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Building a Barn Door Using Reclaimed Barn Wood in a Steel Frame

Building a Barn Door Using Reclaimed Barn Wood in a Steel Frame

If you are interested in purchasing a door from me please visit my custom furniture website

Barn Wood signMy Buddy Owns a salvage business down the HWY from me.  This is where I get most of my reclaimed material.  He’s got some cools stuff laying around out their.  The barn wood for this project was salvaged from a barn in Blackburn Missouri

Barnwood with Stained nail holesOnce I got the boards picked out I head back to the shop to cut them to rough length

Batten Boards I jointed one edge straight so I could safely cut off the brown strip left behind from the batten boards which protected it from graying in the weather.  Batten boards are typically installed on barns to cover the gap between the main boards to keep the wind and rain from blowing through the boards and into the barn.

Blue table to protect the woodSince the boards aren’t going to be sanded, I didn’t want to get pencil marks on the wood, so I put blue tape down so I would have a place to marker the locations of the dominos.  I lined up the dominos to the back of the door.  This way any unevenness that might occur will show up on the show side of the door adding to its distressed board look.  Fun fact, most barnwood is only gray on one side.  The brown side faces into the barn so it doesn’t get exposed to the weather, keeping its brown appearance.

gluing barnwood togetherAgain because the wood will not be sanded, I did not want to get any glue squeeze out so I used the least amount of glue possible.

wood cauls to prevent stainingI used culls to prevent the clamps from touching the wood so I would not get any of the black staining that typically happens when glue, and metal meets wood.

Barndoor Sub assemblies Because there were so many pieces to glue up, I started gluing up smaller sub assemblies, allowing them to dry before gluing the sub sections together.  I did this until I had a complete door.

Revers ClampingThe length of the door was much longer than any of my clamps, so I rigged up a reverse clamp to push against the final board to push it into place.  The other end of the door is securely clamped to the table.

Track sawI used my track saw to clean up the sides and cut the barn door to the final width and length.

Cutting steel with a handheld portable band sawI cleared off the bench and started cutting the steel to length to build the frame.  I mitered all the corners.

grinding a bevel so their is room for a weld beadI ground a bevel to ensure my weld penetrated all the way to the back.  This way I could grind the bead flat, so it would look like one piece of steel after it is painted

Welding a miter on steelOne of my favorite things about welding miters is if the miter has a gap in it you can just fill it up with molten steel.

welding flangesI welded flanges on the back of the frame to hold the wood in place.  Even though the wood is distress and most likely the sparks will cool before leaving a mark on the wood.  I took time to project the immediate area around the weld from the sparks, by covering the area with some scrap plywood.  I also wetted the wood to prevent it from catching fire if I got my bead too hot.

marking where to drillThis board is for the header above the door to bolt the track to.  To mark the bolt locations I used a matching size drill bit, and spun it backwards to mark the locations.  I then switched to the proper size bit to drill the pilot holes for the bolts at the drill press.  I used the drill press instead of a hand held drill to ensure a straight hole

Finally I did a test fit of each bolt using a block of wood to hold the bolts straight as I drove them.  If these bolts are a little off, the door will not roll smoothly on the track and not hang straight.

Barn door from reclaimed barn wood

Tool List used in this video:
Just because a tool is listed, does not mean I endorse it. I have either liked it well enough to continue using it, or I can’t afford to buy something better. Tools are listed because “what tool is that” is one of the more frequently asked questions, and most links are affiliate links so thank you for your support.

• Delta Unisaw (my model is no longer made) –
• Domino 500 –
• Assorted Dominos –
• Titebond CA Glue Medium –
• TS75 EQ Track Saw Fetsool
• Lincoln Electric MIG 180 Pro Welder
• Craftsman Radial Arm Saw (my model is no longer made)
• Jet Parallel Clamps
• Portable Hand Held band saw

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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