table saw joinerySince I was there anyway, I also took the opportunity to get some cheap hinges and a couple of magnetic latches . .oh, and a box of 36 double A batteries (kids go through SO MANY batteries, especially if you have a Wii in the house . . ) and two or three cans of OFF bug spray (the bugs have been NUTS here this summer).   How do these trips always end up costing a C note??

Chopsaw Station door frames laid out for fitting
Chopsaw Station door frames laid out for fitting
Woodworking