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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but it seems close enough.
If not, someone move it.

These doors are rather special to me.
They were given to me by my mother 20 some years ago when she was remodeling a home.
I've tried to take care of them and they have been stored mostly indoors.

I'm currently building the second half of my home. ( a 20 year project so far)
There will be a wall with 3 doors, leading into the laundry room, a spare bedroom, and a bathroom.
I want to use these doors for those openings. The problem is, I only have two.

My plan is to take the current doors, which I believe may have been at one point used as pocket doors, and use them as single doors mounted on rails and pulleys barn door style.

These doors came from the Rancho Santa Fe area, and if I had to guess, Id bet they were 100 years old or better.
Looking as closely as I can, I'm willing to bet they were owned by numerous people over time, or may have been used in numerous configurations.
I might even go so far as to bet they came up used from Mexico.

It's quite obvious that there has been some renovations and repairs made as well, and quite possibly they were once kicked in.
One door has what looks like what used to maybe be a mail slot, that was later closed in.

My plan is to try and replicate a door to match. I believe it will be quite the undertaking.

For starters (and I may be wrong) my best guess is that they are constructed out of pine.
The wood is soft like pine, and may have been a premium grade because even though there are knots, there's not many.
The lumber must have been specially milled, or it came from a time when a 2x4 was really 2x4 or better, or maybe these started out as 3x5's or or 3x6 or who knows?
As they stand, the stiles are appx 4-4 1/2 inches wide or better. It's hard to tell because I believe they may have been resized to fit an opening and cut down a little.
The board thickness is every bit of 2 inches. Maybe closer to 2 1/4 or 2 1/2.

Of course I would like my replica to match as closely as possible.
There's a sawmill located about 150 miles from me that deals mostly with pine. I haven't talked with them yet, but maybe there's something they can do to accomodate the size of boards I'll need.
If not, I'll most likely have to use 2x6's.
Will it be obvious? Maybe, maybe not.

I'm still learning terminology, but I believe the building style is called cope and stick.
They've also incorporated a long through, shimmed mortise and tenon, that is also pinned with a crude dowell.

I only see what appears to be a few nails that were most likely placed well after they were constructed, and I see very little signs of glue, if any.

I originally looked at them and thought it could be possible to do everything on a table saw, setting up the saw multiple times for various angle cuts, dado's and tenons, applying a few different saw blades and a dado stack.

Months have passed since that first thought, and I have entered the world of routering, learning that there are bits that do most of those operations all at once.
I'm still in research mode, but I'm sure someone makes a bit that can cut a 1 1/2 inch cope and stick, or rail and stile.
I've also seen the bits that will create a tenon of any length desired.
Then there's the question of if there is such a bit available, will a 2 1/2 hp router be up to the task?
Is this more of a job for a shaper rather than a router, or should I go back to trying to do it all on the table saw?

Then there's the raised panels.
There's at least four (Tiers?) on the panels. I'm certain this can be done on a router in any number of ways, but I'm not sure yet which would be best.
I've seen bits that might just cut 3 levels at once, so maybe there's one that does 4?
I was just messing around the other night with a (very dry) scrap board and a straight 1/2" bit, and can see how it could be done, but it would take a whole lot of messing around and set ups. (pic below)

The spacers between the panels appear to be the same cut as the rails and stiles with 2 sides cut instead of one.
The shimmed tenons leave quite a bit of room for error which is nice.

Replicating the age and wear and tear is going to be a whole 'nuther animal.

So there you are.
I'm wide open for your ideas and suggestions.
I realize this will be quite the task, but it's a challenge that I want to undertake and accomplish.

I have taken some pics, and can easily provide more if needed.
Please note, one door is showing the front side, and the other the back.

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Joe you certainly have taken on a bit of a project. From what I can tell the rails and stiles seem to be cut with a saw and have simple angles that can be replicated reasonably easy. The tenons are probably more easily cut on the table saw as well but could be done with a router/router table. And the mortises can be done in several ways, one being making a router jig and using a plunge router then squaring off the corners with a hand chisel or by someone with a mortiser, or again just using hand chisels.

As for the panels you'll need to determine what pattern will come close to matching the existing ones and because of their size you may find you'll again need a router table and coping sled to safely handle the small panels. All those smaller stiles will be a job in themselves. Simple panels can be made on the table saw but I'm guessing these are not so simple.

And the wood, I'd look for a source of repurposed wood like old barns, buildings that have been abandoned, you get the idea. There may even be a supplier of repurposed wood in your area. But if you go this route you'll need to very carefully check for any nail, screws and such so as to not damage your tools or create any wild flying missiles. A metal detector may be a good choice here.

Hope this gives you a few ideas.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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If the door was a standard door with two rails and two stiles then I would say to make them by hand and miter where needed. But with the number of intersecting parts, I don't think that the door would turn out looking the way you want. Because of the thickness, the door should really be made with a shaper and not a 2 1/2 hp router. You can find places on the internet the will custom make cutters. This isn't going to be a cheap or easy project. If you really want the doors to look like the ones you have you'd be better off in the long run to find a millwork shop to make them. These will be a centerpiece and I doubt that you would be happy if they turned out to be an eyesore after days of work and hundreds of dollars in parts and materials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@sreilly Thank you for your reply and ideas!

If the door was a standard door with two rails and two stiles then I would say to make them by hand and miter where needed. But with the number of intersecting parts, I don't think that the door would turn out looking the way you want. Because of the thickness, the door should really be made with a shaper and not a 2 1/2 hp router. You can find places on the internet the will custom make cutters. This isn't going to be a cheap or easy project. If you really want the doors to look like the ones you have you'd be better off in the long run to find a millwork shop to make them. These will be a centerpiece and I doubt that you would be happy if they turned out to be an eyesore after days of work and hundreds of dollars in parts and materials.
Thank you for your post and thoughts.
I could go to great lengths with the story of Fort Joe, but that might be a writing better undertaken as a project in itself.
The short version is that my wife and I have worked on this property and home for over 20 years, and have pretty much built the place using our own two hands, with just a little help from friends here and there.
From actually collecting the sand for the cement from dry washes, to hauling the water 16 miles to mix it, long before our well was drilled.
We've done cordwood building, stacked our own cinderblock, and recently built the 1500 sqft addition using a product similar to EF block.
We did hire crews for the floor pours along with cement trucks.

I'm retired, and have no real obligations other than to enjoy the rest of my life as best as I can before my dirt nap.

My home is nothing you'd see in better homes and gardens, nor in a nice gated community, but it is comfortable, functional, off grid, and located in the middle of nowhere.

To pay someone to replicate this door would go against every fiber of my being.

Again, I realize this will be a large undertaking, including an extensive but not impossible learning curve, and that in itself is the whole point.
Where would be the learning, the skills mastered, and the possible pride of the accomplishment be if I paid someone else to do it?
Even if I have to partially build it a time or two to get it right, or even if it costs me more than it would to have it built elsewhere, it doesn't matter at this time. I want to try to accomplish this.
I've been working on my place on and off since 1995. There's no pressure to hurry things along, I have what's left of the rest of my life to attempt to finish it.

So this is not only an answer to you, but also a way to let others know where I'm coming from.

Again, thank you for your post.
 

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There's a sawmill located about 150 miles from me that deals mostly with pine.
Do some checking, chances are good that you will find at least 1 sawmill closer than that. I found out years ago that there at lease 7 within 20 miles of me, and I didn't even include the guys with the small bandsaw mills.

But looking at those doors, looks like a pretty simple build, especially if they are 100 years old. If it were me I'd just do a bit of measuring, get whatever wood I wanted, along with enough for a bit of practice maybe, and make some doors.
 

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Joe here's a reference video that may help especially with making your own mortiser jig for the router. I'm sure Goggle would find many more including plans to build one.
 

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I seem to always do things the hard way, the wrong way but I would take off the top rail and take a better look at how they put this together, get some measurements and think of away to duplicate it with the material available to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I seem to always do things the hard way, the wrong way but I would take off the top rail and take a better look at how they put this together, get some measurements and think of away to duplicate it with the material available to you.
I'm right there with ya.
I also appear to operate under the 50/50/90 principle.
If there's a 50 percent chance of doing something incorrectly, there's a 90 percent chance that's how I'll do it.

I have considered removing the top rail for a peek.
I just haven't done it yet.
 
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