frameless barn doors

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Forum topic by Greedo posted 02-04-2012 11:42 PM 4729 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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470 posts in 2383 days

02-04-2012 11:42 PM

I have a commission for barn doors and they want the frame less type with vertical boards on the front and reinforced at the back with a Z-shape frame.
I have always been afraid of that, it somehow doesn’t compile in my mind how it can resist, while i know it does.

Anybody have any experience with building such doors? I always build mine with a strong mortised frame where the boards are not structurally helping.

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8168 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 02-05-2012 01:09 AM

They are called board-and-batten. They work fine but they
are not as dimensionally stable as frame and panel doors. You
can half-lap the z frame and/or recess the horizontal frame
parts into the door boards so there are shoulders keeping
everything aligned if you like.

View bhog's profile


2234 posts in 2113 days

#2 posted 02-05-2012 03:45 AM

If they’re split(top and bottom) cut after assembly and hung-bevel the cut.Remember that the angled piece starts low on the hinge side.And it really helps to build everything on a good flat surface.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2392 days

#3 posted 02-05-2012 04:17 AM

Ledged and braced doors. Like everything, there’s a right and wrong way to do them. They work ok with strap or scotch hinges.
The double Z frame should always have the bottom of the brace at the hinge side.
According to George Ellis, Modern Practical Woodworking, the brace should be notched into the rail at least an inch deep and an inch away from the edge of the ledge. The thing that keeps it all straight and prevents sagging is the nailing. It’s really only a simple job, but there’s a satisfaction to be had from knowing you did it right.

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Mainiac Matt

5957 posts in 1751 days

#4 posted 02-06-2012 09:29 PM

I have very large 10’x9’ barn doors mounted on box track with caster cars on the pole barn I built.

I used 1X10 #3 pine (picked the pile) for the verticle boards… and laid them up and clamped tight on a jumbo assy. table. I used 1×6 for the perimeter and X cleat, with a lot of nails. Then I flipped the panels over and hit all the vertical seems with corrugated metal fasteners shot out of a pneamatic gun I borrowed from work.

I primed and painted the outside (barn red with white trim of course) and the doors look and function great.

Why Pine? Available cheap to me and light weight.

The only problem I have is that after heavy rains, the doors bow a bit. So I picked up a piece of 1×1 angle iron with I plan on installing on the bottom edge with the verticle portion on the inside of the inner door and outside of the outer door.

I think the bowing is due to uneaven moisture absorption between the inside (bare wood) and the outside.

I’ll try painting the inside when I get around to it and see if that helps.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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470 posts in 2383 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 09:55 PM

thank you all for the replies, ill take it all in account!

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