Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Queen Anne-ization of a Door

Last week I mentioned how I had purchased a 1950s door that I wanted to use as a new back door. I won’t bore you with all the details again, but the basic idea is to use leftover rays from the sunbursts designs for the exterior of the house to create new sunburst designs on the bottom panel of the door. Well, I made some more progress today.

The Door

The first idea to use a store bought bulls eye corner block to make the “sun” part of the sunburst didn’t work to well. The new corner blocks are too wimpy in size. Once I cut the block in to a circle and then quartered it there was not enough room on the arc to get the rays around. Instead, I went down to a salvage place and found some old beat up corner blocks to use. I bought two, but ended up only using one. Here is a series of pictures that shows how it worked.

Wimpy New Block

Meaty Old Blocks

The difference in size is dramatic



The old corner blocks may even be too meaty. Normally an old corner block will be about 7/8 of an inch thick. For some reason these are an inch and a quarter thick. They are supper meaty. I think that they may have been an exterior element instead of an interior corner block. Anyway, they may stick out too much but because of the way they made them they will be hard to trim. You can see in the cut away that the center groove is very deep in to the block. If I trimmed it I would have to cut from the top and that would take away from the design.

Ideally that would be flush or just below the outside trim piece.

The other thing I had to deal with today was the panel on the door. The panel is a 3/8-inch flat piece of fir. It floats in groves in the rails and stiles of the doors. The rails and stiles have an ogee detail on the edge where they meet the panel. I needed to get rid of this. The sunburst should fit flush against the edges of the door. I got out the Roto-zip and cut out the ogee off. I then got a piece of cap molding to replace it. The cap molding has a little edge on it so it will hold the panel in and give me a flat edge for the sunburst.

Because the panel is only 3/8-inch thick I can't just drive nails in to it to hold the sunburst design on. I don’t want the nails to stick out the other side because the other side will be visible in side the house. I’m going to use weather-proof glue and brads to hold it on. Brads are like thin nails with no head, and unless Norm Abram has been lying to me all these years this should work. The idea is that the brads old everything in place while the glue sets up. The glue is ultimately what will hold the design on the door. Even though the door is an exterior door, it is under a deep porch and will never really get wet.

The only other thing I did today was strip all the paint off the panel. I want a nice surface to glue the sunbursts too. Tomorrow I’m going to go buy a pneumatic brad nailer. This is an item that has been on the shopping list from some time. I'm really going to need it when I attempt to build the new cabinets that separate the dining room from the butler’s pantry (he writes with a nervous grin)

Tomorrow: Assembly

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