Reclaiming lumber from old solid oak doors

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Forum topic by joel300zxt posted 10-31-2013 04:48 PM 759 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1699 days

10-31-2013 04:48 PM

Hey guys,
Wanted to pick your brains about an idea I had. I have access to some old oak doors. I am also in the early stages of designing a bar. I was curious if anyone has every disassembled an old door to reclaim lumber from which to build cabinets from? The doors are old and from what I can tell solid (not hollow core or veneered). In my mind, once cut apart and put through the planer/joiner should be some good pieces of wood left over. Any thoughts? Thanks. JMM

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View Greg's profile


330 posts in 2897 days

#1 posted 10-31-2013 05:11 PM

You are correct that this is likely still good wood-with a caveat. Depends on if the panels are actually solid hardwood and not a veneered plywood. The rails and stiles should be fine though. As with any old work, be mindful that there could be metal such as screws and nails in it. That can be pretty hard on planer blades! I have disassembled many a door for this purpose. You will likely need to cut along the joints at the stiles and rails. Then, you can mill all pieces to desired dimensions. Good luck, and enjoy!

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#2 posted 10-31-2013 05:32 PM

Salvaging good wood from solid doors is definitely do-able. I salvaged some oak lumber from the bookshelves in our old university library, and here are a couple of things I learned to be mindful of:

1. What may at first seem like a wide board may, upon closer inspection, turn out to be two or more narrow boards with tongue-and-groove joints.

2. That old oak can seem like solid iron when you are rtrying to rip and plane it.

Apart from that, have fun and enjoy re-purposing those old doors!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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