Mill Marks on Cabinet Doors

A cabinetmaker gets help identifying a production defect in doors he bought from another shop. November 29, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
Am I correct that the marks on the back of this door are being caused by a feed issue with the drum sander? I'm getting my doors from a local door shop and have been getting these marks on a door here and there. Their quality has been pretty good, but I had one that had a larger impression like this on the front side of a door panel that was about 1/2" wide and 1/8-3/16" deep; basically would have had to sand that much off the entire panel to remove it. On this one they filled with putty. If you received a door like this with these marks on the back side of the door would you accept it?

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Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor C:
It looks like they didn't take enough off with the thickness planer to clean up sawmill marks to me.

From Contributor B:
If these marks are being filled, it is definitely not a drum sander or wide belt feed issue. This is what Contributor C says. They didn't remove enough material to take the saw marks out of the rough lumber. I would not accept it for the kind of work we do, but you may be able to get away with it considering it is the inside of an oak door. I would bring it up to your door guy and tell him you won’t accept on future orders.

From contributor U:
I agree with the others on the cause. I wouldn't accept it period. One of my sales reps told me years ago that a bad customer will just stop doing business with you and a good customer will tell you what the problem is so they can fix the problem and do better next time. This is what I think you should do if you intend to keep doing business with them. Bad places in doors reflect their work but after it goes into your work then it reflects your work! You don't want bad references.

From Contributor W:
Not from the wide belt for sure. It most likely they didn't clean up enough stock. The wider mark very well could have been.

From contributor C:
Return them and protect your reputation. It's inherently yours and yours alone.

From contributor K:
Absolutely without a doubt the sawmill marks are caused by bandmill blade drift. This is the reason that many years ago I bought a planer and switched from a 3/4" panel to a 5/8" panel. It's very difficult sometimes to dress 4/4 or 13/16 stock to a clean 3/4" panel. Definitely send it back, there's no reason to let that out the door.

From the original questioner:
The mill mark explanation should have been obvious to me. I think I was just hung up thinking about the other door that had a wider, deeper impression on the front side. I was thinking that it must have gotten caught up in the sander and gouged.