48" Pocket Door #4: Adding the mahogany

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Blog entry by GregD posted 03-07-2011 08:11 PM 4280 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Take 2: Little sticks to big sticks Part 4 of 48" Pocket Door series Part 5: Edging the Rails and Stiles »

With the poplar cores done I have started wrapping them with mahogany.

Progress has been slow as I:
  • figure out what I need to do next
  • figure out what I need in order to do what I need to do next
  • figure out what to buy and build so I have what I need in order to do what I need
  • figure out how to use what I’ve bought and built
  • figure out how to fix issues with my shop that are becoming a concern as the project proceeds.

The first step in adding the mahogany was to edge the poplar cores. Dust collection issues hit me square in the face – literally. But I did manage to get mahogany edges on all of the cores.

In working with the 8/4 mahogany stock – straightening the edges with the table saw and preparing 1-1/2” x 3/4”-ish strips for the edges, I discovered that the dust collector blade guard on my Saw Stop PCS works very well – except when it doesn’t. These operations involved many operations where it doesn’t work at all. The worst experience was putting a straight edge on a 84” length of 8/4 stock without cutting off any more than necessary. During most of the cut the saw blade is removing less than a full kerf of wood – the fence side of the blade is cutting wood and the other side of the blade is cutting air. As the chips are sliced off the wood they are thrown towards the front of the saw at an angle away from the fence – which is right where I stand to get the most control for feeding the stock through the saw. Face full of sawdust – not good.

So I decided to address some of the dust collection issues in the shop. First, I picked up a respirator and a stack of NIOSH P100 rated filters for those situations where I can’t avoid working in dust – particularly cleaning out the DC and the shop vac filters. The particulate-only filters are much smaller and lighter than cartriges that also remove chemicals and make the respirator less uncomfortable. Second, I made a small DC hood with magnetic feet that I can position on the table to catch most of the sawdust from a cut such as the one I described above. I’ll post that on my Jigs & Techniques blog when I can. Third, I cleaned my DC filter bag, and then ordered a canister filter from Wynn Environmental to replace it. Fourth, I cut a hole in the side of my garage (shop) and installed a gable ventilation fan. Finally, after installing the canister filter on the DC I also rigged something up so it would exhaust into the ventilation fan sending any remaining dust out of the shop. Another item for my Jigs and Techniques blog I guess.

Having finished adding mahogany edges to the poplar core blanks and resolving my DC issues, I turned my attention to the skins for the faces of the cores. I bought Amana’s router bit set for exterior doors because I liked the profile better than the alternatives. The reason I selected that at this stage was so I could determine how much of the skin was going to be removed by the profile. Using this profile and skins of 1/4” thickness, I only need the skins to come within 3/8” of the edge – the rest will be removed. This gives me a bit of wiggle room when figuring out how to cut the skins from the stock that I have.

The next challenge was resawing. I better leave that for the next installment.

-- Greg D.

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