Custom Made Entry Door; Curly Maple & Curly Cherry, Leaded Glass Panel, Hand Carved Letter "R"

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 12-08-2008 06:54 PM 11263 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a posting for a project that I helped with. I have a friend, and fellow woodworker, who has custom cabinet and door shop close to where I live, by Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.

His name is Charles Jones, of Jones Custom Woodwork.

On this door, I only helped with the carved “R” and the I built the leaded glass panel, but Charles and his family did the rest of the work.

Charles supplied the photos for me to post:

Curly Cherry Door (inside):

Photo 1a:

Photo 1b:

Photo 1c:

Photo 1d:

Curly Maple Door (outside):

Photo 2a:

Photo 2b:

Photo 2c:

Photo 2d:

Carved “R”

Photo 3:

Project Story:

Charles and his family go to my church, a small non-denominational rural church in the very small town of Cedar Point, Kansas. Before the summer of 2007, we have known each other, and about each other, but I think we mostly considered ourselves to be friendly competitors.

But, in late May of 2007, Mrs. Jones talked to me one day in the church yard about how far behind her husband was in woodworking orders. I think at the time he had 5 different sets of kitchen cabinets to complete, and several custom entry doors to make. Mrs. Jones asked if I would help her husband get caught up. And, to be honest, I didn’t have a terrible lot of work to do myself, so I agreed to help him whenever he needed it, just on an hourly rate.

We ended up working together for quite a few days during the summer of 2007, and quite frankly, I enjoyed working for him. I’m not a person that can do repetitous things for very long so I wouldn’t want to make kitchen drawers and doors for my full time work, but I enjoyed helping Charles, and his son Daniel to do the work that was needed.

In a couple of months, we were all able to knock out the kitchen cabinets, and I even helped deliver and install some of them, and helped him do a couple of the built-in counter tops.

As I worked with Charles, I was able to see that we weren’t competitors at all, but could really spend some time helping each other when the need came up. Charles has a large shop outfitted with 5 or 6 Shapers, each with it’s own use, and the other equipment necessary to build a set of solid wood raised panels for a kitchen. He also has a wide drum sander. And, I have a large topped Jointer that he doesn’t have. So, since last summer, we’ve shared each other’s tools as we needed to.

Also, I have been turning down bidding all kitchens and vanities since I realized how silly it would be for me to invest in the same equipment that Charles already owns. So, I’ve been sending any inquiries for Cabinets to him.

BUT, Charles is not your normal cabinet maker. Several years ago he won a contract to replace a whole bunch of wood doors in our beloved little town of Cottonwood Falls. Each of the vendors up and down the street got a new set of Red Oak doors, in accordance with a large revitalization project. It worked, and the doors, and subsequent upgrades to the business fronts have sure helped the little village become a tourist stop, while folks are visiting the new Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve just outside of town.

There are two sides to the debate about whether the National Preserve was “good” for the area (depending on whether you are a local rancher or tourist vendor), but for sure, the Preserve has brought a lot of folks to town that wouldn’t have other wise shown up.

Sometime when I can, and think about it, I’ll get a good photo looking up Main Street, showing the old Courthouse, the oldest operating one in Kansas, and some of the doors that Charlies built then. The Main Street really looks like an old nostalgic post card, and people come to see it. The doors that Charles made at that time, are a big part of the nostalgic “post card look” of the town.

So, since those days, Charles has been building custom doors for folks. He doesn’t advertise, hasn’t needed to.

After our working together, I offered that if he had any carving, or leaded glass, or stained glass, that he could sell on any of his projects, that I would enjoy working with him to do those details.

The kitchen cabinet business has really slowed down around the country with this latest economic crisis we have all gotten ourselves into. But, in southern Chase County Kansas, a customer has a beautiful new door to the front of his house.

The customer supplied the wood he had saved for many years, and Charles built the door, cutting his own veneers, and put Curly Maple on the outside skin, and Curly Cherry on the inside skin.

Charles asked me to do the leaded glass panel, and the letter “R” carving.

I hope we can find more situations to work together, as he is a joy to work for, an is very talented.

If you would like to order your own custom door, or kitchen cabinets, you can contact Charles with the following contact information. If you call, chances are you be greeted by Wendi, Charles’ wife, as this is a mom-pop-kid business, the type I wish there were more of in this country.

Charles & Wendi Jones
Jones Custom Woodwork
Route 1, Box 14
Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845

If you prefer to contact them by email, you can send a note to me, and I will pass it onto them since they don’t have a website at this point, at

email: [email protected]

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

16 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4926 days

#1 posted 12-08-2008 07:15 PM

These are incredible! I just love curly cherry. Beautiful doors.

-- Happy woodworking!

View mtnwild's profile


3943 posts in 4579 days

#2 posted 12-08-2008 08:45 PM

Beautiful door,really has life to it, one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. Love your letter R panel, nice touch.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4926 days

#3 posted 12-08-2008 09:31 PM

Wow, are these ever nice. It is obvious that you and Charles are a good match. Thanks for posting.

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5452 days

#4 posted 12-09-2008 12:11 AM

Mark: A great door. Beautiful. The grain just pops out at you. Tell him that he is welcome to join LJ’s at any time.

You stained glass and carving is also very impressive.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mmh's profile


3684 posts in 4774 days

#5 posted 12-09-2008 12:32 AM

Beautiful doors. They look incredibly sturdy too. We need a new front door and I’ve been trying to coerce my husband into making one. It looks like I’ll have to start the project on my own. Can Charles come and visit?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 4690 days

#6 posted 12-09-2008 02:04 AM

I’m thinking Tony the Tiger here…



-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 4760 days

#7 posted 12-09-2008 03:26 AM

I’m thinking the owner is going to have a lot of visitors standing there drooling for a long time before they bother ringing the bell. Gorgeous.

-- Use the fence Luke

View blackcherry's profile


3345 posts in 4875 days

#8 posted 12-09-2008 04:17 AM

Mark,my good man you are the salt of the earth and Charles is just a gift from above. I have always enjoy reading your write ups and your work is just impressive. Thanks for sharing and have a Merry Christmas….Blkcherry

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4819 days

#9 posted 12-09-2008 05:28 AM

Gorgeous door and carving, Mark. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View savannah505's profile


1870 posts in 4638 days

#10 posted 12-09-2008 08:47 AM

Wow that is nice!! Very impressive. Keep up the great work.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5457 days

#11 posted 12-09-2008 03:15 PM

Why am I from the earth, and Charles is from heaven? What did I do wrong.


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4737 days

#12 posted 12-10-2008 04:23 AM

Beautiful wood selection and great design

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3615 posts in 4764 days

#13 posted 12-10-2008 04:44 AM

Wow! What a door! And the leaded glass and carving really complete its splendor.

What size is the door? It really looks tall.

-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5058 days

#14 posted 12-10-2008 04:57 AM

Just a splendid looking door!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View mmh's profile


3684 posts in 4774 days

#15 posted 02-18-2009 05:43 PM

Beautiful doors and lovely story behind them. That’s a wonderful experience to work with another craftsman, as you learn from each other and about yourself. I am hoping my husband and I will work on a front door together.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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