Thursday-Doors – Shed-Shed Doors

Shed Shed Doors Under the Moon

This is the final D-I-Y doors post for 2017. Regular readers know that this post has been coming because my buddy was picking on me about making these doors when we were at the bar a couple of weeks ago. These doors had to be pressed into service sooner rather than later, because the snow blower is in that shed, and the shed’s doors were failing. They were hard to open, hard to close and they weren’t doing the best job of keeping the weather out.

When you have to kick a door to open it, you’re in trouble. When you’re afraid that kicking the door will break it, you’re in deep trouble.

The main doors (the ones I had to kick) also had two design flaws that had recently become very annoying. First, they didn’t stay open in the wind. That means that when I was trying to get the snow blower in or out, I had to either prop the doors open or do the awkward reach from behind the storm cab to give them a push. The second problem is that the header is too low for the snow blower’s cab to easily fit through the door. That requires me to put the snow blower at its lowest to-the-ground setting and tip it just a bit.

One of these problems was solved by replacing the hinged doors with a sliding door. Sliding doors tend to stay wherever you put them. And because sliding doors hang from a track that is independent of the header, I can relocate the header later, without having to alter or even remove the door. Actually, since I was also able to remove the stop molding (the strip hinged doors close against), the doorway might be tall enough now.

As with previous D-I-Y projects, I’ve included most of the play-by-play in the captions to the photos. If you’re interested, click on the upper left photo to start a slide show that is roughly in the order of the production process.

Of all the doors I’ve built and featured here, these are the simplest. The design was based on the pile of leftover lumber that I was otherwise going to have to find a place for in my garage. This was kind of like those cooking reality shows where contestants are given a few ingredients and have to make something amazing. I was given 65′ of five-quarter pine stock and not quite two sheets of ½” plywood.

The five-quarter pine is the same stock I used to make the doors on the hanging shed and the garage attic. The difference is that with those earlier doors, the pine ended-up behind the scenes. On these doors, the pine frame is exposed and the plywood panels rest inside a slot (dado) that is cut into the edge of the pine. The pine boards are held together with tongue and groove joints, pocket screws and exterior glue. Because there’s very little movement on the boards and plywood (due to temperature and humidity) the panels are also glued into place.

This post is part of the wonderfully fun and addictive blog-hop, Thursday Doors, organized by the world-famous producer, Norm Frampton. Each week, Norm opens the stage doors to a band of walk-ons and extras as he carefully displays their doors for all to see. The door remains open for roughly 55 hours. As you enter, look for the blue frog – that’s the Director. He’ll show you to your dressing room. Be sure to check out Norm’s doors while you’re getting ready.


    • Thanks Ruth. I think it might, I haven’t dug it out yet (still dealing with leaves) but the upper stop rail was actually doubled-up. I think I added a strip as the original doors sagged a bit. If not, I can move the header up about 6″ without much trouble.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m always impressed with your projects. These look great.
    Upon first sight, I thought they were screens, and I thought, “Oh no, poor Dan, traveled his brain too far, plumb lost his mind!” But I see they only look like screens from a distance. Very nice — well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First, I love the light from the setting sun on the shed in the final photo. What a great shot, Dan.

    Second, sliding barn-style doors … swoon!

    Third, you said these were easy doors to make, but by the time you got to the pocket notches, I was in awe. It seems to me that being a wood-worker is equal parts magician.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. You can thank Maddie for the photo you like, she dragged me outside at that time.

      Maybe “easy” wasn’t the right word, but certainly easier. I’ve been doing woodworking for almost 50 years, and I’ve seen a lot of advancements. Pocket screws, when they won’t be seen or won’t detract, are super fast ways of connecting boards with a very strong joint. That’s the heart of a door. Where these took about 10 minutes to drill, the mortise and tenon joints I cut on those closet doors took several hours. The tools make the magic possible.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. Simple, functional and attractive was the goal with these. I mean, it’s a shed. I used the doors on Sunday, while cleaning up leaves, and they are a big improvement over the ones they replaced.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are one talented do-it-yourselfer!! Doors look perfect on the shed. I love the way you take us through the process step-by-step. It’s fascinating. No doubt those doors will serve you well for years to come. —-Ginger—-

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger, The only downside is that I have to keep them painted. But they aren’t too hard to paint, so maybe I’ll be able to keep after them. I do like the way they function.


  4. Always amazing, Dan. do have one question. i couldn’t tell from the pictures. Did you fill the joiner holes? Your work is always so precise and intriguing. I don’t think I will be doing any joiner holes soon but the question did come up. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is there any concern that a high wind would damage a hanging door? I am considering a slide door for my milkhouse/sauna but worry about the wind. It really gets strong coming off the Minnesota Mosquito Refuge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a similar door on my workshop, and it’s been hanging for well over 10 years without any issue. I think the key is holding the door to the wall. The workshop door is held from inside (when locked). The shed doors are held at the edge where they close by a pad that they slide under. The bracket with the (caster) wheel on it holds them at the trailing end. There are trim boards under the long sides and weatherstripping behind that, so the wind can’t get behind the door. The smaller door has a weatherstrip threshold and the wider door will have weatherstripping at the bottom.


  6. Dan, I believe you’re the only Thursday Doors participant who actually MAKES his own doors. And I think that’s pretty cool. If you haven’t been travelling, hey, no problem — whip up an entry without even leaving the house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Norm. I didn’t get to make any furniture this year, so the woodworking behind the hanging shed and all these doors was my shop time. You can probably appreciate how good it feels to use leftover material instead of having to find a place to store it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Impressive Dan ! Quite the collection of tools. Almost makes me want to start on my shed door repair. Almost. It will keep till next spring. Though I might take a few pictures. That is if it does not slow me down getting back into the garden. So how many sheds does it take to store all those tools ! ? 8)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. I’ve been collecting the tools over a long period of woodworking. My workshop is 12×16, and I borrow a 10′ section at the back of a 22′ wide garage. I’d love more space, but I’m planning to make the 10′ that I borrow a permanent arrangement. I hope to partition off that portion of the garage so I can keep sawdust in the shop, and so I can afford to heat the shop space.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Doors that can’t stay closed are a nuisance, especially for one who is familiar with good carpentry work! There are certain things laymen just don’t think about. Showed hubby your earlier doors (I think the ones of last week), and asked him why they were higher than ground level, he looked like he saw water burning. “You can’t open a door when the snow is a foot high!” What a revelation:):)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That looks so complicated, I think we’ll be buying our doors, Dan. There are some good second-hand ones available – as long as we measure carefully we should find the right one. Thankfully we don’t need snow blowers where we live. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. such a great resource to add to the blogosphere, Dan.
    and you are right, some of us knew this was coming….
    it looks a little difficult and makes me grateful for door makers…. if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Yvette. Most doors today are made in highly automated shops. The makers of reproduction doors and custom doors are still craftsmen (and women). It’s an art form and an engineering problem rolled into one, doors are always under stress.

      These were pretty easy to make, because I had the tools required. I hope they hold up to a New England winter, but I think they will.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Major pat on the back and a job well done, Dan! Fantastic idea and fantastic doors! I hope your wife knows the brilliancy that sits in you. To make these doors out of scrap oh yeah …. inspirational! I need to nudge hubby in this direction to show him what Dan did and how, and um, gee, if he can do it working a full time job, then he can too (who is not working a full time job but always has the “age excuse” to fall back on). If I showed you a pic of all of our scrap wood in the basement and all the repairs we need to do (hubby mostly), you’d get why I would love to have hubby get some inspiration to rub off on him. And oh … now you don’t have to worry about critters getting into your barn. Or snow. Or rain. And you can get your snow blower out with ease. NICE!!!! I’m impressed! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is the “purtiest” and most useful shed ever, Dan! I am very pleased you showed us the final sunny, hanging barn doors. Then, the painted white details really show how evenly patterned the lines are. Nicely measured and great presentation!

    Liked by 1 person

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