Hand Tools

Spontaneous Junk *PIC*

David Weaver
A few weeks ago I got some doors for the house. The house isn't *really* old, but it's old enough that the doors are all different sizes. Ordering custom doors from Lowes or anyone in a lower/mid price range isn't something I'm looking to do again.

Some of the doors came slightly out of size, with damage on the corners (we got a discount for that after complaining - I fixed all of them) and a couple needed to be cut slightly to fit over transition strips from hardwood to carpet.

However, I don't do this kind of stuff and while I do have a tracksaw, wasn't looking to risk blowing up the bottoms of any of these doors with a slip (it took 4 months to receive a "two-week lead time" order, but it's been covid time, so that's expected).

I planed the first one off - but they're not "real wood" other than the edges to be trimmed, and they're also pre-painted, Hand planing whatever the solid center is was yucky.

I thought about it for a little while and figured I'd use a z saw, but then thought further, I'd try a knife gauge. That didn't work that well. The gauge is a japanese site tool that stu tierney sent me long ago in a large order. It has disposable utility knife quality blades, but I realized while looking at it that if I could take any japanese saw that was missing a tooth or two and cut and snap some of the toothline out of the saw and then use this as a sawing gauge.

this is the gauge with a fitted short section of ryoba crosscut teeth from a learning experience (a full hard saw that bumped into a metal vise and the teeth that touched the vise flew off with a ping, leaving a saw that should've been thrown away, but I didn't get around to it).

Three swipes of this saw and the teeth are packed, so I got a little rhythm going where I did three pulls, lifted the saw, ran my thumb across the teeth and then three more. Since the gauge has a wide face, if you're not paying attention, it only bungles the waste side of the line (the face of the doors appears to be a high density MDF type product, and the center is the opposite, less dense than MDF - like packed jute fibers.

I finished the cut with a Z265 by alternating both sides.

Site guys can make fun of how slow this is, but it took about 10 minutes a door, no risk, no cords, etc. I'm not looking to be an expert on this material. after beveling the bottom edge and re-sealing with shellac (i'm sure this stuff would expand if it was exposed to humidity).

You can see the cutoffs in the background behind this door. despite having almost no conviction of their own (easy to break) this gentle combination cut them off cleanly, leaving not much extra work to do.

Stu sent this gauge on his own accord, and it's just something I figured I'd never use as I have one of those stanley rosewood pin panel gauges (85?). I didn't have the heart to pitch it because it was a kind gesture. So it was junk to me, but it turned out to be proven goods for the theory of spontaneous junk...

...that is, if you keep enough junk around, sooner or later, some will spontaneously combine itself with other junk and spring into something useful.

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