Log To Lumber To Finished Project: Number 2

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray

The next completed project from the logs we milled out into lumber last summer is our new pantry door. The old door was perfectly functional and attractive but it was a heavy door that had an 8-inch opening at the bottom which our intelligent German Shepherds figured out was there for them to open the door when they wanted. When we are not home we would rather they not go into the pantry where the food is kept. We trust them completely and they have never disappointed us in that respect but why tempt them into possibly doing something they would rather not have done. This completes project number two of the four projects we had planned when we milled out the lumber a few months ago.

Future Projects

The next project will most likely be a stand up closet for the loft area. We have been using a broken down and patched up dresser for clothes storage and would like a closet with shelves for storage with a side to put hanging clothes in. Living on a dirt road, especially on the up hill side, allows dust from the road to drift up the mountain and when we have our windows open to enjoy the summer temperatures we do get some dust that gets past our window screens and manages to get into the house. Having a closet will serve to protect our clothes from that fine dust. We have very few people drive down our road but no dust is better than a little dust.

Changing Rough-Sawn Boards into Beautiful Lumber

Project number 2 is now complete. I ran the boards through my planer reducing them down to a 5/8th thickness, edge jointed them, then glued the boards together to make the door. I also prepared boards to replace the existing door frame which I squared up with shims so when the door was installed it would then fit properly and open and close without binding. Then after installation of the door itself I cut the trim molding and put a coat of wax/oil finish on it so residual future finger prints can be washed off. I would estimate the total time put into the door was somewhere between 8-9 hours spread out over a few days. We now have a very functional lighter door that we feel is attractive. It also matches the bathroom door which provides more equal visual consistency throughout the house.

Production Cost

The total cost for the door is zero. I probably did not use a tablespoon of gasoline to mill the logs out and I was able to reuse the hardware from the old door. I had some finish left from another project that I used to put a good finish and sealer on the door. No purchases were required and the cost for a new interior fully functional door was just right. Zero cost. Since I milled the lumber from logs I had selected I was also able to match and arrange the boards so they would present the most attractive appearance. That is now two projects done and two to go. I still need to make the closet previously mentioned and a new solid wood front door. Those two projects will be more expensive with the closet costing in the vicinity of $25-30.00, and the front door approximately $200.00, for new hardware and trim. I am still trying to formulate an appropriate design for the front door in my head. With or without lights and if lights how many? I have plenty of time to work this out since winter just started and we have months of time ahead to design an construct the door.

A Special Satisfaction

As I mentioned in the prior DIY topic the personal satisfaction from selecting a dead tree, reducing it to logs and then milling those logs into lumber with a specific project in mind is beyond description. When I look at that door I will see that dead tree at a very specific place on our property which was transformed into a door. It is a unique and special way of being connected to the land and the resources available to us.

For more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray and their lifestyle and mountain living go

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