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Millcraft Door, Inc.
My page
This page is dedicated to my project machines, my travels, funny stuff, pictures of millwork failures w/ commentary, and anything really- 

So... I am a bit of a machine junkie, Most of my machinery is old industrial equipment some of which is antiquated in modern manufacturing.  I have bought many of my machines from auctions for literally scrap prices and restored for my own use and I enjoy it. 

This machine pictured here below is a old pattern makers lathe made by New Heaven Manufacturing Co.  I found this by accident while trying to track down part for a another machine.  A phone call; and 2 hours after- me and my wife were in the truck for a road trip to NJ, as I had to have it.  I have wanted a pattern makers lathe since I was aware of what they were.  It needed bit work but well worth it, the design alone was appealing to me.  After getting it home and a few weeks later a lot of wire wheeling, fresh dark green paint, me and my brother Josh re poured new babbit bearing.  Shortly after was able to rig up a motor for the leather belt and its now turning again.  I have found very little information online about New Heaven Mfg. Co.  the guy I bought it from said it was 1890-1910 but I don't know for sure and very little info is available from my searches.  The dealer tag from the company that originally sold the machine Manning, Maxwell & Moore and their address; 111 & 113 Liberty St. New York.  Its a really cool lathe I don't turn much other the occasional pediment urn or misc. items,  so I get past it not having the modern features that the Laguna lathe that this replaced, but thats ok, because its cool!
Its ready for a new life!
​Check these pictures out!  If your a seasoned woodworker or carpenter that made your way here;  your in for a good laugh, or some might learn just depends where you are. 

Millwork incompetence!!!

Changing adhesives from the blue cap stuff to the green cap stuff the so call (ultimate) bad idea. unless you like call backs.  I don't!  While I was really enjoying the (ultimate) workability great open time, convenient, just leave the stuff in the the Pizzi glue tank.  But, every single dark finished- Sapele panel that (ultimate) was used on, that also faced south, I have had to go back and replaced, yep.  TB2 won't do this but.. Good luck with a complex assembly with TB2 short open time.

The fact is a dark finished Sapele, even on a 75 degree day with direct sun will reach temps well over a 100 degrees.  Panels would leave joint failure on the ext. side.  The glue joint just getting fried ~ .5 to .625" deep.  You can check out the pictures here, we busted open to check it out.  This was a wake up call to switch to industrial adhesives. 

These next pictures are of a few doors from a luxury home that was built new ~2008 in Biltmore Forest, NC.  Millcraft Door was hired to build 21 new entry doors to replace these (yes, just 6 years later).  The doors were built by posers with out a clue- and for a home builder; building a home north of 4 mil. to accept delivery of these is just...... Well, I said I'd try not to be offensive, so you fill in the blanks. 

The list of whats wrong is so long I may miss a few, but notable things- Joinery, ok can we even call this, that? First and foremost the construction method..... WTF,  If you look- there is 1/2" plywood (fail) between two independently made sides (yes you can tell by the misalignment of rebates from each side)  and notice the the third pic the different width stop mould! and then everything glued up, plowed the edges to put a fillet to cover, Wow... this is crap!

The next item that lead up these doors failing is the species.  Just because the doors are getting painted does mean you can use cheap lumber.  Soft Maple moves a lot and is not durable in weather.  And when I say it moves a lot, I mean when I first visited this house it was a wet humid spring, there were double doors that were so swollen they could not be opened and the same unit in the fall when making the delivery you could put a pencil in the gap, yea it moves.  And there's a bigger issue past this project; I have seen numerous prints in the last 5 years from Carolina architects that are spec ing S Maple on prints for paint grade Entrys, this is not right! whats the savings? $ 200 a door... give me a break.  

And from here we have so much warping, twisting and bowing but all due to the previous two problems. And check out those door bottoms, again failure on the builder for checking and hiring the cheapest painter in town that doesn't give a damn.  These doors are all TDL 8 over one, and the tempered IG panels were ordered with a tempered logo on every single IG unit, nice detail on a 4 million dollar home, and the best part was some were in upside down, logo stamps in the top logo stamps in the bottom..... Again, where was the builder?  In the last picture you can see the carpenters installing the new units have the new door frame plumb, and check out that framing.... SEEE.. NO GOOOD SENOR!!! The funny part was the original door was set with the wall.   

All in all pretty sweet.  Who's to blame? the builder that accepted all of this.. YES! or the "millwork" lame wood shop that Ive been told is still cranking em' out.  I won't call them out here, because I and others, could make a living reproducing real doors behind them.  

A WTF from Coastal Carolina, this is interesting joinery!

What the dowel!!
"Mike.... the guy's a joke"
Why TB3 is not the "ultimate" wood glue!
1974 Mattison 404 rebuild

This saw I bought from a Robbinsville, NC. Stanley Furniture auction in early 2012 for $450 in early 2012.  Shot in the dark of whither or not it would need to be scraped or worth rebuilding, but luck was on my side this saw had a new chain & race (the most important part of a slr saw). But was in need of a new bull gear from a failed lower gear box seal.  While rebuilding  the saw I acquired another Mattison from another unsold auction, bought for $475. (it was missing its chain & had a destroyed race way) but its Bull gear was 90%. after pulling other salvageable parts from the machine I scraped the rest and cashed in at $425.  What a deal!  I have a youtube video of all the progress pictures.  I started the rebuild in April 2012, got burned out and finally finished it in September 2014.  All new bearings, fresh turned rollers, and its ready for its retirement, well compared to its last life, running two shifts from 1975 till 2009 when it and several other saws were replaced by a automated rip line.  

​Dowel door construction vs. Gravity...... These pictures show what doors will do over time, that are constructed with dowels rather than the time tested Mortise and Tenon construction.

The best mitre clamps money can buy!
An old arbor press now has a new life.
I have been needing a press for quite some time now.  I found this rusted up mess on the web, and brought it home for 100. bucks.  The next day I thought I might have bought scrap iron as this had sat outside for along time and the ram was rusted in.  But, wd40 soak, a bottle jack and lots of heat- voila!  She works great. 

Time for some sheet metal work.
So after I moved in to the new shop, I found out my old moulder manifold wasn't going to work.  But that was ok because it was a bit on the rough side.  The challenging part was creating the layout, going from a 10" round duct to a 7" x 26" w/ 3.5" radius ends on the bottom, after creating the plan view drawing I was able to break things down to triangulation.  As to get each sections run measurement I could then calculate the hypotenuse to produce the pattern.  From there bend things up on my home made sheet metal break, make some rings (this would have been nice to have a slip roll) but I managed, and then gig braze all the parts together.  It came out nicely.