Sunday, August 5, 2012

Trying to Show and Explain Quality and Craftsmanship

Sooo......... there are literally dozens and dozens of door manufacturers out in this big wonderful world we live in.  And I’m sure that some of these manufacturers try to make a door that is not only nice to look at, but made with the “intention” for durability.

    Many of the doors on the market are presented as “solid wood, Oak” not solid Oak wood.  That is because the frame of the door is made with a Finger-Jointed 2nd party wood such as Pine or Poplar (see a youtube video on finger jointed wood at
Here you see short pieces of wood,  joined with a Finger Joint.
This allows manufacturers to take wood scraps and
convert them to pieces of lumber used inside their doors.

Then  the substrate (door blank) is edged with 3/4” Oak and the entire face surface is veneered with Oak or whatever species they are selling.  This veneer is about twice as thick as your business card 0.040" (yikes!) There are very few solid-wood door manufactures out there, and even fewer who use all vertical grain wood in the construction of their doors.

    How the wood is cut is very important.  Less than 25% of wood milled is "vertical grain", making it  more expensive.  However, vertical grain wood is infinitely more desirable than the cheaper and more plentiful flat grain.  Vertical grain is much more durable and stable, and will last up to twice as long!  Others may claim to use clear, vertical grain wood, but looking at their pictures frequently shows something completely different.  All of the salvaged lumber we have sawn, and all of the green
eco-friendly lumber that we purchase is Vertical Grain, because that will help us create doors that will stand the tests of time and the elements.

Here is a completed entry of
vertical grain Old Growth Redwood.
It is ALL solid Redwood
   Another revelation that I had (many years ago) was that if I delivered a door that was finish sanded but not sealed, all of the door parts “inside” of the door would never be sealed, by me or by the client.  Therefore it will be exposed to humidity and moisture.  This exposure makes the wood swell, shrink, mildew, water stain, enhance cracking, and could even cause joint failure. What a nightmare !
    Solution:  We seal every door frame, door panels, jambs, and even the door stops at least 3 times (many 4 times), with out own combination of premium exterior finishes, we call Varnish-Oil.

Here is a door frame that is soaking with our Varnish-Oil.
It will be wiped down after an hour or so and will
dry for 3 days and re-coated three more times.
These panels will receive 3-4 coats
of varnish-oil, allowed to soak in an
then wiped down and allowed to cure.

The panels will receive 3-4 coats of
varnish-oil before they are installed
into the door.
Even the stops for every door are soaked in a tub of our
varnish-oil so that, with the door and panels
ALL our door parts are sealed from the inside out.

      During the entire construction of each clients door, I photograph each step and after the door is glued up, I create a website for my client (and the rest of the world!) to see the progress and watch it blossom into the door they envisioned.  That is my goal and so far (knock on wood) this process and dedication to craftsmanship and quality is being embraced by very nice folks who dream up beautiful and unique doors for their home or office.  And for that I am thankful and strive each day to do better.

This "slice" of nature is a piece of vertical grain Redwood.
It is sliced very thin and that is the summer sun shining through.

Please visit Our Website to see how we make doors.  Thanks for stopping by.

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