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.
Install some flashing and a doorframe into the door cavity.
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.
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.
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.
Measure and cut a piece of plywood to fit into the doorway. Mount the frames on to the plywood and paint.
Attach strap hinges, two for each door. Then mount the whole panel on to the doorway.
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.
Paint the cut areas where the bare timber is showing with at least three coats of paint.
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.