Building Reclaimed Board & Batten Doors

WoodWise

Last Monday, I wrote about resalvaging old oak flooring. But milling the weathered wood was only the beginning — building three board and batten doors was my weeks end.

With the boards milled perfectly flat, I used a quick trick on my table saw to remove their ragged edges. For safety's sake, a board should always have a flat edge to glide against the table saw fence. To clean up my uneven boards, I simply attached a straight and narrow piece of plywood with two wood screws (see image 2). This temporary edge allowed me to safely run the old flooring through my table saw. In no time flat, I was on to the battens.

Board and batten doors are famous for their no-frills design… still I couldn't help but add a subtle embellishment. So with the table saw blade set at a 45-degree angle, I beveled the edges of the battens. Ideally, this detail adds a refined touch to an otherwise rustic look.

Next, I lay all the boards on the floor, mixing and matching them in a variety of patterns. Once I was pleased with their arrangement, I fixed the battens to the boards. With two clamps holding the pieces in place, I made sure the battens were centered and perpendicular, before screwing them in place with standard wood screws. With the door all in one piece, I was able to trim it to final length using a circular saw. Finally, my buddy Ben and I hung the heavy doors using two three-inch hinges and some good old-fashioned elbow grease.

After all that work on my reclaimed doors, I reclaimed my spot on the sofa and drank a celebratory beer.

Images: Johnny Williams

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