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An Eye On Design:

February 27, 2014

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The Bliss of Stopping the Mocking: Putting the Pieces Back Together

September 23, 2013


The Studio Door Project: Part Three - Sanding & Reconstructing

After the pieces of the door had time to dry overnight from yesterday's crack and hole filling efforts, it was time to sand them smooth and get them ready for reassembly.

Today's Tools:

  • an Electric Hand Sander

  • 120 Grade Sandpaper (medium)

  • 220 Grade Sandpaper (extra fine)

  • Terry Cloth Towels

  • a Hammer and Mallet,

  • Ratcheting Tie-Downs

  • Wood Glue

  • Wood FIller

  • Putty Knife

  • a box of 5d 1-3/4 Grip Rite -bright binish- Fas'ners nails

  • the 18 Original Wooden Pegs from the door

Step One: Sanding everything smooth

Sanding is pretty simple when you know how. It's simply about going with the grain of the wood, not staying in any one spot for too long, and applying even pressure as you push and pull the sanders along the wood. You want to take long, even strokes, and take your time as well.


However, first things first! Protecting yourself! For safety purposes I wore:

  • A Face Mask

  • Protective Eye Wear

  • Work Gloves, and

  • Sunscreen


You can never be too careful when working with tools, and especially when you're working with anything that's going to create dust. You want to make sure that you protect anything from getting into your eyes, nose, and mouth, even more so when you're working with older materials. As most people have at least heard, older paints may contain lead, which is poisonous and can cause all types of health problems. So when you strip paint, sand wood that has had older paint on it, or renovate or refurbish anything, you want to avoid inhaling particles or allowing them to get into your eyes. It's also important to protect your hands, because your skin can also absorb these toxins and you wouldn't want to get splinters.


Sunscreen is often the forgotten necessity. When you're working outside, like I did today (especially in the sunshine and heat of Southern California), you want to make sure to protect your skin from burning. Remember: Everyone is susceptible to skin cancer.


So, after preparing myself to weather the task at hand I went to work piece by piece sanding the pieces of the door smooth using the method I discussed above. For the smaller pieces, the trim/framing for around the windows, I hand sanded them to ensure they wouldn't lose their detailing.


I then dusted off each piece.


Step Two: Reconstructing the door


The moment of truth had arrived, putting everything back together, hopefully much stronger than it had started out. I started by inserting the wooden pegs back into the holes of the left side of the door frame, then used the hammer to hammer them in as deep as they'd go. Next, I slide the counterpart pieces into the pegs starting with the middle-top of the door, then the middle-middle part of the door, and the bottom-middle part of the door. And used the rubber mallet (to avoid damaging the door) to knock them into place. Then I slid the window frame insert into place, as well as the board that went between the bottom and middle parts of the door, and knocked them in securely with the mallet.


I placed the pegs into the holes of the exposed middle pieces and hammered them in as deep as they'd go. Then slid the right door frame piece into place and hammered it in securely with the mallet.

Step Three: Wood Glue and Filler - Making sure everything was secure.


The last step of the day was to  secure all the pieces in place using the wood glue, filler, nails, and straps. I squeezed a long strip of the wood glue into the joints that were still not completely joined along the left and right sides of the door frame, then in the joins that would be covered by framing.

Next, I squeezed wood glue directly on the underside of each frame and pushed them into place one by one. Then nailed them in using 1 3/4" nails, which I placed on 45 degree angles pointing outwardly towards the thick side framing of the door and hammered in. For the sides of the window I used 8 nails each, evenly spaced apart. For the top and bottom frames of the window I used 3 nails each.


I repeated this with the smaller decorative frame at the bottom of the door using 3 nails per side, all placed at 45 degree angles pointed outwards towards the thick side frames.

Lastly I used the wood filler and putty knife to fill in the joints on the exterior side of the door, between the thick side frames of the door and middle sections, as well as at the points where the window and decorative frames meet each other.  Then used the ratcheting tie-downs to vice the sides into the middle; tightening the joints together.

I'd leave this to dry overnight for 24-hours before sanding the door once more, then priming and painting it... though that's a blog for another day.


So with that I was done for the day.


Stay tuned for the next installment of The Studio Door Project. Night. :)

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