Weekend Project
Justin Newcombe's tips on outdoor DIY projects

Weekend project: Opening doors

By Justin Newcombe

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Justin Newcombe creates a workshop entry that affords a view.

Justin Newcombe constructing the stable door. Photo / Supplied
Justin Newcombe constructing the stable door. Photo / Supplied

I've always wanted a big workshop with doors that open out on to a small patch of grass that lead on to a beach. If that happened I reckon I would probably build nothing but boats, which would not be a bad thing at all. But just because I don't have such a thing at the moment doesn't mean I can't in some small way recreate my dream.

My workshop has spent the past three years with a tarpaulin as a door, but now it is time to get organised and build a proper door - one I can actually use. When the tarp isn't there I get a great view of my garden. In fact it's really beautiful at this time of the year and I am really looking forward to being able to catch the odd glimpse of it as I work. Because I am also keen to give my little workshop a bit of a flourish, I thought I would build some stable-type doors. These are the sort of doors you could use for a sleepout or even as a back door if you wanted to let the air in but keep the chooks out.

I spent a bit of time thinking about the best approach and this was crystalised after a conversation with my father-in-law who happens to be a cabinet maker/builder. The doors will be in four parts but I have made the whole thing as if it was one door and then divided it up.

To save time I have used strap hinges instead of butt hinges. For an ordinary door these would look a little coarse, but for a rustic barn door they are just the ticket.

Step 1

Install some flashing and a doorframe into the door cavity.

Step 2

Measure and calculate the size of your doors. My bottom set are 1.2m high which is a good leaning height, and the top ones around 750mm high.

Step 3

Measure and cut timber. I've used 150mm x 50mm timber which in retrospect is a little over-the-top but it looks great. You could go with 100 x 50mm, no trouble.

Step 4

Cut a halving joint at each end of each piece of timber. This is an overlapping joint and the easiest way to join the timbers while maintaining strength. I set my mitre saw to the depth of 25mm which is half the thickness of my timber. Set the saw up on a stand outside because of all the dust that will be produced.

Step 5

Measure and cut a piece of plywood to fit into the doorway. Mount the frames on to the plywood and paint.

Step 6

Attach strap hinges, two for each door. Then mount the whole panel on to the doorway.

Step 7

Cut between the doors horizontally then repeat vertically. Finish each door off using a plane or sander. It may be necessary to remove each door.

Step 8

Paint the cut areas where the bare timber is showing with at least three coats of paint.

Step 9

Attach a floor drop bolt to one of the bottom doors and sliding bolts to the rest. Attach a strap latch and padlock to the front.

- NZ Herald

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