How to Make a Barn Door - Double Sided

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Introduction: How to Make a Barn Door - Double Sided

About: Youtube Channel: Penalty Box Woodshop - Instagram: @penaltyboxwoodshop - Website: www.penaltyboxwoodshop.com - Step by step woodworking and DIY projects. My goal is to give back to a community that has taugh...

This video details how to build a barn door using tongue and groove. These doors are double sided and can be used in an entryway or window that is exposed on both sides (unlike a closet or pantry). With the right tools, these doors are easy and inexpensive to make.

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Supplies:

List of all my tools

List of tools used in this build:

Prestige Series Dado Stack

Titebond Glue

Makita Track Saw

Bosch Sander

Microjig Grr-ipper

Delta Table Saw

Dewalt Planer

Biesemeyer Table Saw Fence

Delta Miter Saw

Canon T6i DSLR

Rode VideoMic Microphone

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3 Zoom Lens

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Step 1: Mill and Prepare Your Lumber

For these barn doors I’ll be using rough cut poplar. I like milling my own lumber for projects like these because the rough cut material is cheaper and I can customize the dimensions to fit my needs. If you don’t have the tools to mill your own lumber then most lumber yards will sell pre-milled lumber for a slightly higher cost.

I milled the horizontal frame pieces, also referred to as rails, to 4 1/4” wide and 1 1/2” Thick. The vertical frame pieces, also referred to as stiles, were milled to the same thickness but were cut at 3 1/2” Wide. The length of these pieces will be customized to the size of the doorway or window that the door will be covering.

Step 2: Cut Dados for the Center Panel

Over at the table saw I installed my dado stack to cut a dado an eighth of an inch less than the thickness of the boards that ill be using for the center panel. I set the fence to cut a dado at the center of the thickness of the rails and stiles. The cut only needs to be close to center and does not have to be exact.

Using a test piece the same thickness as my rails and stiles I cat a dado to check my fence setting. Once I made the first cut, I flipped the board around and ran it through again with the opposite face against the fence. This should slightly increase the width of the dado as well as insure that it is dead center of the board. I then used the test piece to check if the dado was wide enough for the boards used for the center panel and made adjustments to my fence as needed. This fit should be slightly loose.

The first test run was too tight so I made a slight adjustment to my table saw fence further from the blade. Remember when making these adjustments there will be two cuts made on the thickness so it’s important to make very slight adjustments with each test cut. After getting a good fit, I began cutting dados in each of the rails and stiles making quarter inch incremental cuts until reaching a final dado depth of one inch.

Step 3: Cut the Tennons

After the dados were cut, I set up my table saw to cut the tennons on the rails. For this cut I did not move the table saw fence after cutting the dados but I adjusted the blade height to slightly under the edge of the dado. Using my miter gauge I made the cuts for the tennons on the rails. I tested the fit after each set of cuts and made slight adjustments to the blade hight until I had a tight fit in the dados on the stiles.

Step 4: Dry Fit the Door

Once all the cuts were finished on the table saw I did a dry assembly of the frame. This dry fit ensured that not only all the pieces fit correctly but also allowed me to get the measurements for the center panel. Don’t forget to add the one inch makeup created by the dados, to the length and width of the center panel measurements.

While the frame was assembled I placed a board at a diagonal angel on the back side and clamped it in place. Next I used a pencil to mark these angels for later.

Step 5: Cut the Tongue and Groove Boards for the Center Panel

Over at the miter saw I cut the tongue and grove boards, for the center panel, to length. Next I assembled the panel and used a clamp to pull the boards together tight and get a measurement for the width. With the standard width of these tongue and grove boards the panel was approximately 3" too wide. I removed the two outside boards and cut an inch and a half off of each outside edge at the table saw. Cutting off of each edge will keep the panel groves centered between the door frames once it’s assembled.

Step 6: Install Center Panel and Glue Tongue and Grooves

Leaving the bottom rail in place and clamped I removed the top rail and slide the center panel in to place. Using wood glue on the tennons I placed the top rail back in place and clamped it. Then I laid the door flat on the ground and loosened the clamp holding the bottom rail. I removed the rail, added wood glue to the Tennons, then tapped it back in place, and tightened the clamp.

Step 7: Pin the Tennons

Back at the miter saw I cut 3/8" dowels to pin the tennons. Using masking tape I marked a stopping point on a 3/8” drill bit to drill a hole approximately 3/4 of the thickness of the door frame. I drilled two holes on each of the four joints and drove the dowels in using wood glue. Not drilling the holes all the way through the frame prevents any worries about blowing the holes out when driving the dowels in and this depth works fine for pinning the tennons.

Step 8: Cut and Install Decretive Stretchers

I cut the boards for the decorative stretchers at the angle marked from earlier. The depth from the outside of the frame to the center panel was just over 1/4” on these doors. Since I had 3/4” thick boards I saved material by marking half the thickness on the board and re-sawing them on my bandsaw. I brought them to final thickness on the planer and used brad nails and glue to attach them to the doors. I placed one on each side of the door so that the door would identical from both sides.

Step 9: Sand and Finish

I sanded the doors from 80 grit to 180 grit and hand sanded the hard to get areas with a sanding sponge. Using a little wood glue in the nail holes just before sanding will act as a wood filler. Now that your doors are complete you can paint or stain them to finish!

For more details you can watch the full build video here:

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    27 Discussions

    Braces on the doors as shown are incorrect, whether they are decorative or functional (if theyre decorative what a waste of time). Useless, should have done it properly whatever the purpose.

    1
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 5 days ago

    What??? The braces are incorrect if they were a gate and if those were actual braces.....but they are not! They are barn doors, as the title and tutorial suggest. There is no "proper" orientation to install decretive pieces only what the person who commisioned the project likes.

    0
    andy.allcock65
    andy.allcock65

    Reply 2 days ago

    Absolute rubbish, they’re clearly wrong and on reading other posts the whole of the internet seems to agree. Wrong, incorrect, mistake ... etc.

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 2 days ago

    No the whole of the internet doesn’t agree. Only those who refuse to pay attention to the project at hand. Would love to hear your theory on how it would be possible for these doors to sag if hung as barn doors on a slider.

    0
    Onlooker2
    Onlooker2

    3 days ago

    The answer so obvious and all us guys that made the comments about the diagonals aren’t wrong. 😋

    All you have to do is to hang these barn doors upside down... Or just invert the picture! 😂 LOL...

    P.S. It isn’t April First just yet.🤗

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 3 days ago

    hahah yea I might have to chage the cover pic just so I dont have to keep saying the same thing over and over. But, if you were to hang these as a gate (or with hinges on one side) and as shown in the picture the stretchers would absolutely be wrong and they would sag. If hung from the top corners as barn doors it is physically impossible for these or any door to "sag" to one side or the other because the weight distribution is equal. No hinges equal no sag, period. I think thats what Im most frustrated with. People just look at a pic and dont take the time to read, research or just flat out ask a question. All I get is "these are wrong" when they are not. Thanks for the light hearted comment, I appreciate it.

    0
    Onlooker2
    Onlooker2

    Reply 3 days ago

    But... at the end of the day - it’s a nice good. I like the mortise & tenon joints being held in with dowel.

    Nice Job. 👍

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 4 days ago

    No they are not. These are barn doors not gates.

    2
    morten42
    morten42

    5 days ago

    Nice build. Congrats. One engineering observation: I build a bar(n) door for my restaurant with the diagonal beam reversed as compared to your build (see picture), as I think you should have the forces directed from near the hinge onto the upper beams outside end. Makes for less sag in a hundred years or so...
    Best regards,
    Morten Jaeger, Thailand.

    Bar(n) Door. Nikkis Hanoi.png
    1
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 5 days ago

    Thank you for the kind comment, i really do appreciate it. These are barn doors not gates. As stated in the tutorial these are decorative stretchers not supportive. Barn doors are hung from the top corners and not from duel hinges on one side like a gate therefore there is no uneven weight distribution.

    1
    morten42
    morten42

    Reply 5 days ago

    I see. Thanks for letting me know. Sorry I did not read through all the copy. If you hang them in in a rail, supporting the top corners, then, obviously the direction of the cross member is correct in your build, as it can run either way.
    -Well, at least I got to show of my own 2.5 inch doors; I thought they might inspire some people. Note that they are extremely heavy, therefore sag is a concern when hinged. Weight is about 90 kilo! They are made from reclaimed deck planking from a ship that perished in front of my house during a big storm. I tried to imbue that drama in the build. They still smell of the caulking and the ocean. And they creak like count Draculas caste, when opened!

    1
    Onlooker2
    Onlooker2

    5 days ago on Introduction

    I’m assuming that the garage door are hung as the photo - if this is the case the bracing diagonal in each door are in the wrong position to stop lozenging. Should be fitted going up from the bottom of the door to the top middle of the door. 😳

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 5 days ago

    Just a reminder these are barn doors not gates. As stated in the tutorial these are decorative stretchers not supportive. Barn doors are hung from the top corners and not from duel hinges on one side like a gate therefore there is no uneven weight distribution and they will not sag.

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    5 days ago

    I have gotten a lot of comments in reference to the stretchers on these doors. Just a reminder these are barn doors not gates. As stated in the tutorial these are decorative stretchers not supportive. Barn doors are hung from the top corners and not from duel hinges on one side like a gate therefore there is no uneven weight distribution.

    0
    Zolodfb
    Zolodfb

    Reply 5 days ago

    Even if you hang them from the corners they will sag. A matter if gravity.

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 5 days ago

    Im sorry friend but thats just not true. Barn doors properly hung from the two top corners will not sag, period. Decretive brace or not.

    1
    deweybm
    deweybm

    5 days ago on Step 9

    These doors are either pictured upside down or they are built wrong. The angled board should be towards the hinge side bottom. This is a so that weight of the door is displaced to the more stable hinge side.

    0
    penaltyboxwoodshop
    penaltyboxwoodshop

    Reply 5 days ago

    They are not built wrong. Im sorry, but these are barn doors not gates. As stated in the tutorial these are decorative stretchers not supportive. Barn doors are hung from the top corners and not from duel hinges on one side like a gate therefore there is no uneven weight distribution.

    1
    Merlin1313
    Merlin1313

    5 days ago

    Very nicely made I like the use of dowels to pin the joints . Just a note the way you have displayed the doors are flipped left to right . The angled brace should be from the bottom of the hinge side up to the opposite corner to support it from racking .