Today I’m going to pass on a neat trick to rebuild barn doors. Our barn has entry doors with separate top and bottom doors. The interior cross-member bracing fits into slots built into the door frame. The first time I tried to build a replacement door, I measured and built the complete door perfectly square in the shop and when I went to attach it, found out neither the frame, nor the adjoining door was square, so I ended up cutting and shaping the new “square” door to fit and it took way too long.
A neighbor saw my struggles and offered a bit of advice – forget working in the shop and build the door in place. The first step is to nail the interior cross bracing into the slots on the frame. Just nail the boards in with small finishing nails, because after the door is built, these nails will be pounded out as the door swings open for the first time and either pulled out backwards or pounded into the board. The top picture shows the two interior boards temporarily nailed in place.
Next, measure and attach the exterior boards. In this case, they were all slightly different lengths. You’ll notice that in this picture the white door trim is split near the threshold. This bothered me, so shortly after this photo was taken, I got the tractor out and was able to use the loader to push in the bottom threshold beam back into place and replace the white trim board with one straight piece. The boards are nailed or screwed in place and the hinges attached while the door is still nailed to the frame.
After the hinges are on, just tap out the door and remove or pound in the finishing nails holding the first two pieces in place. Here’s an interior door of the completed door (minus painting).