Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Yes, I’m at that point in the door project. I started to plane down the wood to add some height to the doors. I need 5 more inches. I didn’t have any of the big joists left with enough clear wood to get two 40 inch pieces. Instead I’m using two 2X4 pieces that I will glue together. I’m paying very close attention to wood selection so that the grain will look the same. If I do it right I’m hoping it won’t be noticeable.

This is of course more salvaged wood from the 1920s addition. The addition had a flat roof and the roof joists were all clear, 15-foot 2X4s. These 2X4s didn’t actually span 15-feet because there was a center wall. Still, they seem undersized. But the roof never sagged, so who am I to question the wisdom of a bunch of dead men.

The one thing I’m really concerned with is matching the new wood to the doors. In the past when I’ve glued up boards like this I’ve always had to do a lot more sanding than I liked. It was ok because I didn’t have to worry about matching an existing finish so I could sand away until everything was smooth and even. This time I don’t want to have to do any sanding after I attach the new wood to the doors. I don’t want to sand the existing wood on doors at all and go back to bare wood on them. I’m not sure how this is going to work.

In other bad news, I found out today that the doors are only 1.5-inches not 1.75-inches as I thought. I could swear that I measured them the first day I brought them home and they were 1.75-inches thick. Maybe I took off more shellac than I thought I did when I stripped them. Anyway, this could be a problem for the hardware. All the pocket doors I saw locally and the ones on Ebay were either 1.75-inches or 2-inches thick. The hardware is designed for those widths. I may have to go back to the edge pulls and that means my new $5.00 locksets may be of no use to me.

Man, I hope this doesn't come out looking like crap.


Patricia W said...

Your really brave to take on such a project. One of the pocket doors in my house is missing and I've had a very hard time locating one that will fit. I did find a pair that is the right height but 5 inches too wide. They don't meet in the middle, just like mine but the guy wants $600 for the pair and I'm too thrifty to pay it. Besides, I only want one of them. My aunt suggested I buy a couple of 30" wide french doors and have a carpenter join them in the middle and make them one. I'm beginning to think I'll just have one made specially to match the original. Anyway, I'm antsy to see how your turns out so I can show my aunt what you did to add height, etc. My door is only an inch thick and the hardware is Eastlake but it isn't curved as it only meets a wall, not another door. I wish you luck and know it will turn out great.

merideth said...

wow greg! you are a machine! you've accomplished so much since we've been away and the doors look fantastic! I love the "flawed" panels. Very cool!

Jocelyn said...

That sounds tricky but I suspect you will find a way to make it work (you always seem to) and look good.

My Dad has pocket doors in his place too.

allison said...

Yes, those old doors can be a problem. We live in a house where none of the doors lock and many do not close all the way -- or swing open too much. There even are a few doors that were cut too short, but hung up that way anyway. Looks pretty sillly. It's not an easy fix to make them all function like normal doors, so we just live with it for now. The other solution is to replace the doors, but we'd have to replace all of them so they look consistent. Not a fun or inexpensive option.