Thursday, June 27, 2013

The door of Silence

As I have described in my previous post, I have started making a new door of Silence.
Yesterday I made the stiffener for the door. It is made out of 2x5" larch, and the ends are mortised and drawbored into the diagonal part as can be seen in the picture below.

The door itself is made out of 1½x6" larch and the individual boards have received a rabbet on two corners so the door will be shiplapped.

A lock from an old door was mortised into the edge board so the door can be opened and closed as it should.

The shiplapped boards are nailed into place, and the nails are clenched.
I have made a tutorial regarding clenching, so people who would like to try it can have an idea of how it is done. Please bear in mind that these nails are rather big (3/16 x 5.25" or 4.6 x 130mm).
The adjustable wrench used in the process is an 18" just to give you an idea of the size.

I have not placed the head of the nails on a metal surface since I don't have one large enough for the door. But using the adjustable wrench allows the clenching to be made without problems. I first tried to bend the tip of a nail using a pipe wrench, but it was not a success.

Finally the door was cut to size and the fit in the frame was tested. Hopefully I can install the hinges tomorrow.

The mortise and tenon of the stiffener for the door.
A heavy piece of metal is placed next to the nail.

The nail is bent 90 degrees using a hammer.

The nail is bent even further to approximately 80 degrees.

The nail is driven into the wood by hitting the bend.

The finished clenched nail.

The door test fitted in the frame.


  1. That's a heck of a door! If you don't use it for artwork I'm sure it would work well as a barrier for keeping out a horde of zombies.
    Did you chop the mortise by hand? I suppose on such a large board it would be easier to do it by hand on a bench top. I've never used larch, is it easy to work? Chopping mortises on pine or walnut isn't too difficult. I don't own a mortising machine so I am very limited in my choices. Still, the door looks great and I can't wait to see it all finished!

  2. That's a neat trick for clenching nails. I have a lot of crescent hammers in the shop.

  3. Regarding your crescent wrench, I had a very nice, oversized one myself that I had used at my last job. Unfortunately it was stolen, among some other very nice tools. I think I wrote about it before but eventually I brought in a large tool cart/box that I kept locked and chained to a steel support beam. I wish I had half of the tools that went missing.

  4. I made the mortises on my mortising machine. Then squared the corners using a corner chisel. Chopping mortises is not one of my favourite tasks, it is too much like work.
    Larch is not quite as easy to work as pine, it is very stiff, and rather hard. It splits easier than pine, so drilling pilot holes before nailing is a good idea.
    Furthermore larch has an annoying tendency to warp and twist once it has been sawed on the sawmill if it is not stacked immediately. But this is worst on the thinner boards, not so much on a 6x6.
    Regarding your missing tools, I really enjoyed your argumentation to the foreman that your own tools were like your lunch, you bought it, and you brought it to the workplace, but not for anyone else to use.
    Stealing tools from a co worker is actually incredible low..

    It is funny that you call it a Crescent wrench. In Denmark it is usually called a "Svensknøgle" meaning a Swedish Key. Because it says made in Sweden on the original Bahco adjustable wrenches.

    Regarding the door, I spoke to Anja today and told her that it was finished. She told me that another one of the doors had been vandalised. So now she was a bit uncertain if she wanted to put this one up as planned. Instead she wanted to know if it was OK with me if she used it for another art project.
    This art project is going to be a nationwide art assembly, so I agreed. The only thing is, that now I think I have to make some sort of feet instead of the legs since it will not be "planted" in the ground, but left on top of the ground for the exhibition.
    We'll have to wait and see.

  5. It looks like you can add "national artist" to your long list of accomplishments. I supposed the feet will be fairly large in order to support the door. As far as warp, this is my least favorite time of year to woodwork. It is usually very hot but worse, very humid. Just like you were saying, if you saw a board you nearly have to be ready to install it and seal it instantly. Nothing can be left around because it will warp very quickly. Last year I made a TV stand in the summer and one of the side panels warped so badly that I couldn't get the shelf to close into the dado. I managed to get it assembled but it still bothers me to this day.

    I believe that the wrench is known as a "crescent" wrench for a simple reason, and that is that the Crescent Tool Co. was well known for making and distributing a line of adjustable wrenches that were very popular, so everybody referred to the tools as "Crescent" wrenches. Crescent tools are still popular here; my company has an account with them actually.
    I own a very nice set of Crescent sockets that my mother had given to me as a Christmas gift when I got married, so around ten years ago. They were meant to be used at work but they were so nice I knew that somebody would figure out a way to steal them, locked tool box or not. So I never actually brought them to work. I use them to work on the lawn equipment and the cars, though now that we are both driving new cars that probably won't happen for some time. I keep the set in a separate tool box and they still look as new as the day I received them. When I had to purchase a set of tools for my company for vehicle maintenance I purchased that same socket set.