This past weekend we built a barn door. It took a little less than four hours and cost us zero dollars.
Don’t believe me? Well here is the story: we have a barn door in our hallway. It is stunning. The wood is from a hundred year old barn on my husband’s family farm. We collected the wood before the farm sold and all of the buildings were torn down. When we decided to sell our suburban house, the hubby made it clear that the door was coming with us to Providence Acres. I knew that the door makes a statement in our house and will attract buyers. The only solution for us both to be happy was to make a replacement door.
We decided to dig into the wood pile hoard and make it. The wood is cedar fencing that we actually picked up a block from the suburban house when the homeowners had it replaced. We snagged it off the road before heavy trash pick up could ad it has been in a pile outside for the last three years just getting cooler, more weathered, and ancient looking.
When I am using reclaimed cedar fencing here is what I do.
- Wash the wood with a jet washer setting on the hose sprayer. Use a brush if there are dirt dobbers (for those of you who don’t live in the south they are a wasp-like bug that builds mud nests on wood), muddy spots, or anything that needs extra attention. Clean both sides.
- Leave the cleaned wood to dry in the sun. I usually lean them against a fence. The wood has to dry several days in the sun.
- After it is dry, sort the wood and pick out the best pieces. What I consider the best is wood that is not split, and relatively straight.
- Cut off the dog-eared top of each board and the ragged bottom of them to see what you have to work with.
I knew we would need 19 boards cut to 40 inches in order to get what I wanted. We would also need 9 foot long trim board and a few boards for the connecting boards.
The boards on the left are my 40 inch boards, the rest went back into the hoard for another use.
We still have a few precious 12 inch wide long cedar boards from replacing our lake house siding but our stash is dwindling. One board was sacrifed for this project. Hubby cut the wood into three inch widths. That gave us four boards to use as the long side boards.
We laid out the boards on the shop floor then glued and air nailed the long boards to them. We added cut down cedar for the top and bottom sections. I decided to use the same pattern as the gate Hubby found in one of the barns on our new place.
The gate on the wall was inspiration for the barn door design.
The diagonal section adds strength and stability to the door.
Our method for cutting the corners was to lay the board down diagonally in the center of the corner then draw the corner on the board. Very unscientific but it worked.
Once the front was done, we added trim boards to the back side.
There were a few places that needed a little sanding where it felt rough. Here it is all put together. Nine feet is tall, folks.
The edge of the boards were left raw. I wanted it to look just like it would have on a barn.
It took three coats of satin polyurethane on each side to turn the wood into this beautiful color.
Here it is hung up in the hallway.
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I hope your week is wonderful.