Repairing the old door

Saturday morning and Charlie was back before 8am to finish off the top coat of lime in the study, he needed to work it after it had dried but not gone off, hence leaving it overnight. What a star!

This morning the tiler was coming to fit the tiles in the shower but he didn’t turn up. He apparently double booked himself but forgot to tell us. Not too impressed by this at all, we went to a lot of trouble to make sure everything was ready for the tiler this weekend.

So not having anyone working on the house this afternoon we both took the rest of the day off and watched three films back to back about Queen Elizabeth I, sort of work for Cat as it is background research for her job. We did keep pausing each film and asking: “So which bloody Mary is this now???” A lovely friend in the village brought us home made curry for dinner both Saturday and Sunday evenings so neither of us had to cook. They were delicious, thank you Nicky!

Glynn spent Saturday in the workshop repairing our old front door and he documented the whole process for us, so here are his photos 🙂

He was expecting to find the oak supplied as planks but he found he had half a tree, literally, and had to cut and plane it on his own. Half a tree is very heavy as you can imagine and this added to what already was going to be a very long day!

I am not all that sure of the terminology or the exact order of events, but I am pretty sure this thing that looks like a photocopier is in fact an electric planer, the machine that cuts the plank down to the correct thickness making it smooth and square.

The planks are run through the planer to get the desired size. These need to match the thickness of the existing door, which is around an inch thick.

Cut and planed and ready to be used to repair the old oak door.

The bottom of the door has been rotting away for a long time and it has been repaired previously with two horizontal planks attached to the bottom. The rotten wood needs cutting out and replacing, similar to the repairs that Glynn has made to our old oak windows. These are the rotten pieces cut off the bottom.

The door has the rotten oak cut out in v-shapes to maximise strength at the joins.

The new oak is cut and fitted together with loose tongue and grooved joints, then attached to the old oak, glued and clamped until the glue goes off.

A new ledge is added to the bottom of the door, adding strength and rigidity, then the old metal hinge is attached.

The loose tongues that sit in the grooved joints sticking out before the bottom of the door gets trimmed to size.

The front (outside) of the finished door. It has turned out better than any of us expected but it was a very long day for Glynn!

Glynn also splices in a repair to the edge of one of the planks which was also rotten.

The back (inside) of the door where Glynn has had to add a brace for added strength and rigidity. Without this the repairs at the bottom would not be very secure.

Glynn brings the door over on Sunday morning, unfortunately it is raining so not suitable weather to fit the door. It needs oiling before it can be exposed to the elements anyhow.

We are so excited to see the finished door and we were not disappointed! It looks utterly fabulous and is going to fit in perfectly with our renovated windows! It was painted white and had fake ornate hinges nailed onto the front, but now looks like the very special historic door that it is.

Cat spends the day sanding it, removing the last of the stubborn old paint (some just will not come off), staining the white filler to match the oak and then oiling it. It needs more oiling, so Zanna will finish this off before next weekend when Glynn hopes to be able to fit it, weather dependent.

We had a bit of a leak over night, it was so windy that the rain blew in through the hole in the roof in Cat’s bedroom and missed the bucket that is positioned there to catch the drips.

We can’t wait until this is repaired. It is making the house very cold and damp… and destroying Cat’s bedroom carpet!

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