Must master better mitre methods


A door to change

Or an outbreak of recreational ‘vandalism’

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As good as a rest, yer know 

Never understood the repetitious writing of “lines” as a punishment/brainwashing adjunct, but the top title is a phrase I’d do well to learn.

Having set self to learn more about mitring awkward wood moulding shapes, and now totally exhausted with the mental angst of the outcome, I’ve taken a break, and am now trying to reshape wood pieces to a different design/finish for another job around the Long Gallery.

Tools and Materials

A couple of Christmas times ago I bought a cheaper version of a well known type of powered drill for hobbyists.  Cheap, as could be predicted, did not mean all that good and it never has been trustworthy on drilling (with the bit running eccentrically and therefore more use for the beating of eggs) and it also turns out to be mostly useless at any cutting – at least in my hands.

Sanding and generally gouging, however, with the machine’s many and varied head attachments, seems to give me some scope, allowing for the limitations of eye, ability and general the cack-handedness of someone who is heavy of mit and doesn’t know, from task to task whether it would be better to use their left or right hand.

Yup, oh ye serious and skilful miniaturists out there, you heard me – not an optimal way of doing owt, I know and I hang my head in shame and embarrassment.

You can imagine what happens to the shaping and surface of the wood when I swap over in the midst of a job.  Angles of approach are all different and the poor wood grain still runs the way it grew in the first place.  And so it and I are often at cross purposes.

What I had to hand was a speculative purchase from eBay, made about eighteen months ago, of four packets of panelling, containing long verticals, short horizontals and numerous ready and beautifully cut and finished panels.  Although I swear I read the description before bidding, who can say at this distance in time whether I did or not.  I know I thought it would fit in to the general design in my head, giving inspiration to the rest of the décor.  And thus I squirreled them away till needed.

What we got?

I since found that one of the packets is linenfold of a very fine-cut and thinness, but three are of a raised central panel which, at first, I could not imagine in any period that came to mind.  I’m still too ignorant to know where it fits in the panoply of design, the nearest I could come to is more Edwardian than anything else, but it’s probably co-existent with the linenfold and I’ve just never seen it.

Either way it’s too ‘bulky’ for what I’ve got in mind, the depth of the panel being almost as great as half a small scale person’s head.   And it doesn’t work with the wrong surface upper-most without sanding down the prominence so that it will lie flat enough to fit the slotted uprights.

Step forward Ms Ambidextrous-without-Dexterity and her ever ready powered mini sander.  The result of flattening a panel was disgustingly uneven and uncertain.  Hand sanding was out of the question for so many panels and using the full size sander was impractical on such small, wafer thin edged items.  I was stumped.

What to do, what to do …?

There’s a plan for three doors on this floor level of the model at the very least, and it seemed now would possibly be a good time to save my sanity with a little touch of something different.  Doors that look vaguely as though they might go with the other bought panels (all the real linenfold being ‘spoken for’) would certainly be something useful if I could achieve them.

In the end I’ve plumped for all out ‘going for it’ and hacking the poor things into some sort of design, using  knife, file and mini electric machinery.  The finish is certainly shoddier than its original immaculate self, that’s for certain but, with a little bit of a half shut eye, low lighting and possibly a tilt of the head to straighten everything up, the results may well be serviceable for my level of working.

And, of course, for further relief from the mad mitring there’s always the rest of the more ‘bulky’ panels to be shaped as they are going to be required in the Long Gallery.

The results to-date ain’t that good, but they might do the job over the small areas of a door face or three and, (wearing a double face mask against dust) I have so enjoyed doing them over the last few days, truly revelling in the change.  😉


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