A Real Garage Door

January 7, 2011

That’s the one we’ll use to visit the garage and to fix the fire, not the one reserved for whatever mechanical pet is currently occupying the service bay.

The new door’s made of white oak grown locally by Ed Rowswell and sawn on his mill. The planer had no trouble with the wide planks, but my old tenon cutter had its work cut out for it, and I had to stand on the foot pedal of the mortiser for each of the many cuts into the dense, stringy wood. It was good to get my woodworking tools back into operation. They’ve been in storage ever since we moved into my shop of 30 years, a stone house on the property.

Now my beloved Poitras shaper and 8″ General jointer are snuggled neatly around the box stove. No more damp barns for them. The band saw’s just to one side and the tenon cutter’s back in operation for the joinery projects involved in the final touchups on the house — primarily armoires in the bedrooms. The other tools can stay out in the cold.

A 1.75″ oak door is incredibly heavy to lift around. Once it’s mounted on hinges, of course, it swings just like any other, though perhaps with more authority.

Suburban homeowners discover they can take their entry doors apart and replace the muntined thermal panes with opaque glass for privacy. Then the rejects sit around their garages until they put them on Kijiji for a few dollars. I bought two last summer in Ottawa. The current glass in the door cracked when I drove a screw into a mortise in the door frame to tighten it. Then the sledge hammer did it no good when I whacked the prehung door into position. I’ll drop the second one in a little later in the process.

Normally I fit a sheet of 1/4″ plate into doors like this, but I decided a replaceable panel would be better for a door likely to be used as an entrance from a woodshed. Surely enough, as soon as I make a replaceable window, I end up replacing it.

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