Project 1, Building: This isn’t the door you are looking for

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Part 1: The Decision making process.

So I was talking to my girlfriend and we decided that we should stop being juvenile and finally become adults. We discussed some methods of remedying the situation, and the decision was made to get a headboard. Headboards make everyone more mature. (Because the indoor snowball fights are totally within the bounds of adulthood, we made a graph to prove it)

I started looking around Pinterest for inspiration, and after much deliberation we agreed to repurpose an old wood door. We also managed to agree on the type of door. (Two in a row! a new record for us)

But where will you find one? I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!
I have had the pleasure of working for Habitat for Humanity, and I now know how amazing they are. They have an wide array of old doors, used furniture (some new), and a never-ending supply of stuff to use in the building process.       Cough sponsor me Cough

Part 2: Some actual work

This is my work area, a mess of every tool known to man. (Except the one I will need in 20 minutes, I’m sure)

A picture of the garage I build stuff in.

A picture of the garage I build stuff in.

Here is the door. I will be sanding off the old varnish, and I will be doing this so I can smooth it out and make it suitable for use as not a door.

This is the door, freshly home from Habitat for Humanity and ready to become a headboard.

This is the door, freshly home from Habitat for Humanity and ready to become a headboard.

Before I start sanding, I will be cutting off and evening out the ends of the door. Next I will be looking closely at each side to figure out which is nicer. There were a few gouges and cracked pieces of wood on one side, so I won’t be using that one.

I will be cutting off one inch from the panel towards the vertical panels.

I will be cutting off one inch from the panel towards the vertical panels.

I will be cutting 3 inches from the bottom to make it even with the top.

I will be cutting 3 inches from the bottom to make it even with the top.

Here is a contrasting photo of what the sanded and un-sanded parts of the door look like. The whole door took about an hour to sand, including the moulding in the panels. Pro Tip: Sandpaper comes in packs of 1, 10, and 100. Buy the 100; you wont regret it.

The inner panel of the door is un-sanded which reflects the light much better than the lighter wood.

The inner panel of the door is un-sanded which reflects the light much better than the lighter wood.

You will get everything done faster if you don’t waste time with worn out sandpaper.

The inner panel of the door is un-sanded which reflects the light much better than the lighter wood.

The inner panel of the door is un-sanded which reflects the light much better than the lighter wood.

I had far too many things running at once and managed to blow out the garage fuse, I had to use my camera flash to find my way out. I wish I could say that this only happened once.

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Here is a shot of the completely sanded door. I have only removed the varnish from one side because the other will be against a wall and won’t be seen. DSC_0045

At this point the decision was made to give the door a slightly victorian/updated/ornate look. This will be done in three steps: 1. Add a few inches of wood to the hight of the door. 2. Add crown moulding to the top. 3. Paint the door white. I bought an 8 foot length of 2×2 wood and cut down one side of it to make it the same thickness as the door.

I found the door to be too short, I I have decided to add on an extension.

I found the door to be too short, I I have decided to add on an extension.

This will make the headboard bigger overall, which I think will be nicer. Here I am setting up the table saw to cut down the 2×2. To make sure you have the correct size on a table saw make sure you account for the full size of the teeth  on the saw blade. they are generally 1/32 thicker than the blade itself. For my purposes it

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won’t matter but on some projects it will. After cutting down the 2×2 I predrilled four holes into length of wood, this will let the clamps hold the wood in place as I simply attach them to the door. I predrilled the holes so the wood won’t split or crack.

Screwing on the door extension.

Screwing on the door extension.

Here is the moulding I will be attaching to the door, this part is simply decorative. I have found that the top end of the moulding is too flat so I will also be gluing DSC_0051

some nice quarter round onto the top of it. The steps are below. This makes sense, I swear.  The moulding is cut to length with 45* angles on both sides, this will let me add another small piece to the ends. I won’t have to do the back because it will be against the wall. and I didn’t buy enough to do the back, so it all works out. I am clamping the moulding down, I simply used wood glue and some finishing mails. The clamps were used overnight because the wood did have a slight warp to it. (Also, the glue was left in the unheated garage, and I managed to find a way to get it to come out of the bottle!)

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This is a better shot of the progress so far. Notice how the door handle holes are now at the bottom of the door, this is so they will be hidden by the bed. I have also cut the moulding for the side. For the purposes of this project I have low tolerances, so I’m pretty much accurate with my cuts. The imperfect nature of the door is the basis for my tolerance decision, the door had gouges and chips in it, so I didn’t want the moulding to look 100% perfect. This will make the moulding and door blend together and not look tacked together at the end. The gaps will also be filled later on by silicone and paint.

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Here I am about to attach the quarter round to the moulding, I will be clamping it down for an hour afterwards. I won’t be nailing it down because it is small and would probably crack.

This is a hardwood quarter round being glued onto the moulding

This is a hardwood quarter round being glued onto the moulding

Now, I forgot to take a picture of the cutting process for the top piece of wood. What I did was take a 3/4 inch thick piece of wood that fit over the top of the door and cut a 45* angle off of it. This is to hide the top of the moulding and give it a finished look. It was then glued on.

Here is the door sitting upside-down to hold the header in place while the glue dries.

Here is the door sitting upside-down to hold the header in place while the glue dries.

At this point the door is ready to be painted. I sent the girl out to pick out some paint, because I can’t tell the difference between “eggshell” and “whisper” White. I have the door back on the table and I am sealing up some of the larger gaps with caulking. Some of the wood was warped slightly more than I would like, so by DSC_0078

caulking the gaps I can smooth it out and no one is the wiser. In the picture below I have applied a thin coat of primer, it’s thin mostly because I ran out. I’m using primer because it sticks to both wood and paint better than they stick to each other. once again, it makes sense, I swear. We have put two coats of semi-gloss paint, of whatever colour was picked.

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After the paint has dried we brought the headboard home to install. I chose to use an invisible hanger so it would not show around the edges of the headboard. The DSC_0093

one I chose was rated up to 200lb, which is overkill, but it gives me piece of mind.  The easiest was to install the hanger is to find the centre line of the door and thearea you want it to hang. Measure how high you want it to sit, and mark it out for drilling.  Making sure it’s level! it works! DSC_0094DSC_0100

And finally, Here are a few pictures of the final product. The bed is back in place and it looks great! I forgot to take a before picture, so just imagine there is a wall behind it.

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Part 3: The overview

Door: $25.00
Paint: $30.00 (still have plenty left, will use again soon)
Moulding and extra wood:$15.00
Total Price: $70.00

Sanding: 1 hour (I got fussy over it)
Cutting: 1/2 hour (I used to work in construction so I know my way around a saw, if you know what I mean)
Gluing: 4 hours wait time
Painting: 24 hours (my girlfriend did it while I typed this blog post)
Assembly: 2 hours
Math: (Longer than I would like to admit)
Total Time: 2 days

And finally, below I have included a few photos of the finished product. Follow me on instagram and twitter, I also post in-progress pictures and more detail about what I am doing. I can answer any questions you may have and I would love to hear what you think. If you have any suggestions for future builds please comment below or send me a message. Thanks!

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