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Barn-type Door Construction

Jim Lewis  Member


I'm making a barn-type door for interior use. It will hang on a track and roll back and forth.

There will be a frame with divider and two panels on each side, with crossbucks on the bottom panel. Door size is 42" w x 78" h.

Will I run into trouble if I use a 1/2" cherry ply core and apply 5/8" faming materials to both sides? Cherry ply, solid cherry frames, with stiles and rails 5 1/2" wide and the bottom rail 9" (glued at top only, rebated in and floating at the bottom).


2/7/19       #2: Barn-type Door Construction ...
David R Sochar Member

As long as the temp/humidity is the same/similar on both sides of the door, you should be fine. Looking at your website, though, you are certainly capable of making a regular door with plowed panels. If plywood, you can even glue them in.

And a piece of quartered Cherry will be stable enough to glued into thistles at full width.

Now you have to tell me about the lectern (?) on your website with all the octagons and smaller squares. Do you have a section drawing you care to share? Were the octagonal assemblies fastened to a ply wood back? How did you accommodate the curve of the wall? Nice work.

2/7/19       #3: Barn-type Door Construction ...
Jim Lewis  Member


Davidó Thanks for the props!

I call that piece a pulpit, as you step up into it. We started with a simicurcular wackywood wall, 5' diameter. We ordered two moldings, for the octagons and the squares, that were profiled much like a Fresnel lens.

After very carefully cutting them and gluing them up, we used construction adhesive to attach them to the wall, with shims so they approximated the curve.

Mitering the curved top molding into the turned posts was a trip. Fortunately, the fellow who did the jointery had a 1920s English book on fancy trim which showed how to construct the arcs that matched the profile perfectly.

Typical fancy woodworking: days of tedium followed by sheer terror, hoping not to make a killer mistake ;?)

On the door: I could do a dominoed door, with glued ply panels and all but thought this might be an easier, faster construction, even with banding over the plywood core after trimming.

2/7/19       #4: Barn-type Door Construction ...
David R Sochar Member

Easier! Simpler! Wake up man! Is that what life is about?

You could have just CNC'd that pulpit out of MDF!

2/9/19       #5: Barn-type Door Construction ...
Pat Gilbert

"Typical fancy woodworking: days of tedium followed by sheer terror, hoping not to make a killer mistake ;?)"

That is a great line, of which I'm thinking Dave is intrepid to such things.

Nice work

Was that intersection along the lines of a hunting miter?

2/10/19       #6: Barn-type Door Construction ...
Jim Lewis  Member


?? I don't know what a hunting miter is.

I followed the explanation, but was so distracted by the details of the rest of the job that I don't remember it. I remember it involved striking arcs and some very interesting geometry, and being grateful I wasn't the one cutting it, mostly by hand.

2/10/19       #7: Barn-type Door Construction ...
Pat Gilbert

The moderator of this forum Gary Katz is in this video

Hunting Miter

2/11/19       #8: Barn-type Door Construction ...
Jim Lewis  Member


Got it! That's the one. I think the book they refer to was what the cabinetmaker used for his inspiration. I thought there was geometry involved to find the radius of the miter, but the video shows how you would cob it from extending lines.

At any rate, an inspiring piece of work, and in our case done by hand with a clear finish instead of a tracing routeró and on both ends of a curved molding, which had to be a precise length. Wish I was that great a jointer!

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