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Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

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  • Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

    My B.I.L. has an off-grid camp along a river near here. He recently added a shed style addition to one side and needed an entry door. It has to be an odd size due to the short wall height where the door has to go, so we decided to build one. It is 75"H x 32"W and once the frame is made it will side into a 77-1/2" x 37" opening. He didn't want to waste too many resources so we picked out some twisty boards from my sawmill piles and went to work. We sliced the boards into lathe strips, glued them into rail/stile rough blanks, jointed and planed them to size, then assembled an inner frame. We're skinning it with Luan, insulating the bottom half and eventually a window will go into the top. It will be a Dutch door so that fresh air can come in without losing track of the grandkids. It's a simple project, and not difficult, but it's fun and I am learning about vacuum clamping.

    More to come ...

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    Chimera, Frank D. and 3 others like this.
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  • #2

    Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

    That looks like a fun project!!

    Nathan

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    • #3

      Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

      Interesting that you didn't put a breather fabric in the bag to facilitate the passage of air, can we assume the bag goes the whole way around the door, I would guess by now it is dry and out of the bag is it a successful glue up, personally I would have laid it on a flat table and put the bag over the top.

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      • #4

        Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

        Just re read the beginning I would have put the insulation in the bottom half too then the bag wouldn't the stretching in those corners, the plastic with that much pressure is capable of pulling the ply in ways you don't want it to.

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        • #5

          Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

          Bob,

          Thank you for the observations. I'm pretty sure you are correct on all counts and I just got lucky I went looking for some materials to make "correct" bag closures, to vent the un-vacuumed areas etc, but I live in a bit of a remote area and I was unable to get what I wanted. Regardless, I went ahead and did what I thought would work, and fortunately .... it did. The glue up on the first half was a success. I know it would have been a much smoother job (easier on the nerves for sure) with the correct materials!

          Onward and upward!

          cheers

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          • #6

            Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

            Hi John
            For what you are doing I would have used a sheet of meltica (its air tight) preferably 18mm laid flat, that way your guaranteed to get a flat result, I have always used a black mastic tape to seal the bag down the plastic needs tucks in it or it gets pulled off the tape, the breather I use is good old garden shade cloth its a stiff plastic that won't compress and allow air to pass through other wise you could get areas that are sealed of from the effect of the vacuum, your other side has other problems. I have had it where the breather material gets trapped in the glue joint (yes I have made all the mistakes) it all takes a bit of planing. with over 60000lb on a 4X8 sheet its easy to do damage and often you can't see what is happening inside the bag.

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            • #7

              Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

              Hi Bob,

              Thank you for the additional suggestions. I hadn't thought of shade cloth. I'm sure we have something similar here. What I did was run short strips of tough plastic hose between the vacuum and "other" areas. That seemed to work well. The biggest trouble I had was that I rolled the plastic before attempting to seal it, and I had trouble getting vacuum (due to leaks) beyond about 20"hg. I also found that I should have worked on a much larger work surface. My surface was absolutely flat - no question there - I set it up with a 4' level in all directions, but I found myself continually having to support the plastic in mid air and try to tape it shut at the same time. As you can see I am trying to make ALL the mistakes early on. Anyway, it turned out well (very well) probably more due to good fortune than anything else!

              Thank you again for the suggestions, and I am open to any other suggestions (or funny misfortune stories) that anyone has to offer !

              cheers

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              • #8

                Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                So I took Bob's suggestion to heart for the mesh to assist in air flow and I also did things a bit different with the bag closing. It worked much better, but I still have to refine my hose port. That's where it still leaked. For effort #2 I am quite happy. The other door skin is on, the door is flat and square. The confusing mass of hoses and taks and pumps is my home made vac system. I still have to put automatic switching on it, but the pump doesn't seem to mind running for long periods ... it barely gets warm and the vac relief keeps it from pulling too hard.

                Onward and upward !!

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                • #9

                  Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                  Is that an official vacuum tank fro CH?

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                  • #10

                    Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                    Originally posted by iamtooler View Post
                    Is that an official vacuum tank fro CH?
                    No, that's a NOS compressor tank that I had lying around.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                      pressure tanks are not built to withstand vacuum. You have a lot of square inches applying 30 lbs each trying to crush the tank. I do not think it is dangerous if it caves in but a nasty surprise.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                        Originally posted by iamtooler View Post
                        pressure tanks are not built to withstand vacuum. You have a lot of square inches applying 30 lbs each trying to crush the tank. I do not think it is dangerous if it caves in but a nasty surprise.
                        Yup, I know.... the sound of metal wrinkling will be a new experience, but I was ready for it

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                        • #13

                          Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                          Mine is bigger than yours! Click image for larger version

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                          Rob

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                          • #14

                            Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                            Originally posted by iamtooler View Post
                            Mine is bigger than yours! It is only 5hp but it must be 500 gallons.
                            Rob
                            It'd take me a week to draw a vacuum in that

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                            • #15

                              Re: Playing with twisty wood and vacuum - making a door.

                              So the opposite door skin went on very well. Having taken advice from the forum on door sizes and jamb sizes I trimmed the door to it's final size and sanded the faces. Next is the frame build and hinge mounting. I did the cutting with a new toy. I used my shop vac for dust collection and it was 100% ... very nice. Just a note ... if I was buying this again I would buy another medium length track section. The short and long is too long, probably for most jobs.

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