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Sliding Barn Door Help?

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Forum topic by DerekJ posted 02-26-2016 07:10 PM 4409 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DerekJ

80 posts in 351 days


02-26-2016 07:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: barn door rail stile help

Good afternoon! I’m pretty new to this forum and woodworking in general, but I’m excited to learn and gain experience. I’ve recently been recruited by my cousin to help him build a sliding barn door for his home, built out of walnut that his grandpa milled from their property. Something similar to this is what I have in mind:

I haven’t seen the wood, but I’m assuming it’s just rough cut and has a lot of variance in thickness. In doing some research, it seems that the right option is to put rabbets into opposite faces/corners to create a shiplap board. Then build the barn door as rail and stile construction to allow for seasonal movement. I won’t have a router table available for this so was planning to use a table saw to put the grooves in the frame.

A few questions that I’m hoping you guys can help with:

1) How can I get boards of equal thickness, but still achieve that weathered/rough cut look?
2) Willa shiplap style panel give the look of distinct boards in the door like in this picture, or should I put a very slight chamfer on the adjacent edges to make the boards more visible?
3) Is there a better way to construct something like this than rail and stile?
4) I’ve never built anything rail and stile before – do you have any beginner tips?

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE


13 replies so far

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 616 days


#1 posted 02-26-2016 07:45 PM

A good read for ya
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/147986

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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DerekJ

80 posts in 351 days


#2 posted 02-26-2016 07:51 PM

Thanks Conifur. I have read that and was planning on using the z-shape batten, but thought shiplap would be easier to do for a beginner like me than cutting tongue and groove panels. Am I going about it wrong..?

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View frosty50's profile

frosty50

46 posts in 1811 days


#3 posted 02-26-2016 07:58 PM

If I were to build this door I would use 8/4 for the frame with mortise and tenon joints including the mullion and middle rail. Mortises should be 1/3rd the thickness of the frame. You then can cut a dado about 1/4” in the rails and stiles for the insert panels, the panel boards could be T&G or cap with a tenon top and bottom to set into the mortise. Another option is to use either T&G or lap and set then on abut the top and bottom of the rail and then trim both sides of the insert panels. Bottom rail should be about 2” larger than the mid and top rail. I would pin/dowel the rails to the stiles for stability, and glue. Panels can and should be floating for expansion and contraction of the wood inserts. I have built similar doors out of oak, poplar and cherry. I have never had a complaint about them holding up.

-- frosty

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DerekJ

80 posts in 351 days


#4 posted 02-26-2016 08:17 PM

Can you explain what you’re talking about for the panels in a little more detail?


The panel boards could be T&G or cap with a tenon top and bottom to set into the mortise. Another option is to use either T&G or lap and set then on abut the top and bottom of the rail and then trim both sides of the insert panels. Bottom rail should be about 2” larger than the mid and top rail. I would pin/dowel the rails to the stiles for stability, and glue.
- frosty50

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

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frosty50

46 posts in 1811 days


#5 posted 02-26-2016 08:37 PM

The panels in the picture sent are recessed inside the frame of the door. Normally these would be 1/2 the thickness of the fame. within the frame cut a dado approx. 1/4” and the top and bottom of the panel (insert) would set into the dado, I would go between a 1/2” to 3/4” deep for these dados. the panels boards would have a tenon the length of the dado, again between 1/2 to 3/4” approximately 1/4” in thickness. The tenon would then abut-hit the top/bottom of the rails but would not nail or glues, leave floating. To assembly the door, first place the mid rail to side stile and mullion. Insert panel boards into the door frame then attach the top and bottom rail. The tenons on both bottom and top rail would be the full length of width of the rail. Dry fit everything first, then take apart, glue and assemble. If you choose to use the diagonal braces they can be added after the everything sets up.

If your panels set on top and hit the rail (not inserted with tenons), then make a small trim to hold them in place. Attach the trim to one side of the door, put the panels (T&G or lap) pin nail, and then put the trim on the other side of the door. If use this method I would not use panels greater than a 1/2” in thickness as the rim would do have much strength. If you use 1/2” panel thickness, and the door frame is 1 3/4” thick, the trim would be 5/8” thick, and flush with the outside edge of the rail.

Look at cabinet doors that glass is used for the panel, same general idea. If you do that a dado is cut on one side of the door fame to insert the glass on to and trim is on the other side.

A mortise and tenon door will be the strongest one with panels set into the dado or mortise.

-- frosty

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 905 days


#6 posted 02-26-2016 09:33 PM

You’d be better off with T&G or continuous spline than shiplap, IMHO—the individual slats will be “bound together” better

If you want to thickness the stock and have a “weathered” face, you can sandblast or wire brush after thicknessing. Or thickness one side only and glue pieces back-to-back.

Stile and rail, for sure. Mortise and tenon would be the traditional approach. Half laps or bridle joints can also work well.

You will need to assemble this door on a flat surface, so as not to build in a twist.

View DerekJ's profile

DerekJ

80 posts in 351 days


#7 posted 02-26-2016 09:39 PM

Any easy way to construct T&G without a router table?

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13732 posts in 2082 days


#8 posted 02-26-2016 09:54 PM

A number of hand planes do T&G, but you (likely) don’t want to go there.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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DerekJ

80 posts in 351 days


#9 posted 02-26-2016 09:59 PM

Smitty, nor do I have the tools. I think I’ll go with a lap style panel as it will be the easiest given my tools and experience.

Frosty, your clarification was very helpful, thank you!!

Jerry, I’ll give the wire brush idea a try and see how it looks, thanks!

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13732 posts in 2082 days


#10 posted 02-26-2016 10:14 PM

It’s a great project. Good luck, post pictures when you’re done!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 616 days


#11 posted 02-26-2016 10:27 PM

If you go SL I would put a slight bevel on it, give it a bit of character, and if not exactly perfect, it will cover that up visually.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 905 days


#12 posted 02-27-2016 02:09 AM

Easy enough to cut slots on the table saw. Then cut splines. (If you glue in a spline in one edge, bingo, T&G—-but you can leave the splines dry-fit) Then the panel pieces can’t warp away from each other like they can with shiplap

Wire-brushing: I do this with a wire wheel in a small angle grinder. It brushes away the softer “early wood’ and leaves behind the tougher “late wood”—-similar to what natural weathering (or sandblasting) does.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2194 posts in 945 days


#13 posted 02-27-2016 11:25 AM

Thicknessing will be a problem there is no way to do it and leave a rough surface other than resaw the wood.

You can still do the v groove even with shiplap.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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