Saturday, July 14, 2012

The jig is up

I started in on the pocket doors today. Each door needs to come down and have four things done to it before it is rehung. These are not the original pocket doors. Except for the track and a partial piece of hardware to hang a door, the original doors where long gone by the time I got here.

These are period salvage doors I purchased locally. They are redwood, but they were not originally meant to be pocket doors. They were a large pair of French Doors, most likely from some public building. This causes some problems. First they are too thin to have traditional pocket door hardware. Second, they are a little too wide for the space. Third, they were a little too short for the space.

The size issues were not too difficult to deal with, but the hardware was another issue. I purchased the hardware above from  Charleston Hardware Company. These are really high quality reproductions and you'll notice that they have an edge pull instead of a mortised lockset. This is perfect for my doors because they are too thin for a pocket door locket. The real challenge was routing out holes on the face of the doors to accept the door pulls.

I started by making a jig to use with the plunge router. On the router there is a half inch wide straight cutting bit and a three quarter inch wide bushing. The bushing is the sliver sleeve around the bit. The bushing rides against the edge of the jig, while the straight bit on the router removes the wood. The words 'Top' and 'Edge' are written on the jig to make sure I don't accidentally install the pulls upside down.

When looking at the back side of the door pull, you can see that there is almost no room for error. I needed to make the hole big enough so the widest part of the key hole shape of the pull would fit in to the hole, but not so wide that the hole would be visible when the pull is installed. If the hole is too big it will not be hidden by the pull. This is we're the bushing helps.

The router bit is a half inch wide and the bushing is three quarters of an inch. That means that when the bushing rides against the inside edge of the jig, the resulting hole will be narrower in width than the hole on the jig by exactly a quarter inch. 

The widest part of the key hole shape on the pull is inch and three quarters and the width of the narrow part is inch and an eighth. I used a two inch hole saw and an inch and three eights hole saw to make the jig, so the jig would be exactly a quarter inch wider than the key hole shape on the pull. The really odd thing here is that I own exactly three hole saws. One was two inch and another was inch and three eights. What are the odds?

What all of that means is that when I run the router on the inside of the jig it makes a hole that is exactly the size of the key hole shape on the pull because the pushing accounts for the extra quarter inch. It is a thing of beauty.

I hope to finish up the doors tomorrow and get them rehung. After that I can start to think about picture rail. Of course, I still need to decide on a paint color.


Pandora said...

Good idea on the jig and the hardware is lovely. I like how your feet look tiny compared to the jig set up :-) Or maybe that is the one of the mystical little people doing work on your house when you're not looking to help you out.

Greg said...

Maybe the feet belong to a fairy.

Christine Thresh said...

Why don't you pick a paint color based on one of the colors in the fireplace tile?

Pandora said...

Ha Ha - loved the fairy post! I hadn't seen that one. OK - I vote for a warm carmel color paint. It would go well with the fireplace tiles. I painted my art studio that color and it is wonderful in the evening with period lighting. I used a Home Depot faux finish, a color wash so it has nice depth to to the carmel color.