Oak and Stained Glass Doors

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Panel for bathroom door, oak, mouth-blown cylinder stained glass, clear textured glass.

Heavy oak framing.



And the bathroom window.

Glass fragments, suspended.



A Yorkshire light,

Thin oak bars support stained glass in front of double glazed obscure unit.


door: Hinged or sliding barrier usually of wood or metal for closing entrance to building, room, etc.  OED

And that's about as far as a good many folk seem to get when choosing a door.  Yet the 1960s precursor to minimalism, the sheet of hardboard tacked over a fine panel door, has faded from fashion.  A glance through the web pages of B&Q shows many references to traditional joinery design.  Here's a description of a vaguely French looking door:

Chateau 2 Panel Woodgrain Effect Moulded Pre-Painted Door

You get all this for the price of a half decent curry for two with a bottle of the house plonk.  The description does not suggest that a great deal of timber was used so I'm not sure quite what it is that the Forest Stewardship Council have certified, but the recommendation to use two hinges is sensible.  Hanging a door with only one hinge might be more wobbly than wise.

There is no doubt that B&Q doors are cheap.  Much cheaper than mine. About a tenth of the price of mine.  Really.  Handles are included.

These two doors (OK it's just one door looked at from both sides) are (is) made of one inch thick boards of pippy English oak.  'Pippy' means there are lots of little knots and pretty patterns in the grain.  ( The result of epicormic growth to the botanists among you) , The seventeen big pieces of wood are held together with thirty mortice and tenon joints.  Sixty little pieces of oak beading that hold the glass in place are fixed with about 120 brass panel pins.  The fifteen pieces of stained glass were made in Poland, imported by the good people at Tatra Glass.  It's real cylinder glass, mouth blown into a sphere, swung into a cylinder, cut and opened into a sheet full of little seeds and wobbles that make looking through it a visual feast.  Behind the beading there's a smidgen of linseed oil putty to stop the glass rattling.   The Suffolk latch is solid brass. The hinges are also brass with phosphor bronze washers.  Sorry B&Q, but I used three hinges.

    And here it is, installed, on Christmas morning.  Plus sunshine.



And of course there is the traditional leadwork:



       Click me





Traditional Ledged Door (and braced if you insist)

Here's something more traditional, a ledged door.  English oak, of course, and about an inch thick.  The joints between the planks have traditional beaded rebates and the ironmongery, the traditional latch and the traditional hinges, is traditionally made whiteheart malleable iron.  So much tradition.  Underneath the little wooden plugs are hidden stainless steel screws. Well, you can have too much tradition. 

Actually, I prefer to nail the door together with rosehead cut nails, clenched over to make them 'as dead as a door nail'.  Seriously traditional and they look lovely.

For an external door, I'd suggest counter-boarding.  Instead of just three ledges, the inside of the door is made entirely of horizontal boards so the whole door is two layers thick and all the joints, as well as being tongue and grooved are covered by boards at right angles.  Very strong.  Very draught-proof.

Guaranteed for half a millennium (though I may not be around to honour that guarantee).

Click to enlarge

If you happen to have a house that is an odd shape (how dull if you haven't), then it can be useful if the doors match the shapes of the doorways.


Fancy a door that is more than the Oxford English Dictionary version?  Contact: biff@biffvernon.freeserve.co.uk


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©Biff Vernon 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007