Double Rustic Barn Doors (From Framing Lumber)

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About: I'm a DIYer and creator likes to build, capture, and share my creations. Thanks for watching! Zach aka The Cutting Bored

Make sure you vote for my project in the "Home Improvement" content if you feel I am worthy!!

Full video of the Double Barn Door build is below which can be found on my Youtube Channel, followed by materials list / tools list and a full set of written steps that you'll want to have to build your own version!

Step 1: Gather Materials and Brace Yourselves

Building and hanging two barn doors by yourself is a hell of a lot of work. Brace yourself!

MATERIALS

TOOLS

FILM / AUDIO EQUIPMENT

Step 2: Plane (Optional) and Cut Your Pieces to Size

Douglas Fir lumber is rather rough, so I started off by planing all of my pieces down. This is not necessary if you don't have a planer, I just wanted to do it.

Between the amount of lumber I planed and the fact that my planer is on the ground, I was actually in quite a bit of pain by the end of it. I don't know why I didn't put it on a table...I did about 3-4 passes on each side of the lumber to bring it to a nicer, flat surface. Then, I cut all of my pieces to length.

CUTS:

  • 20 x 2" x 8" x 40"
  • 4 x 2" x 4" x 40"

It might be difficult to tell from Picture 4, but the design of each of my doors was as such:

  • 1 x 2" x 8" x 40"
  • 1 x 2" x 8" x 40"
  • 8 x 2" x 8" x 40"
  • 1 x 2" x 8" x 40"
  • 1 x 2" x 8" x 40"

to make a door roughly 82" high (based on the door heigh I needed for this specific project), and it came out looking pretty sweet!

By the way, this project took me a lot longer than expected, with the obvious reason being that I literally needed to do everything twice as I was making two doors. If you're just making one door, things will move a lot faster!

Step 3: Cut Your Dowels

After laying out all of my cuts and arranging them how I liked them, I labeled each piece so that I could put them back in order when I glued them up.

I used my large T-Square to mark up locations for dowels. This was actually quite easy, just make sure that your pieces are squared up before you make any markings and don't get careless and knock your pieces out of whack while you're measuring!

Then, I used my Rockler Dowel Jig to drill three dowels in each piece. These were necessary for this project given the overall weight of each door and the need for strength between each joint. This jig is quite easy to use as well - you simply line up the center line of the plexiglass with your pencilled marking, clamp it to your piece, and use the associated drill bit to drill your holes to the depth of your choosing (this will be based on the length of the fluted dowels you purchase).

Step 4: Tape Up Your Pieces (Also Not Necessary)

After each piece was drilled, I used frog or masking tape to tape off the ends of each of my pieces.

This was more of an experiment than anything (and actually quite time consuming), but I wanted to see how much this would help me on the clean up side of things.

Spoiler - it helped a lot, but probably took equal time to tape up that I would have spent cleaning up glue squeeze out.

Step 5: The Epic Glue Up

The next part was relatively straight forward.

I lined up all of my pieces, applied a large amount of glue to both the surfaces as well as the dowel holes, hammered in my glued up fluted dowels, and then lined everything up and clamped things together to dry overnight in 10' pipe clamps.

Few tips here / what I would change:

  • Don't try to glue up too much at once; part of me regrets doing the whole thing at once just because of the stress it added to the projectI used 10' long pipes for my pipe clamps, which I figured might sag in the middle due to stress, so I used scrap pieces of wood to support it
  • Instead, I would recommend doing pieces in sets of 3-4 depending on your clamp size, letting dry for 3-4 hours, then combining - much easier to keep flat
  • Make sure you have something to clamp on top to counter the clamp stress from the bottom (I didn't have enough clamps, so I used about 150 pounds in weight which worked great.
  • Dowels kept everything lined up well, so definitely recommend using them both for strength and for accuracy
  • Give it 12 hours to dry; this style of door is heavy and the joint need times to cure and settle

Step 6: Clean Up and Sanding

As you can see from Picture 1, the tape was very helpful in catching 95% of the glue squeeze out.

I don't regret attempting this method at all!

I then used a flap disk and my angle grinder to simultaneously remove glue but also add a slight "saw-milled" look to the wood. It doesn't show so much in photos, but it gives the barn doors a more weathered/rustic look.

I then went over those rough marks with a hand sanding block at 120 just so it would feel smooth overall to the touch. Using an air compressor to clean off all of your surfaces is very effective before staining (Picture 4).

Also my god was it a hot day out...look at that harsh lighting...

Step 7: Pre-Stain and Staining

My buddy wanted charcoal grey doors, which Minwax does not make.

So, to make this happen, I combined 3 parts Classic Grey and 1 part Ebony to make a darker mix. This was not an exact science - I just combined until I thought it looked good.

I used a pre-stain conditioner for these doors as well. Picture 1 shows all of my supplies. Picture 2 shows the difference between non-conditioned wood (left) and conditioned wood (right). Quite the difference actually!

The conditioner process is very simple. Just apply a solid coat to all surfaces, let dry for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 2 hours, and then apply your stain. I did one coat of conditioner as recommended and then one coat of my mixed stain to all surfaces of my doors (Pictures 3-4)

Step 8: Door Hardware: Round 1

Attaching barn door hardware is actually quite simple. Note, all orders will undoubtedly come with very detailed directions, measurements, and steps to install.

For this article, I'll just tell you what I did specific to my hardware.

Picture 1 shows the main track wheel piece. Picture 2 shows the components for attaching (a hex bolt, washer, and nut).

Step 9: Door Hardware: Round 2

My screws were not long enough to go through my doors, so the directions recommended doing a counter sink method for this.

To do this, I did the following:

  • Picture 1: Based on the directions, mark the center points of your two holes (I believe mine were 1.25" and 4" from the top and 2.875" in from the sides)
  • Picture 2: Pre drill a 1/8" pilot hole on the side that the track pieces will go on
  • Picture 3: Flip the door over and drill a 1" counter sunk hole using a spade bit
  • Picture 4: Drill a 3/8" final hole to accompany the hex bolt
  • Picture 5: Drop the washer in the counter sunk hole, twist in the hex bolt using your fingers and a ratchet wrench, and tighten everything using a regular wrench on the other side. Make sure as you tighten things that your hangars stay perpendicular to the top of your door using a rafter square

Step 10: Door Hardware: Round 3

Step 1 for this is to have a partner. My god was this a pain in the ass doing solo!

My tracks came with pre-drilled holes which I recommend, but if your studs do not line up with those holes, then you'll need to drill new ones which is a bit of a hassle. Nonetheless, the last thing you want is your doors to come crashing down, so do this properly!

The other method for hanging tracks easily and so you can avoid having to find studs each time is to use an additional piece of wood that goes in between the track and wall. This piece will be drill into all of your studs for support, and then you can simply just drill in your track based on the pre-drilled holes without needing to locate studs for each one and/or drill new holes to fit your space. I didn't have this luxury but I managed.

I located the studs in my walls, found the proper height to drill my pilot holes based on the height of my door, and drilled into my walls. I used 2 x 6' tracks for this project, and each track had four total holes to connect to the walls using a large lag bolt, a washer, and an adjustable spacer which proved very handy.

I recommend getting a drill attachment for this, as hand cranking everything in was exhausting. Use a level to make sure everything stays parallel, and repeat the process if necessary for second track.

Also, you'll want to install the end stops at this point before attaching your lag bolts to the walls as those will sit in between the track and your lag bolt end.

Step 11: Hand Your Doors and Pray

...that they don't come crashing down.

If they don't...success!

You'll notice there are special locks on these doors. For the sake of this article and my sanity, I will not go into detail about the nor will I recommend using them. The directions were off and I ended up drilling holes in the wrong location (I measured this three separate times to double check I was doing it correctly).

We ended up fixing it later on with some rustic looking steal pieces that actually looked cool.

Step 12: Door Hardware: Round 4

Once my doors were on the tracks, I could install the door protector that prevented them from popping off their tracks if hit too hard. Simple process and very effective.

There is also a floor guide that needs to be installed to help properly "plum" your doors, but this required additional epoxy that I did not have at the time so I do not have documentation of it. The reason I needed epoxy was because I could not drill into the floor due to laminated flooring and concrete. My floor guide also did not require a routed groove on the bottom of the doorss.

After that, I was finished. The build of these doors was quite fun and straight forward.

Step 13: Admire Your Work and Feel Free to Cry (a Little)

Hanging complicated barn door hardware, by yourself, for the first time, and with minimal tools is quite tough, especially when you have to do it twice but make it perfectly accurate.I look forward to doing this again in the future with a partner to help and hopefully with just one door and no complicated add ons.

If you want to know any materials, tools, or have any general questions answered, you can check out the second step or contact me via my website, thecuttingbored.com and I would be happy to do answer them.

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers!

Zach

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13 Discussions

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CrystalM138

Question 2 months ago on Introduction

What handle did you use in the inside side of the doors and how did you install it? Also what safety feature can be used so that the doors dont shut quickly on fingers? Thanks!

2 answers
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TheCuttingBoredCrystalM138

Answer 2 months ago

This kit came with a locking mechanism that had an interior handle. The doors are on a level track, so they only slide if you move them - the won't just slide close and slam together. The tracks also have a divider in the middle so they can only role to the middle. Also, moving two doors requires both hands, so there isn't an instance where your fingers will be between the doors when you're shutting them.

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kwhit190211

Reply 1 year ago

PS, so you know, I jused my method on heavy solid steel doors & it works very well. Now, I'm working on a set of steel bi-fold doors. Very safe, as I don't want anything to happen to all the young-uns running around the yard.

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kwhit190211

1 year ago

Fancy! But in my case I made up these kind of doors a few times. I never use the barn door hardware as it is to easy to pop them off track. And, flatening a kid would be my end. So I use something much more safer. I use uni-strut or what brand you have in your location & depending on the size & weight of the door I use 2 uni-strut dual trolleys per door. This system is a whole lot more safer than the barn door hardware system. As the uni-strut trolleys are totally enclosed by the strut & will not hop off the track. I can remember when I was a kid my grandfather always saying how easy the barn door trolleys popped off the track. And, the door weighed a ton & was hard for him to put back on. It got to the point where he just removed it & hinged the doors.

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TheCuttingBoredkwhit190211

Reply 1 year ago

Interesting- never heard of that kit. However, if you check out the end of the video, I do install the safety guides at the top of the door after they are on the track so that even if they are hit from any angle and pop "upwards", the can't get off the track as the gap to slip off is not nearly big enough to fit. You'd have to really lift with a lot of power and wiggle/force them off.

Going to look into your method / hardware idea though! Cheers!

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kwhit190211TheCuttingBored

Reply 1 year ago

It's not a kit. Sometimes, it pays to study catalogs. You would be surprised on what kind & type of ideas that you can get from that.Sometimes to many, :)

Okay, that out of the way, Yes I read how you put safetys on it, which is a good idea. As those doors are notorious for hopping off the track. & they are heavy buggers to try & get back on.

I saw in one of my catalogs that type of hardware you used can be pricey, where-as a stick of strut which is 10 feet long costs about $20.00. And, the unistrut trollies go for 25 dollars each. You can get the strut from Home Depot & I always get my trollies from McMastersCarr.com.

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TheCuttingBoredkwhit190211

Reply 1 year ago

cool. you enjoy your catalogs, I'll stick with the hardware that my clients bought for their barn doors.

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kristin.howard.169

1 year ago

These look fantastic, great job! What would you guesstimate the total cost to be?

Thx, Kristin

1 reply

Thanks! Okay I can can give you a few costs:

Wood materials-Wwise, it was about $130 for everything (I returned the large 10ft pipes after I was done as they were in perfect shape and I had no need for them.

Hardware-wise, I believe my friend paid around $600 to include a track, the hanging hardware, the floor guide, the rail stop, optional large handles, and the door safety guide (and he did it all twice since it was two doors!). I'm guessing there are cheaper routes!

Tool-wise, if you eliminate some of the bigger things like a planer and miter saw, you can get down to $300 ish but I already had all my tools.

Hope this helps!