Oldtime Doors

Summer is over, I shift to the indoors working mentality, glad I am back to woodworking and carpentry as the category one, dept. working priorities.

Clamp door with strap hinges. Laying out rails and stiles.


One of two doors in an asymmetrical configuration for the main opening into the benchroom part of the workshop. No numbers floating in my head other than 10 cm, I work from dimensions marked out on a story-stick.

It’s a clamp door which is to say made up of plank jointed in this case with tung and groove and kept flat and rigid with a framework of simple joinery cleated on top of there.

Frame nailed and clinched, not yet trimmed.

So then, on to some altogether  interesting points as they enter my writing mind. No. 1, as in all proper window and door constructions, no glue is wanted or used. I take my details from the old carpentry instruction book from  before 1900.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Nails are critical in many ways in this work. These are cut nails cut from sheets of malleable iron. It takes some practice and technique as they’re not wire nails. I have taken lengths of 75 mm, in fact a little long and at some point probably it would be better to trim what I need for this job down to size, as it is these go in one side,


And out the other a fair distance and will subsequently get bent over and hammered flush and maybe even counter sunken or clinched as the true joiner would say turning to that jargon, the labour intensity of the work being considerable to me as this represents about the half way mark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I add a multi media component for getting at a historical perspective of doors of the local joinery tradition.

Some door examples at the house made the old-time way

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Ernest Dubois




  1. You simply don’t know what you are missing and the tragedy is it is only a certain kind of restricted market mentality which prevents their widespread availability. It has nothing to do with choice or the best material. On the contrary of the three potential independent manufacturing sources for good nails I once could choose from only two remain, the better quality Swedish versions are not made since a few years back now.

    You could get your hands on some but be ready to purchase in quantities enough for the rest of your life and the life of two or three of your friends too.


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