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Forum topic by weathersfuori posted 05-09-2017 01:03 PM 564 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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weathersfuori

86 posts in 970 days


05-09-2017 01:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: doors barn doors joinery joining rustic question alder

Hi all,

I’ve been asked to build a couple of interior doors; One barn door to be used as a sliding door, and another standard door for a pantry. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I’d like to ask your advice on a few things as this is my first time building doors. I appreciate any helpful comments and thank you for your time in reading through this!

The sliding barn door will look something like this... but without the horizontal piece in the middle, so just a frame with vertical panels in the middle. This door will be about 100” tall and 40” wide. Material to be used is knotty alder, 6/4 for the frame and 4/4 for the verticals that make up the panel.

And the pantry door (typical side-hinged door) will look close to this... This door is roughly 95×28, and will also be made of knotty alder with 6/4 for the frame and 4/4 for the chevron panels.

So now my questions…

For the barn door… my initial thought on this is to tongue and groove the vertical panels together and into the rails and stiles. My plan was to leave these vertical panels floating in the frame with no glue. Do I glue the vertical panels themselves together? No glue at all with the panels (either to each other or to the door rails and stiles?)? And finally and most importantly, will this door be more susceptible to twist/warp or otherwise become distorted because there is no brace going across the panels such as a Z or a horizontal piece going across the middle of the door like in the picture?

For the pantry door…

My main question here is how much gap to leave between the door and the door casing to allow for expansion. Is there any kind of standard on this from your experience? Seems like measuring the door casing and subtracting about 3/8 of an inch(maybe 1/4?) on all sides should leave me with the dimensions of the door to allow for expansion and for the door to close properly.

I still have to put some thought into how to put the chevron pieces together and into the door frame before I feel like I can properly form a question on how best to do it… but I’ll take any advice on that as well (thinking just tongue and groove again but I feel like there’s more opportunity for me to screw it up given there’s angles involved!). Would this just be a whole lot easier if I just used a plywood backer and attached the rails and stiles as trim (thinner material than currently planned) and then cut and attach the diagonals to fit? I guess my main concern with this idea is having enough width to be able to attach the hinges to the edge of the door when all is said and done. The customer doesn’t care what the back of the door looks like in this case.

And my last question… I have limited tools and experience using mortise and tenon joinery, which I presume would be the best joint for the rails and stiles of both of these doors. What about using half-lap joints on the rails and stiles, perhaps with a couple pegs through each joint for added strength? This seems like something I could do on my table saw without too much difficulty.

Sorry for the long read- Thank you very much!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations


7 replies so far

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Rich

1987 posts in 429 days


#1 posted 05-09-2017 03:24 PM

I can’t help you with the barn door, but I have built many interior doors and can share some of my learning curve.

First, the width of the door frame minus 1/4” is the standard for the width of the door. You don’t have to worry about the door expanding, unless you were to simply glue up a 1-3/8” thick slab, and that would be silly. Because the rails run horizontal, and there is no significant expansion or contraction along the grain, it won’t move. The stiles aren’t wide enough to matter.

I could go on, but I did a blog for my interior doors, and a project for an entry door between the house and garage that had special requirements for flame retardant and was 1-3/4” thick, versus the standard 1-3/8” for interior doors. Here are links, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

http://lumberjocks.com/RichTaylor/blog/97722 (a 5-part blog)
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/300378

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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weathersfuori

86 posts in 970 days


#2 posted 05-09-2017 04:25 PM

Thanks Rich- I stumbled on your entry door before I posted… beautiful door! I just read through your blog and it was very helpful. Obviously I don’t know much about doors, but the blog helped with some of the terminology and standards that I wasn’t aware of.

I ran across a couple other posts mentioning using half-lap joints for the rails and stiles. Since I am limiting myself to a table saw for this build (don’t have the skills/tools for mortise and tenon, and don’t have the router setup I wish I had for this project), I feel like the lap joint may be my best option with the tools at hand. If these doors work out okay and they generate more orders for doors, I may be able to justify buying more tools (what a shame that would be!).

That and whether or not to glue the panel boards together (planning to join them with T&G) and whether to glue them to the stiles and rails or just let them float… those are my main questions.

Thanks!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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Rich

1987 posts in 429 days


#3 posted 05-09-2017 04:49 PM

There was a post recently referring to an article where glue joint strengths were tested. The half lap won, so you’re making the right decision there. Also, from a visual standpoint, you can have the stiles go full length, and cut out for the joint on the backside. That way, looking at the front of the door, you will see a full stile. The back side will show rails going across the full width, but like you said, they don’t care what the back looks like.

If I were doing the panels with T&G, I’d just float them in there. Don’t butt it all in too tight, so there’s room for expansion. If you’re worried about rattling, a dab of glue in the center of the top and bottom of the boards will lock them in place and allow for movement of individual boards. You could also use a brad nail on the back side.

I forgot to mention this… you asked about hinges. A standard interior door is 1-3/8” thick. Hinges for them are sized for that thickness, and the edge of the hinge will be set back approximately 1/4” from the face of the door. Basically, you want the door sitting flush with the door frame, so that’s the critical detail for determining where to mount them.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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weathersfuori

86 posts in 970 days


#4 posted 05-09-2017 05:26 PM

Glad to hear I am not totally clueless! That takes a little stress out of the project for sure. I’m also feeling better about the T&G panels and just floating them in there as you said.

Regarding the hinges, so you’re saying the critical detail is the thickness of the door? I wondered about that- perhaps I need to get 8/4 instead of 6/4 for this door at least (thickness shouldn’t matter as much for the barn door unless the hardware doesn’t fit it). Not sure I can properly mill 6/4 stock for 1 3/8” thickness!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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Rich

1987 posts in 429 days


#5 posted 05-09-2017 05:40 PM

No, the standard thickness for interior doors is 1-3/8”, so unless there’s something unique about the door frame you’re installing it in, that’s a given.

What I was referring to is the hinge mounting. Obviously, you want the door to sit flush in the door frame, not inset, and not standing proud of it. It’s something that would be obvious to you when you mounted it, but since I had mentioned that bit about the edge being 1/4” back from the face of the door, I figured I’d clarify that that’s what you’ll wind up with, but it’s not what you should use to place the hinge.

I know you’ll figure it all out on your own, so maybe I’m just clouding the issue by over-explaining. This stuff is really difficult to explain in text. Here’s a photo that may help.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Rich

1987 posts in 429 days


#6 posted 05-09-2017 05:42 PM

Oh, and you’re right about using 8/4. Technically, you can get 1-3/8” out of 6/4, but that doesn’t give you any room to play with. I knocked around the same decision and went with 8/4.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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weathersfuori

86 posts in 970 days


#7 posted 05-09-2017 05:50 PM

Thanks Rich- I see what you’re saying about the hinges now. Sorry, I was on a different planet as usual. Makes total sense now and I appreciate you mentioning this as I wouldn’t have thought of it until I got to it!

Really appreciate all your help! I’ll have to let you know how it goes.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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