May 13, 2013

Bye Bye Blah Bi-Fold Doors

Our house was as builder-basic as they come. 
For a long time I lived with it, even though I didn't like it much. 
I always liked the look of trimmed-out doors, but not the price tags that came with it. 
Our bi-fold closet doors were blah and boring.  See?

With my son needing a project for his shop class, I knew exactly what we could do.  It was time to change out the big, blah, boring doors in our hallway.  I knew he had never done anything like this before and well, neither have I.  A perfect lesson for the both of us.

First I contacted my friend Harold at a local lumber yard.  
He let me ask him all kinds of really basic questions and I mean basic.  

I determined the look I wanted would require a 1/4" x 1 1/2" trim piece - the kind most commonly used in creating garden lattice.

Second, I drew the doors, took measurements and determined the layout of the doors.  
Now fully armed with the knowledge of the measurements, I handed my son a tape measure and had him do exactly the same thing.  

After all, this was his school project.

We determined we needed :
8 boards 6½' long
2 boards 4' long
3 boards 3' long
Light grade sand paper
Wood Glue

New Door Pulls - a girl has got to have her bling!

First, we sanded the doors.
Then with the doors still hanging, we measured (twice!), 
cut and then glued our pieces into place.

Our ever so professional blueprint.

After talking with our local hardware store,
we decided super-duper-don't-get-it-on-your-fingers glue was best.

Whoa Nelly, is that stuff powerful!

The glue worked great and even allowed for a 10 to 15 seconds of adjustment time.

Here is our first piece glued into place.

Each bi-fold is framed with trim pieces reaching from top to bottom.

When placing the outer most trim pieces it is imperative to leave
approximately a 1/4" gap.
This allows the doors to open and fold.

Without the tiny gap, you will not be able to open the doors as the trim will butt up against the door frame.

The good news - although the gaps may look glaring to you,
no one will notice them once the project is completed.

I promise.

Once all the vertical pieces were up the 

top and bottom pieces were glued into place,
followed with the middle piece.

Now that you have a top and a middle section on the first bi-fold,
simply divide each section in half to place the final two pieces.

With one bi-fold completely finished, the other three go by
quickly as you no longer have to measure each section
but simply line them up to each other.

Next is the priming and then the painting.
The glue adheres best when wood meets wood,
this is why the priming and painting are not done before.

Here is my work station.  It's a piece of cardboard.

It's awesome.

Next week I'll show you the the completed project.

I'm happy to report, m
y son's project got an "A"!

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