How about those Doors

No, not the musical group, my inside doors.


Constructed of oak, 30 mm thick, no nails, just wooden pegs and some tight mortise and tenon joints and still hanging strong.  Even the hinges are cool –  a butterfly type “thing” mortised into the side on an angle and then two iron nails or pins driven through to hold them in.  I need to repair some of these hinges but am at a loss as to how to remove these pins so I can pull the hinge without doing some damage to the wood.  I guess they will have to hang like they hang at the moment.  If you remember, I did mention in a previous post that old growth oak does not let you pull anything out of it – you either break something or it generously gives it to you.

I took one door I was working on apart by just pulling the wooden pins or dowels.  They look somewhat fitted on further examination – not like current dowels all perfectly round and the same size.  I was a little bit worried that my new replacements would slip out so I added a wee bit of glue before seating them in place just to hold them – after re-drilling the hole of course.  I have seen other pins in the windows that have a round body but a square head – like the old saying “fitting a square peg into a round hole” – works sometimes in your favour.

I have chosen to keep these doors – what’s wrong with them?  A lot better than ripping them out and replacing them with today’s affordable “air and glue” alternates.  The two kids busted a gut when I coined that phrase.  Seriously, I helped a friend recently hang some closet doors – I was not sure where the wood content was – hence “air and glue”.

So, some historical patina, some dents and scratches but these doors get along well with the house and house with them.  Call it being environmentally friendly.  I read somewhere that the most environmentally friendly building is one that is already built.  I guess no throwing demolition debris in a landfill and no excessive amounts of glue, sealant and foam to save a few drops of oil each winter (not to mention having to do it all over again in 20 years when all that glue, sealant and foam fails, cracks or falls out).

Anyway, the final picture is of the refurbished door – new pins, a wee bit of glue and ready for paint.


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