This project had been on the to-do list for quite some time. My old doors were sheets of (approximately) 1/2″ plywood with no frame, so they bowed terribly and left a gap at the bottom where small animals could get in. One notable example was where I stumbled upon a bird’s nest on my clamp rack.
My original design was to include a window near the top of each door. I eventually changed those plans when I realized how lazy I was. I instead went with a 2×4 frame, with half-lap joints where they all met. I routed a rabbet on the inside edge of the frame and installed two panels per door of beadboard plywood. I secured the plywood with 18ga nails. I then took 1x4s and laid them over the back of the 2x4s, securing further the plywood and making a frame for some 3/4″ sheet foam insulation. I put a coat of paint only on the outside for now.
I built these in mid-December during a warm streak. Then, it got really cold and I didn’t have the opportunity to hang them. I did last week, finally. After not finding the hinges I wanted, I did select some proper door hinges with anti-tamper hinge pins. Unfortunately this meant when I hung them I didn’t take into account the extra width and they wouldn’t close all the way. Nearing dusk, I had to do a dirty job of mortising the hinges and got them to mostly close. I borrowed a power planer the next day and got them to close well. I need to do just a bit more fine-tuning on the doors to get them perfect though. I mounted hardwood stops on the top and left side, and I’ll get around to weather seal at some point.
While I did get nice new doors for my shop, I haven’t noticed any appreciable temperature difference. I was hoping I would. I think I need to address things like the old leaky window, and a probable lack of insulation under the floor.
Original doors – made sometime in the Cretaceous Period.
Original doors – showing bowing at bottom
Making the new doors – frame and panel complete
A bit of a mess
Foam insulation on back
Doors installed and looking good