I recently received a commission for another version of my doorbell cover. Of course, it had to be custom sized to the customer's doorbell chime mechanism, so we exchanged photos and measurements. It was nice to get a chance to revisit a project, as it provides an opportunity to improve on the original. Although this project is small and fairly simple, there were one efficiencies I was able to add to the construction this time around.
In the first build, to make the four square cutouts, I did the following:
(obviously, I did all this to just the face, when it was a stand alone piece, before it was glued up: I just used the final assembly sketch up for illustration here)
- First, I made four rip cuts on the bandsaw in the material (red).
- Then, I crosscut the waste away from the two side strips, again with the bandsaw (purple and yellow).
- Finally, I glued it all back together, keeping the pieces and grain aligned.
This worked fine, but it made fiddling with the little "middle" pieces in-between the two squares a little fussy to get right.
So the second time around, I made less work for myself...
- first, I made two rip cuts on the bandsaw to separate the middle strip from the sides (red).
- then I cut away the "holes", using the bandsaw for the tops & bottoms, a chisel for the side (yellow).
- finally, re-glued everything in position.
Obviously, the second approach is much easier. Not only are the fewer cuts, but the pieces stay aligned better, especially the two little middle pieces, which tended to slide around during a glue-up. Also, there are two fewer kerfs, leaving more original width.
Why didn't I do it that way the first time? It does seem obvious when its explained. But these are to the sorts of things you pick up and learn as you go, and especially as you revisit the same, or similar items, again and again. My first attempt at this was my... first attempt, and the way I came up with to execute it was fine. But there's nothing as powerful as learning by doing. I'm sure that by doorbell cover #50, I'll be humming along, running Ding-Dong Covers, Inc. I'll just throw a board at the wall the voila!, a perfect doorbell cover will appear.
Here's the final piece. The customer wanted the same finish and wood (red oak) as the original. I had used some flat-sawn red oak before, but as I was hunting for materials, came across some leftover quarter-sawn red oak that was gorgeous, so I used that instead. I book matched the main front panel to give it that nice figure.