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Braced plank door

Any guidance appreciated

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Roland Stokes02/05/2017 20:32:26
1 forum posts

hi all

I make Marquees, one-off curves canvas ones, to hire. For my latest one I am making a double door for the entrance, which is through a bolt together Timber framed porch. The opening is 2150mm, so these will be double doors, I wanted to make rustic looking braced doors. To save some weight I have gone for Douglas fir, ( well seasoned from Whitney sawmills).

I was researching (as I am an amateur, love woodworking but definitely learning) and was impressed with forum post about braced doors on this site. From this I have decided on 4 braces. As door will be exposed to weather have also deduced not to glue. I have cut down approx 150mm by 22mm boards on my Sedgwick table saw, these are planes and sanded, although I have just rejected 4 so will cut another 5 tomorrow.

I had 2 boards with a lovely waney curved edge and was originally going to have these two meet in middle backed by vertical frame so no gap but lovely shape made(hope this makes sense) I am going off this idea as would need vertical frame both sides and might end up being neither one thing or another.

I'm not keen on bent over nails (sorry great on listed building, but somehow not right for this) and was wondering how to join braces to planks ( not t&g). Would enough nails not bent over (say 2mm short of piercing far-side) do? I have some lovely old copper nails, would these work, in terms of rose headed nails do they have to be bent over. Brass/ copper rivets? Screwing and plugging an option seems a bit faffy.

I have 2 massive black strap hinges for each door, but am looking into a custom forged alternative, any good leads here, also any guidance on latches, easy from both sides of door, decorative. Sorry this is long any help appreciated, will post images thanks Roland

derek willis 103/05/2017 09:16:20
99 forum posts
12 photos


All sounds good to me, as for the latches, why not use traditional home/hand made wooden latches similar to a Suffolk latch, lift on the outside and a leather bootlace through a hole in the door to lift from the inside, I have made and fitted a number of these in the past to cottage doors, there is nothing more fitting.

Good luck and show pics.


Wilf.T03/05/2017 09:47:38
30 forum posts
2 photos

A few thoughts.

Braces - bottom of shall be on hinge edge of door - so doors will be opposite handed (I hope that makes sense),

Do fix brace to top and bottom ledge - long screws

Do screw outer boards to ledges - makes the door much stronger,

Consider a brace from bottom ledge to top ledge with a Lap Having joint at the middle ledge.

Ledges need to be slightly shorter than width of doors say approx 1/4 at each side.

Fix hinges using bolts at each end of hinge leaf through ledge

John Baddeley23/08/2017 12:21:28
54 forum posts
2 photos

I hope this isn't too late, but the photo in the magazine showed the braces running in what i believe was the wrong way. The bottom of the brace (surely?!) needs to be at the hinge side of the door, as - indeed - Wilf.T says above. But not as in the photo in the mag.

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