Monday, December 08, 2008

Trading hinged plywood for a real back door

For almost two years now, we've had a piece of marine plywood (with screen door hinges on it) serving as our back door. That poor piece of plywood took a beating as we carried rocks, mortar, timbers and whatever else we needed into the house through that opening. Now that most of the "rough" construction is finished on the inside of the house, we decided that it was time to hang our real back door.

A woodworking friend of ours made this white oak door for us from scratch over a year ago (hmmm... at least someone was on schedule!). Then my wife soldered the diamond shaped pieces of glass together to form the window panes. We had a glass shop seal each of her custom window panes between two pieces of glass, so her work will be well protected and the door will be more energy efficient, while still maintaining the "old world/craftsman" look we were going for on the back of the house.

Because so much of everyone else's time was invested in this door, I was nervous drilling and mortising the holes for the door hardware. I spent $30 to buy new drill bits for this job. Incidentally, because the door opening is flanked by vertical (green) white oak 8"x8" timbers that have shrunk to 7.5"x7.5", the actual dimensions of the opening have changed. I had to fudge the striker plate for the door latches, as well as the gaskets at the door jambs to get everything to shut properly. But man does this door sound good when you shut it. "Clunk." No rattle or vibration whatsoever. It's even fun to slam (the door has ball bearing hinges) - just make sure no one else is on the other side.

The second photo shows the inside of the door from our mud room. When this picture was taken, we were laying the slate tiles in the mudroom. (the orange and white dots on the floor are temporary tile spacers) As with the upstairs bathroom, these slate tiles are made from the scrapped, culled, and broken slates that were left over from our roofing project. Better than using them for backfill!


Blogger Gene said...

Beautiful door! Your friend does nice work.

December 8, 2008 at 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Dave Hill said...

Thomas, looks like things are coming together. I enjoy the updates.

December 13, 2008 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

Gene, thanks, and yes, I agree he does awesome work.

Dave, good to hear from you. give us a call some time!

December 16, 2008 at 11:15 AM  

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