Den Cabin update: An open door. 12/12/2020

Oak hinges sat finished fully open on the workbench.

Today is the twelfth of December. Today I finished a 2 week long project. The cabin door. I have been wanting to do this for a good long while and am rather excited now that it is finished. The project was done at my parents house in the workshop because I wanted the door to be well made and good quality and this was easiest to do with the full workshop of tools and vices. So the story begins on a rather wet sleety afternoon in the workshop.

Rip sawing the scaffolding boards into the upright sections.

The door has been made entirely from recycled materials. The hinges are made from an oak banister I pulled out the river in March. The door itself is salvaged scaffolding boards rip sawn to the dimensions that I needed. This scavenging of resources did extend the build time as ever plank and pole had to be ripped to dimensions and then planed square and smooth. In total I used one oak banister, one 7ft scaffolding board, one 5ft scaffolding board and some maple cuttings.

Ripping another scaffolding board down the width to make two thin plank sections.

The door is built from 2 main structural uprights on both end. Joined into both of these uprights, with half lap joints, are the two hinges. Sitting at the top and bottom are two off cut sections of the scaffolding board doweled into the frame using maple dowels that I made from tree pruning’s. The centre strut is another section of scaffolding board. This is tenoned into each of the cross struts. This meant to door would not shift as it tensioned the middle section. The hinges are joined through 5 finger joints (3 on one side and 2 on the other). There then is a large metal peg that runs the whole way through. I chose a metal peg due to the large weight of the door and not wanting giant hinge blocks I did not trust I could make a wooden dowel strong enough.

Rough fitting the door and measuring the dowel pegs for the bottom and top joins.

When fitting the door to the cabin front I wanted the hinges exposed but indented. I wanted to work gone into them to be on show but did not want them to be overly exposed to elements leading to their demise quicker then needs be. The wood of the hinges should be fine as the porch hangs well clear but the metal peg is only mild steel and will rush very quickly is it gets wet. It has been oiled and I will continue to do so but best to play it safe. The door frame as it turns out (no surprise I am sure) is not square. So there is a gap on the latch side. This will be fixed by sliding a timber section in to fill the gap. I will cover it up from the outside with more planking. This timber section will also house the hole for the real sliding sprung latch which I intend to build at a later date.

The finished door sat complete waiting to get take down to the woods.

This door has been a challenge and has tested me both in my ability to do fine woodwork and detailed joints but also my eyes in seeing how to turn scrap found in the river into fine things. These are skills that I believe will hold me in good stead later on in the cabin build. I have very muchly enjoyed this process and look forward to finishing the fireplace and walls. More pallets are on the way and it is coppicing season so the content of the blog will be swapping from forestry to building and recycling. I hope you join me for the adventure.

The door hung onto the cabin and a basic latch fitted to ensure the door stays closed.

Thank you for reading 🙂 . If you have any questions comment below.


Published by The Den Workshop

I am a 21 year old woodsman who lives in the woods in my timber framed cabin.

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