How to Build Ledge Barn Doors

Written by henri bauholz
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Ledge barn doors can also be referred to as brace and ledge barn doors. These rustic-styled doors evolved as an attractive and efficient way to put sturdy and weatherproof doors on the side of a barn. Ledge barn doors can be a single unit or a pair of doors that both swing open to create a much larger opening. The quality of wood used to make such doors, can vary drastically from very basic materials to elaborately-built doors made from expensive hardwoods.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Saw horses
  • Some lumber of standard width
  • Circular saw
  • Galvanised screws
  • Screw gun
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Measure the size of the door opening and determine if you need to make one or two doors. A good rule of thumb is that the width of one individual door should never exceed the height. Even a square door is probably too much weight for one set of hinges, so plan on making only doors that are rectangular in shape.

  2. 2

    Select your wood and place the individual pieces on top of a pair of sawhorses. Cut all the vertical pieces to the exact length. Make sure that each board has a consistent width throughout the entire length. You can use a table saw to correct any inconsistencies. Chances are that the widths of your individual boards will not add up to the exact overall width that you desire.

  3. 3

    Rip one or two boards to create the exact width of your door. You can usually make the rip cut with a circular saw, unless you are working with hardwoods, in which case you will need a table saw. When making the rip cuts remember that there are two possibilities. You can rip one board and place it in the centre of the door, or you can rip two boards and place each one on the outside edge of the door. In either case, the overall height and width of the door should be about ½-inch less than the door opening.

  4. 4

    Cut the top and bottom ledge. The ledge is just a straight piece of wood that forms the bottom and top edge of the door. It is attached to the front side of the door with wood screws. For a finished look, the screws should be countersunk and filled with putty. The two ledge pieces should be the exact width as the door.

  5. 5

    Cut two ledges for each side of the door. They will be placed on the front side of the door along the inside and outside edge. Use the same stock of lumber for these pieces also. Each side will have one square end that butts against the top or bottom ledge and one sharply angled end that butts up against the diagonal brace. Attach these braces in the manner as with the rest of the other braces and ledges.

  6. 6

    Attach hinges and a door latch and now your door is ready to hang. Note that you will need long, heavy-duty, metal, strap hinges to support the weight of the door.

Tips and warnings

  • You might want to consider building a door with three wooden ledges instead of just two. The third brace goes right in the centre of the door. It runs all the way across the entire width of the door and it is installed before the brace. This means you will have to use two braces to complete the door. The side ledges are probably not necessary, but if you do install them you will need four. The advantage of a third ledge is that you can add one more hinge to the face of the door for extra support.
  • Be sure your door is not too heavy. The greater the height to width ratio, the less the door will weigh.
  • Use safety glasses when operating power tools.

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