Saturday, September 15, 2012


One of my goals this past week was to get the garage cleaned up enough to allow me to work in it there.
Uncovered the work bench in the back.  Still need to figure out how I want to lay everything out but it is usable now.
First project in the new shop is re-finishing a bamboo outdoor table with the Spar varnish that I didn't use on the doors.
Last night I got the trim out the outside of the door frame and all of the door stops and trim on the inside.
Yes, I did mortise the trim to fit over the flange of the catch plate....
Today, after hauling the old door to the recyling center it was time to get the doors finished off.  First order of business was to glue the 1/2" foam insulation into the panels and then glue/brad nail the cedar paneling over that.  Here one of the doors is complete and finished.
Second door done and ready for some finish. Luckily the local lumber store was still open since I needed another can.
All finished and ready.  I ended up using a product called Superdeck in the natural color to really let the natural wood show through.  After spending way too much time reading about different finishes I went with this one since it didn't have any pigment and did not form a film that could peal off.  I am very pleased with the results and it was easy to work with.  We will see how well it holds up to the CO sun. 
Here is the before shot for comparison, I had a pretty low bar to improve the aesthetics or functionality.
The inside with the trim in place and stained.  I am very glad that I decided to go with the nicer, furniture grade plywood.
In context.  Now I feel like I need to do something about the concrete retaining wall...
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Nick helping nail the sil plate down, 22 cal nailer was a 20$ well spent.

Doors up and the chain bolt in place.

Foot bolt.

Ready for the door knob hardware.

Knob and panels in place.

Windows installed and the light wired in.

From the inside.
And we have doors.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting Closer....

Things have been going well with the doors. 
The test joint with all of the layers added.  I have been experimenting with the varnish and have decided that I need to go with something a bit less cumbersome for these doors.  I am now leaning toward an oil based  transparent stain/sealer.

Stopped by a tool shop today and picked up a few bits for the router.  Got a top bearing pattern bit and and made a pattern for cutting the hinge mortises

Here it is in action. 

It is made from some of the left over plywood from the door panels.

Clamped to the doors and ready to roll.

One door with hinged installed.

Setting up for number 2.

After all of the hinges were installed I layed out both doors with the posts.  I think I am going to have the doors set back from the face of the posts just a bit to match the radius on the corners of the posts. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Stopped by the hardware store again today..twice. Picked up some hardware for the fixed door, foot bolt for the floor and chain bolt for the ceiling.  I also got some Spar Varnish to try out.  Trying to decide whether to go with the un-tinted spar varnish or the redwood tinted stain.

On the way home I picked up some new plywood. I decided that with how well the doors were coming out I shouldn't put cheap plywood in them.

Got some good work done tonight.

Cut the corners square for the panel inserts on the back of one door.
Test fitting the first panel...second rather..first one was 2inches too small....oops.

All sanded and with both panels installed.

Vertical paneling option.

Diagonal panel option, I think this one is the winner.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Old mines and new doors..

Took a break from working on the doors this morning to go for a hike.  Natalie, Wicket and I hiked up into Butler Gulch which has some good skiing options come winter.  There is the remains of an old mining operation up there with some pretty cool old equipment.

This appears to be a large pump system for pressurizing that tank.  The pipe leads into the collapsed mine shaft.  I don't know whether this was compressed air or what?
The old rails from the mine carts heading out the tailing pile.

What remains of the mine tunnel.

Back at the house, I resumed work on the doors.  First up was to trim the styles flush with the top and bottom rails.

Then the rest of the router work for the inset panels on the back side of the doors and some more sanding.  The belt sander has been the unexpected hero of this project so far.

Both of the doors side by side.  I need to buy a few more sticks of lumber for the frame and then I can dummy that up and hopefully get the doors pretty much set before we tear out the old garage door.  My goal is to make the swap a one day affair.

Garage Doors

Ive been saying all summer that I don't want to go through another winter without better doors on the garage/shop.  It gets pretty cold with the door open when I'm in the waxing skis.  After several weeks of driving Natalie crazy by spending too much time reading about building doors and general woodworking I had a plan...a pretty fuzzy plan, but a plan none the less.  That plan revolved mostly around one by cedar lumber for a frame with a diagonal tongue and groove backing.

After several hours in Lowe's and having to change my plan a few times to due to not being able to find the right lumber and the general poor quality of the lumber I could find I left with a bunch of redwood two by lumber.

With Nick's help I got both doors doweled and glued up in about 8 hrs. 
Not the most sophisticated...but functional.  It did require a second person to hold it in place.
Dowel Joint for the bottom rail.
2nd door layed out for a dry fit
Glueing up the second door, pipe clamps were the best thing I bought yesterday.
Waiting for the glue to dry.
What new project is complete without a new tool?....Full size doors seemed like a good reason to buy a router.
Cutting the rabbit on the back of the door for the plywood panels.
back side all routed and sanded.
I am happy with how the joints came out.

That's all for now..more once I get the doors finished off and hung.