>OK I’ve been machining some European white ash today, and thought I would speak a little bit about how I select timber for doors.
When I look at timber for doors I want it to be straight and flat, with no twist or bow along its length, or cup through its width. I don’t use any timber that has any hint of these problems, I don’t just hope that I can machine these faults out. I want the timber to be as straight as possible in its raw state before I select it for door stock, I’ve found this to be the best way of ensuring your door will stay flat and not twist. First of all I check for twist with my winding sticks, these are made from Brazilian mahogany that I ripped from one piece about 20 odd years ago. If the timber passes this test, I place the board on its edge and check for bow along its length, if it passes its taken in to be cross-cut then ripped over-size by 10mm.
Here’s an example of a piece of timber that wouldn’t be suitable for door stiles, yes you could plane it flat and it might stay that way, but there is an element of risk that I’m not willing to take.
Here you can see what happens to timber when initially it passes the test, but when cut tensions are released, it bent badly, and this is rejected for doors. I would not use this timber for short rails on doors either.
But I will use it for short lengths on face frames where its glued to the carcase, or perhaps short drawer rails so its not totally wasted. The boards I have selected for the doors are about 200mm wide and are cut through and through, this means the two outside edges if ripped off, are rift-sawn. The middle is kept to be joined for drawer sides. I allow 40% wastage on square edged boards, and 100% waste on waney edged stock. I like to have more timber than I need, to enable me to select the best stock for my furniture. This is not a boast for me to tell my clients “I only use the best stock” I use it because down the line, I want my furniture to still be functional, and not have problems.
Oh and a bit of an update on these ash wardrobes I’m making, the face frames are made, sanded, and dry fitted. I have also machined, glued up, and sanded some show ends to the two inner sides. These panels are chamfered at the intersection of the face frame. The face frame will not be beaded on this wardrobe, any embellishments will have more of an angular theme to go with the large flat field of the door and drawer panels.
Thanks for looking.