I’ve spent a lot of time finishing the doors. I’m sure if I did it regularly things would go much more quickly. The process is about as interesting as watching paint dry (just polyurethane instead), but since it’s a clear finish it’s rather more twitchy to get right. Also, I’m sure I take a lot longer since I don’t have specialize equipment and a dedicated finishing space. So it goes.
Before I installed the doors, I needed to install the other half of the bullet catches I installed in the frames. I made a jig to drill them just the right depth, so the edge of the catch piece would end up flush with the bottom edge of the door.
A test hole showed that the jig left a hole slightly too shallow even though I’d tested it before. I suspect it was a tiny difference in how I chucked the 7⁄16 bit into the drill. When I trimmed a bit off the jig to allow a deeper hole, I took a bit too much. So I added some layers of aluminum tape to get the depth just right. The jig sits on the door edge, held with a clamp, and I drilled until the chuck of the drill touches the top of the jig.
Once the hole is drilled, it’s a simple matter of pushing the brass piece into place. The slot in the brass piece catches the ball bearing in the part of the catch inserted into the frame.
The installation of the doors took quite a while. I had to drill the holes for the screws (actually a three step process for each), and then use a steel screw to pre-thread each hole. The brass screws that come with the hinges are pretty but can snap off when trying to drive them into a hardwood like cherry. So the hinges came with steel screws to pre-cut the threading in the wood. Even those screws can break if you use a cordless drill too aggressively.
After all the work to this point, I opted for a screwdriver and hand power. With six screws per hinge, two hinges per door, nine doors, once with steel then removing that screwo, and once with brass, plus a few retries, it was a lot of hand screwing.
I’m happy with the results.