Just Swingin' away!

David's picture

My my, what a great day! Yesterday I was finally able to hang our door! It may not sound like much, but for us it was a really special event. Up until then, the building has had a kinda cold feeling to it. It was something you just kinda stood back and viewed at a distance. Looking it over and talking about different parts of it. Well, with the door on, it seems to have changed my whole perspective. Now it kinda whispers to you, "Welcome. Come on in. This is YOUR home."

Ok, so it's not quite our home, but it sure does give off that feeling now that the door is hung. It wasn't too difficult to put up, but it didn't happen without it's hitches. This cob project has been nearly an entire learning experience, and I have ran into many issues where I had to think on the fly to come up with something for a remedy. Well, this time I should have known better. No, it wasn't anything too terrible. A pretty simple fix. But if I were out in the bush and such an event had happened, it could have been crippling. But let me pick up where I had left off from the last time I wrote about the door.

So there it stood, leaning up against an old pine tree. The door with it's aged, rough sawn 4x6's all pinned together. Like an immortal sentinel, it stood there through all the sweltering days and the blistering nights. It watched clouds pass above the trees, felt the rain trickle down it's face. And once, although protected by the thick pine boughs overhead, it felt the sting of hard, cold ice stones that snuck past the tree. And so, it stood.

On my way to the studio, and then again on my way back home, I'd see him standing there. Just leaning against that tired old tree. It didn't spend it's time happily swinging around like the other doors. No. It was waiting. It waited patiently, until the day came when it was time to leave. The day when the lights were shining and the stage was set.... it was time to jamb!

Er-hum. Well, ok so enough of that. Anyway I took it to the opening to layout where to drill my holes for the hinges. Now, the hinges I'm using are heavy duty barrel hinges designed for gates. I like the rustic look, plus I needed something beefy to support my heavy door. I knew before hand I couldn't install this door like a typical hinged door because of these hinges. Basically, the door (gate) is supposed to be lifted above the barrel hinge and then slid down on inside the barrel. Well, with the door jamb above the door, there's no way I'd be able to do this. So I figured I could just hang the hinges by themselves, set the door inside the jamb and then wedge it in so that it's exactly where it would be if it were hanging on the hinges. Then, all I'd need to do is lay the floating hinges against the door, and attach them to it. Remove the wedges and presto-change'o, a hung door.

At first I thought I'd have trouble getting the door in the correct positioning, but it ended up being a snap. Now here is where I start kicking myself in the tail end. Beforehand, I had taken a measurement of the holes from the top hinge so that I could get the correct size bolts. It turned out I needed 1/2" diameter. Four for the top hinge and 3 for the bottom. I made my purchase and went home. Ok, so the door is set, I mark out the hole locations and start drilling. Everything is going great. I bolted up the top hinge and then moved to do the bottom. *SCREECH!* The bolts aren't fitting into the bottom hinge! Apparently the bottom hinge used 3/8" bolts instead of 1/2". I'm still shaking my head at this. Why the heck didn't I double check the top hinge against the bottom? I had just assumed they were they same. Through all my experience, I should have known better. The hinges themselves were different sizes for pity's sake!

Well, so there I was with a 1/2" bolt in my hand, a 1/2" hole in the door, and a 3/8" hole in the 1/4" thick iron hinge. I couldn't get a smaller bolt to fit the hinge because I had already drilled a larger hole in the door. Oh, I forgot to mention I bought lags. I could have used a through bolt, but that would look horrid on the inside with a big clunky nut. Also, I only have access to a 3/8" drill chuck. Luckily I know a fellah down the road who has a bigger drill. I took the hinge to him and drilled out the holes to fit my bolt. Problem solved. Now if I had been out in Tim Buck Too, across from Hootenanny Holler, what was I to do then? I don't know. This is why I'm so upset with myself. A simple mistake with large consequences is not a good thing, especially when I should have known better.

Luckily, everything else went as planned. I wasn't sure that being how my door is 3" thick, if I'd have to trim up the edge of it so that it wouldn't rub on the jamb when it opened or closed. But it turned out just fine. And wow, does it ever look nice! Well, at least Patricia and I think so. I finished the door off by oiling up the hinges to reduce the friction. Although the sound from the rough iron hinges rubbing together as the door opened and closed was cool and dungeon-esque.

I'm currently making up the hardware to go with it, which I'll post when I'm all finished.

Until then, here is a picture of the door. Not a great picture, but it captures point.


Rick's picture

That looks pretty sweet! I very snug fit from here too.

Any plans to carve a design in the front? Maybe a greenman relief?

By Rick
David's picture

Yeah, I left about 1/2" clearance all around the door. And even with that, the tip of the door ever so slightly brushes against the top of the jamb. I don't have any plans to detail this door. Heck we wanted to put in a small window, but that didn't happen. No, nothing fancy, but I am going to try and add some character with custom hardware. I'm working on the door bolt right now.

By David
Rachel's picture

Your door is beautiful! Very well done! You should be quite proud of yourself. :-)

By Rachel
David's picture

Thanks Rachel!

By David
Criddles's picture

That looks really good!!! Looks like its something right out of the Dungeons and Dragons game thingy you used to play online all the time. =)

By Criddles
David's picture

Yeah! Next I'll be running around with an axe, traipsing through the woods. Oh wait, I already do that.

By David