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Perpetual calendar wooden perpetual calendar wood calendar
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Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (4)

I notice that this is the 999th post in the history of this blog. Funny how things add up after a while.


I hope readers out there had a relaxing holiday break of some sort.

I haven’t been in my shop much of late, what with the time of year, having had a cold, completing the renewal of my Construction Supervisor License by way of a 12-hour online course, plus working on a couple of different drawings besides the cabinet, and, last but far from least, I haven’t been there simply because of the unpleasantness inherent to working in an unheated shop.

I did put in a little time there yesterday, receiving a second shipment of the Florida Mahogany:

It’s around 180 board feet, all 6/4 and 5/4 save for one piece. A couple of these boards will be used in this cabinet project, while the rest will go into inventory.

Another piece of project stock arrived as well, namely this 12"x12" square of 0.25" thick nickel silver plate:

Nickel silver, aka German Silver, is actually an alloy of copper and has no silver present. I’m going to use this piece, larger than I needed but the smallest piece I could buy from the one supplier that carried plate this thick, to fabricate the door hinges for the cabinet. I am fabricating the hinges because I am unable to find something commercially available that does exactly what I want.

This week, and the next, is shaping up to have temperatures below freezing, and that is certainly not tempting me into going to the shop for any length of time. I’ve become averse to the prospect, and that is largely due to my past experience spending extended periods in the shop when it is so cold, namely the winter of 2015 when we had the infamous Polar Vortex phenomenon. One day during the MFA gate project I was turning over one of the main posts and felt something give in the fingers of my right hand. That injury proved a persistent one, and I was still feeling it from time to time, even in warm weather, some 9 months later.

Then last year, while it was a fairly mild winter, I managed to do a similar number on my left hand, not as bad as what I had done prior to my right, but bad enough that it lingered for months. When I strained my left hand, I had no idea what exactly caused it, all I know is that it started to hurt, felt decidedly weak, and took a long time to get better. I’m getting a clear idea now that working with my hands in cold temperatures is not something I should do if I can help it. I find that after just half an hour in a cold shop that my hands start to feel achy. I wish I had a warm space in which to work at this time of year.

In the shop I can wear gloves for some activities, put hot gel pockets in my clothes, but I can’t wear gloves while operating machinery and generally need to have bare hands on the wood and the hand tools for a lot of tasks. So I end up warming my hands frequently, either with warm water at the sink or by putting them in front of the infra-red heater. I’ve been thinking an electrically heated jacket might be a plan -or maybe a trip to the Bahamas….

Speaking of electric heaters, I put my infrared one on for the first time while bringing the mahogany into the shop, and as I have not been in the habit of using it, I also am not in the habit of turning it off either. I woke up at 5:00 am the following morning and realized that I had left the heater on at the shop for hours and hours. While it is not a fire hazard, it is a gobbler of electrical current, so I was on the road at 6:00 am to the shop, a 30-minute drive, to turn the heater off and not run the electrical bill up anymore than necessary. Then back home again – the morning is to be spent with my young son before I take him to daycare mid-day.

Because of the lack of winter heat and the distance away from my desk where I do design work, I’m think of ways to change my shop situation, and some plans are underway. The may well be something more concrete in the next 3 months, we’ll see….

Speaking of design, one thing I am wishing to do on this project is complete the drawing to every last peg mortise and detail, and am putting together a pile of take-offs (sketches), before doing anything with the wood beyond basic rough dimensioning.

Why the new approach? In the (distant) past I’ve done work from a pencil sketch, and as issues came up in the build I found solutions to those things that come up which the single sketch did not  reveal – a lot of folks work this way. The door hingeing on a walnut vanity I built in 2005 or so springs to mind. A solution was found, but were I to design again I would have avoided making doors with curved hinge stiles in curved openings. Every project seems to have some minor aspect which becomes a challenge to deal with once it springs up.

With more recent project work, I draw the project using CAD, which I find to be most advantageous for the most part.

I’ve found though that the littlest overlooked detail – the one thing you assumed was straightforward and you didn’t need to wring out every detail in the drawing – that is the thing that can come back to bite you in the ass if you haven’t fully considered it. The fitting or action of a piece of hardware, or a decision to add a chamfer to an edge can have all kinds of unexpected associations that sometimes lead to compromises in the finished piece that would have preferably been avoiding if only you had stayed with the design aspect just a slight bit longer.

Basically, I am trying to ‘see’ everything in the route ahead before I start driving it (fabricate). See all those boulders in the river and moves from one to the next all the way to the other side before we start hopping across. It requires being patient when you are otherwise jonesing to cut something up and get it moved along. I’m sure I will fall short of doing this perfectly, but the effort does count perhaps.

So far, just staying with the drawings further than I typically would previously, resolving details to a finer granulation, has lead to a cascade of revisions to nearly every part dimension. The cabinet looks identical. Just little changes for the most part, 1/16" plus or minus, here and there, but it can add up. Some of this process has come about because my forays into resawing the mahogany for panels lead me to use the ‘plane it down’ method to obtain many of them, and for the ones I did re-saw, the construction for many of the panels now will be with 2-piece panels, not 1-piece. The necessitates changes.

I have also revised the drawer construction detailing slightly:

The floor, sides and rear wall are of Honduran Mahogany, while the drawer fronts will likely be shedua, as illustrated. The changes are in the joinery at the front of the box, and in the form of the side pieces.

These are now the third iteration of my drawer design (begun on the ‘Square Deal’ side table, then taken in a slightly different direction on the ‘Ming-Inspired Cabinet’). This time, the drawer sides and runners will be formed as one, machined from one piece of material, instead of taking two pieces and joining them with a sliding hammerhead connection:

This 1-piece ‘I-beam’ construction is a little bit stronger than what I was doing previously, and allows the drawer sides to sit further outboard, which in turn modestly increases the interior volume of the drawer. By machining the drawer side pieces and their runners out of solid rather than joining two pieces for each, I can radius the transitions, which again increases robustness and makes the drawer interior a little easier to clean. The contact between the side of the drawer and the side of the opening is still minimal, and the wide running surface for extended durability remains.

In place of the usual view of dovetails one comes across, the is the exposed drawer corner on this cabinet:

I think that looks sufficiently pleasing and interesting – I hope you’ll agree it’s not too ‘busy’ at all – and definitely conveys that joinery is being used to put stuff together, for those who might notice or care about such things. The drawer sides being further outboard and 1-piece also opened up the possibility to do a half-blind dovetailed connections to the drawer front, but I prefer the wedged through tenons all the same.

I should be back to material cut out work on this cabinet sometime in the first week of January. In the meantime I think I’ll post again on design aspects for this piece. Now you know what’s coming, you know what to avoid I guess. :^)

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. All the best for 2018 if I haven’t posted before the 1st of January.
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A Ming-Inspired Cabinet (99)

Several weeks months have elapsed since my last post in this series. In this time, both cabinets have been completed, and the client has received his cabinet and is pleased with it. I have been down in the dungeon toiling away at putting a video together.

I started work on a video showing the assembly of the cabinet soon after the second cabinet was done. I knew I was in for a slog, as I am inexperienced with video work in general, and the number of clips I had to string together meant this would be the longest video I have made yet. I also wanted to add in a bit of narration, along with background music, so it was a struggle in certain respects.

I stopped and started the video editing several times, due to discouragement. In fact, a month could pass between the simple task sitting down to work on it. In the end, I found renewed energy and got it done, and learned a lot on the process. However I am well aware it is hardly what you might call a slick production. I’m aways off off YouTuber ‘Clickspring’, put it that way. There are inconsistencies to the sound levels here and there, and I’m sure another round of edits and adjustments wouldn’t hurt anything. There’s a kind of cheesy Sketchup animation that I debated removing but left in at the end. Several portions of the assembly were not even filmed – like the bonnet assembly – because I forgot to film, or forgot to bring the camera, or the camera battery ran low, etc., so there are some gaps. But, people have been wondering and asking if they’d ever see this video, so I really felt it was better to put it out there and chalk it up to a part of the learning curve. In the end, it came out at about 30 minutes in length.

I don’t – or haven’t so far – vlogged in a purposeful manner, i.e.,  I don’t have a film studio, or ‘set’, or the best lighting and sound equipment, not have I created a back drop scene to present a consistent view, with everything pristinely cleaned, including your truly. Not that those aren’t good ideas. I don’t wear a consistent clothing scheme, there’s definitely no wardrobe attendant, and thus the video I have made is hardly what one would call an innovative or clever work of branding.

It was informative to watch myself on video though and think about how I might improve for next time, both in terms of what I am actually doing on film, how it is filmed, and how it is described. I aim to improve those things as I can for next time. And there will be a next time for sure.

Anyway, you’ve been warned. Here’s the video showing most of the steps in the final assembly of the cabinet. Hope you enjoy – if you manage to get through, let me know your impressions:

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Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (3)


Most Japanese houses, though the rooms generally are smaller than in most parts of the West, have really large closets in the sleeping rooms. These closets are built to accommodate futon sets which, after having been aired out, are folded up for storage, allowing the room to be used for other purposes until it is time to turn in.

Some apartments however do not have these large closets, and neither do western homes generally. So, in Japan one can obtain a storage box for futon/bedding sets. Here’s one example:

The above example is pressboard and veneer by all appearances, and interesting that it features bifold louvered doors. The sizing, for those that do not immediately apprehend metric dimensions, are about 47.25" wide and tall, and 29.5" deep.

When I got to thinking about a cabinet designed to hold beddings, the first thought was a blanket chest, more particularly the earliest form of Japanese tansu, which is a storage trunk, or nagamochi:

There are wheeled variants of this form, the precursor to the ornate wheeled chest known as kuruma dansu. The wheels were means to be used in cases of emergency – fire conflagrations – whereby the owner’s possessions could be wheeled out of the house and down the street. Sounds interesting, however, when these type of cabinets became commonplace they actually caused a sort of furniture traffic jam in the streets when fires happened, and were in fact later banned in Tokyo.

And wheels on a chest are fine if the piece is meant to be moved frequently about a house, but that didn’t describe the brief from the client in this case.

Thinking more about the louvered doors, and how ventilation was a key feature for a cabinet like this, reminded me of certain Chinese cabinets in which the fronts and sides are largely, or entirely, composed of latticework panels, like this example:

Another one, out of a book of mine, appears distorted when it is not in reality:

I really like the above cabinet, but it was not to the client’s taste. Although the client spends a fair amount of time in Japan annually, he did not want the piece to look too “nippon ichiban” if you catch my drift.

With that in mind, I set to work on a design. The necessary dimensions were pretty well set from the outset, as it was to hold two sets of beddings like the box seen in the first picture above. That said, the client wanted me to keep the height down as much as possible. Unlike the long struggle I had with the design for the client’s sideboard this design came fairly quickly, and has only been revised in minor ways a couple of times since. It was a real comfort to come to a place of satisfaction with the design so early on.

This, then, is what I am building:

The cabinet’s final dimensions come out at 50" tall, about 48" wide, and 30" deep.

A view with the doors removed shows the interior, featuring a pair of drawers:

I thought the drawers were a useful addition, and would allow for the storage of sheets, alarm clock, etc.. I’ve drawn them with Macassar ebony fronts, however that remains provisional.

The end walls will be composed of hexagonal latticework, done with a trick joint so the kumiko appear fully woven, and an added bonus to the latticework is that, like a Town Lattice truss bridge, it provides terrific shear load resistance though the redundance of many interconnected bracing elements, which will keep the cabinet box from twisting or deforming over time:

At the moment there is a panel of Honduran Mahogany in the middle, and this is but one option. I may use another wood, and I am toying with the idea of orienting the panel’s grain, if it is a VG piece, vertically. I really like the ‘see-through’ aspect of having lattice at each end of the cabinet, and it also makes the interior bright and airy when the doors are opened.

Next, the back of the cabinet with its two-panel frame assembly with dovetailed stiffening battens, which will attach to the carcase via clips and be demountable, as is now a standard feature on my cabinets:

Detail of corner:

I’m having a little fun with the 3-way connection at the corners of the cabinet.

The doors on this cabinet will swing 270˚ open, thanks to some angled knife hinges which I will be fabricating. The door handles shown are to be replaced by pull knobs. The draw handles will likely be of similar form to those seen in his sideboard.

There we have it -how do you like it?

Got some time in at the shop today and, somewhat regrettably, the client’s last slab remnant was sliced up to yield the last of the required panels. I’m glad to have obtained the panels, most of which are 100% quartersawn, however it would have been nice if I could have had a more efficient conversion of the original slabs into panels.

I’m waiting on a delivery of some more Cuban (Floridian) Mahogany, which should be in my shop by the middle of next week.
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Dark Chocolate and Sponge Cake (2)

I was planning to start talking about the design of the cabinet, however there’s another issue occupying my attention at present. Designing and building is an interesting process, and you can never predict everything, despite making all efforts to do so, when it comes to solid wood. This is especially true when you are buying wood at a distance and relying upon photos and descriptions of others.

When I designed the cabinet which forms the focus of this build, I drew it with a frame and panel system, and did so employing quite wide panels. Wide panels, after all, offer a clean and uncluttered look, and typically make for stronger construction as compared to using divided frames with multiple panels.

Initially, my thought was to use curly shedua for the panels and mahogany for the frame, however it proves impossible to obtain shedua wide enough, and I avoid glue ups generally, so that plan hit a snag. Shedua may yet feature in this build however.

Then I found some exceptionally wide 5/4 (1.25" / 31.75mm) slabs of Honduran Mahogany, at a nearly unheard-of 48" (1219mm) width. These appeared to provide all my panel requirements, and were thick enough that the prospect of re-sawing the material became within the realm of consideration. Since the alternative to re-sawing is to plane the material down, thus putting more than half of the stock up the chip collection system, I was keen to see if I could obtain as much as possible of what I wanted by re-sawing.

As mentioned in the previous post, the risk to re-sawing is that material un-evenness and movement after cutting may mean that you cut a precious board in half along it’s thickness only to end up with nothing usable.

I realized that, for certain panels on this cabinet, namely the top panel, a board with a small centered band of flatsawn ‘cathedral’ in the middle would be the most ideal aesthetically, given the options. The required top panel was too wide for it to come from a quartersawn cut off of a 48" slab . That cut would, to have enough width, include a portion of flatsawn at one edge, and that pattern of figure would look visually unbalanced. The alternative to that approach was to cut off a chunk of 48" wide material to the required length and then slice off  10" from each edge, thereby leaving the middle portion with centered middle cathedral of flat grain. That could then be planed down to produce the panel.

Since every slab of wood has certain potentials, which diminish with every cut made, I figured it made more sense to obtain a narrower board of equivalent board footage to the slab remnant and use it instead of the 48" wide slab remnant.

I looked first to a local hardwood yard that has been holding onto a pile of about 2000 board feet of Honduras Mahogany, all 4/4 (25.4mm) thick, and in various wider widths. They’ve had this stuff for at least 20 years, and it hasn’t sold to any significant extent because they have kept the price on the high side, unchanged at $25/bd.ft for the last 10 years now. They know their business best I guess, but the last half dozen times I have popped by that yard in the past year or three I have been the only (prospective) customer, so I’m not so sure their business strategy is working all that well. I would have thought the idea of a wood yard was to bring wood in and then sell it, not warehouse it. Wood that sits in stock for extended periods is just going to cost them money, for the most part.

Anyway, they happened to have 4 boards in their pile, boards which were 29~30" wide, and being 4/4, the only recourse with that stock would be to plane it down to obtain panels, which was easier to consider since it involved significantly less waste than doing so with 5/4 slabs.

They got the forklift out and we broke the pile of boards apart, mouse turds and mouse nest building material flying everywhere (the wood pile has been sitting undisturbed for quite a while it would appear), until I could get a look at the 4 boards. Unfortunately, not one of them was suitable. They all had too much flatsawn grain, a result of being through-and-through cut pieces a few slices too far up from the center of the tree. I was looking for a board which was one of those slices just above the heart center, which would keep flat grain to a minimum, and quartersawn grain to a maximum. I had hoped that yard would be the convenient answer to my problem, but it was not.

Then I looked over Irion Lumber’s website again, and found some suitable material, with the aid of a bit of phone consultation with the salesperson there.

I decided to buy two more slabs from Irion, one being the last of the 48" slabs they had on hand, and the other a 36" wide slab which, from the photos, has a minimum of flatsawn and a maximum of quartersawn grain. My thought with the 48" wide, 10’ long piece was purely, “ain’t gonna see that again so buy it now and hold on to it”, while with the 36" wide piece I saw it as a perfect swap-in for the 48" x 88" remnant I had from one of the client’s slabs, in fact it was a near-perfect swap on a board foot basis. The 36" wide piece was 14’ (4.2m) long, and in order to save on trucking costs, I had them lop off a 4’ length from it, to keep the remnant board the same 10’ length as the 48" wide one.

This wood made it, via Fedex Freight, from PA to my shop in under 24 hours, somewhat astonishingly. When I got a closer look at the 36" wide board I found it was not quite what I expected. I had been thinking that, as it was a slice of a 36~38" diameter tree trunk, it would have the center of the flatsawn grain portion more or less in the middle of the width. Instead, it was at the ¾ mark, 27" in from one edge, 9" from the other. Possibly this board came from the bottom of the trunk where the buttressing is located.

So…my idea to obtain a piece for the cabinet top which had the centered cathedral was not to be, at least in terms of getting it from the newly-acquired 36" wide material.

But…the configuration of grain did offer an exceptionally wide band of quartersawn material. I thought I could look to make use of that feature.

I felt that for one of the interior panels, the cabinet floor or the middle shelf, I could be fine with using 2-piece panels. These could be edge joined in various ways, with glue or without. They don’t have a significant structural function, they just divide or enclose space and are a surface for beddings to sit upon.

I took the 4’ long, 36" wide piece and cut out an 18" wide chunk of the quartersawn portion. I jointed one face and edge, then ran the stock though the planer to clean off 95% of the opposing face. From there, I could examine the run of the grain more carefully. After lining out the board to obtain the best grain alignment, and trimming with a saw, then re-jointing an edge, I obtained a 15.5" (393mm) chunk, this being close to the tallest thing I could stuff through my Hitachi re-saw. It was a hair under 1.25" thick, and I gauged off a pair of lines 9/16" (14.2mm) in from each face along the edge, leaving a space for the saw kerf.

The boards did not move too much in the cut, and I was happy with the results at this stage:

The pieces are weighted as a precaution, not because they are warped or bowed.

As it turned out, the saw-cut I took was a hair fatter on one side than the other, and after dressing off the surfaces of both pieces in the planer, I obtained just two 3/8" (9.5mm) panels – on one piece, I was lucky to do so, with the final pass to dimension taking off the last bit of rough sawn face. These will be fine at this thickness for the middle shelf of the cabinet, sitting in a frame about twice as thick as the panel.

However, I realized that the likelihood of obtaining two ½" panels from this process was looking decidedly unlikely, especially when factoring wider boards, where I am wanting to obtain single-piece panels (like for the front doors, rear panels, and the top of the cabinet). And with wider material, I was faced with a greater likelihood that flattening out from any irregularities in the wood surface to begin with, and the potential effects of wood movement after the cut, were decreasing the chances I could get the material out from re-sawing that I wanted.

And even more to the point here was that wider boards meant no use of my Hitachi re-saw, which has 5 horsepower and stellite teeth giving just a slim 1.6mm kerf  – the other saw options, either powered or manual, would likely associate to a wider kerf and therefore less chance of obtaining the results I was after.

Speaking of re-saw options, after my last post a reader wrote me from Denmark and, in a long detailed message, described his experiences with both French frame saws and old Japanese mae-biki oga type saws, the ‘Whaleback’ form of single-man rip saw, and advocated strongly for me to use the maebiki oga. He was so confident that it was the best choice, and that the French saw was a lousy choice for the application, that he offered to send me one of his saws if I paid the shipping, on a ‘give it a try and see how you like it basis’. Incredibly kind! It’s on it’s way now, and I should have it in hand in the next day or two. I cancelled my order for the French frame saw blade and got my money back no problem.

However, to continue, after my experience with re-sawing that first plank, I was thinking I needed to look at plan ‘b’. However, the prospect of planing the stock down still caused me to hesitate. Was there another way?

Maslow talked about a Hierarchy of Needs. perhaps rather less formalized, I have my own, as applies to my work in wood, and here are a few worth mention, in no particular order:

  • that I use wood wisely, both in how I select it, process and in how the design is to maximize lifespan
  • that I design so as to limit wood movement via care in selecting material for purchase, and to cut, and in orienting grain in the piece
  • that I employ joinery primarily, with reluctant recourse to fasteners and/or glue
  • that I design to maximize the strengths of solid wood
  • that I use the tools at hand preferably over taking pieces to other shops to have tasks done
In the last post I joked about how I wished to employ solid single piece panels, and wanted to avoid having to do any glue ups with panels. I also wanted to avoid planing the wood down from full thickness if I could help it, while recognizing that it was the surest path to obtaining the desired stock.
Driving home from the shop, I reconsidered the situation in light of the re-sawing reality. and in light of the collection of material I had to work with, which was generous by most standards. An idea came to me, which I later sketched out on a scrap of paper, finding a way to use the boards as ideally as I could:

In a hierarchy of needs for this project, something had to give. I couldn’t obtain exactly what I had wanted in the design, like the one-piece door panels on the front so as to present a view of the entire tree trunk via the two front panels, without getting into planing material down. I didn’t want to revise the design into doors which have two panels each, and I didn’t want to do a glue up to make panels if I could help it, not on the most exposed panels in the cabinet, namely the front doors and top panel.
The things about these conflicting needs is that one can reflect and figure out which needs are more important than others. Given a choice between planing a piece of slab down and wasting 70% of it in chips, or making a panel out of two pieces edge joined, I generally would have to prefer the latter option unless I am sure that re-sawing will not work. Making wise use of material generally trumps the situation if the wood allows some design change options. However, if it were the case that minority of panels out of the set were to be planed down, rather than all of them, that was an acceptable trade-off if the reward was there.
So, I have forged a new battle plan, as it were. This plan results in the following:

  1. I take advantage of the fact that the 10’ long 36" wide board has such a severely offset flat grain portion, and chop out a pair of 46" long pieces to obtain the two door panels, purely from the wide portions of quartersawn available on that stick. To me, the benefits of the quartersawn wood outweigh the aesthetic of having the front doors display a tree trunk across the two panels. These two door panels will be planed down from full thickness.
  2. The 48" wide slabs I have which are still full length, at 10’ (personal stock) and 11’ (the client’s piece) respectively, were not sawn by the most sophisticated equipment originally and if one tried to obtain a single piece, like a conference table, from the full length, then one would remove a huge amount of stock and be left with something like a 5/8" thick top or worse, and that is if there were no movement after stock removal, which is unlikely. A wide top that thin would perhaps be a bit unstable too. These slabs therefore are not ideally suited to becoming giant tables or desks, and in order to make the best use of them I think they need to be cross-cut, initially into a 1/3~2/3 format. This will provide, with the 1/3 sections, material for the remaining panels, and leave, with the 2/3 sections, a comparatively less bowed/kinked plank, which, if it were to become a large table or desk, would be a thicker piece after dressing than if the piece were not crosscut.
  3. I will accept the use of 2-piece construction for the remaining panels, by cutting slab remnants so as to obtain pieces that are entirely quartersawn. If you consider the choice between taking a 48" wide slab and cutting the 10" flanks of quartersawn off, and then planing down the middle portion, which is about 50% flatsawn, to obtain a one-piece cabinet top panel, versus cutting 14" bands of rift~quartersawn off both sides, and then re-sawing those into a pair of panels each, and accepting the 2-piece construction, I have to go with the latter option. It will move less and not be prone to developing splits over time as flatsawn panels can.
  4. In step (3) I am resawing slabs to obtain pairs of panels, and one set of these is to be ½" thick, and I can’t get two of those from one blank. However, I could re-saw each of the two blanks slightly off the centerline, so as to be able to produce one ½" board, and one 3/8" board, from each slab. Then I simply pair the ½" pieces together and the 3/8" pieces together afterwards. Maximizes the use of these two pieces of quartersawn slab.
  5. The two 46" long half-slab sections already trimmed from one of the slabs (see the previous post) were intended to become the front and rear door panels via re-sawing. One of those pieces however has a few bug holes and these holes go right through the plank, visible on front and back faces. I cannot use these for the front panels (and have a better option anyway in (1) above), however they could be employed for the back panels, and there is an option to either plane them down, manually re-saw, or trim to maximize the quartersawn portions, and then re-saw those to make a pair of 2-piece back panels. I’ll decide once I get into them further.
The above approach to cutting the various panels will hopefully leave the greatest amount of full width slab stock untouched, give me the nice 1-piece doors I wanted, and then 2-piece panels elsewhere, all quartersawn. I could choose a variety of ways of connecting the two piece panels together, including glue if desired.
Onto the battlefield to see what eventuates – hopefully the distance between plan and realization will not be too great. Here is the weapon of choice for the slab sectioning, all 190mm of it:

It’s a great saw that makes a very thin kerf.

Here’s the 36" slab undergoing the first cross-cut:

After cross-cutting with a 96T blade, I swapped in a 24T blade for the rips:

After snapping a line, I let ‘er rip:

That was followed by more cross-cutting to produce the two front door panel blanks:

I then dressed the blanks down on the planer to see what I had with clean faces to look at, and this is the result:

As you can see, the right hand board has a curious bit of grain, which looks slightly like a bark inclusion but it isn’t, just a sort of darker oxidized piece of folded/distorted grain:

I think I am fine with the panels not looking perfectly identical or having perfect runs of grain- this is a natural material after all, and I think that the grain ‘curiosity’ adds something nice.

Then I took the two previously-sectioned slabs, f
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