April 11, 2018

Dutch Doors for the Goat Barn

We have three people doors planned for the goat barn: front and back doors for the milking room, and one to enter the goats' area. I find Dutch doors are perfect for these: they let in light and breezes but keep goats, chickens, ducks, and dogs on their side. They are called Dutch doors in the U.S. because they were introduced here in the 17th century by Dutch settlers. They are called stable doors in the U.K.

Here's where the first one is going to go.

The front and back doors of the milking room line
up with the door to what will become Dan's workshop.
This is to accommodate cooling summer breezes.


With scrap plywood and lumber they are inexpensive to make. The plywood will serve as the backing and is measured and cut to fit the door opening.


It seems as though all of our barn doors are different sizes, but then, we haven't been working with standard building materials. However, we make sure they are wide enough to accommodate a wheelbarrow. This particular door is 6'8" tall.


After the plywood is cut it gets a fitting. This wouldn't be the first time that something didn't fit!

Checking the fit.

The next step is deciding where to cut the door into top and bottom. Most of them are probably in half, but it doesn't have to be.

Where to cut the plywood into top & bottom is personal preference.

Wood for the rails and stiles is scraps of home-milled boards. Ours are one-inch thick and four inches wide, but that's a matter of design choice too.


The X is a traditional barn door pattern.

First one done.

The bottom part of the door is made the same way with one difference. We like our Dutch doors to have a shelf topping the bottom half, so Dan reinforced the top edge with another board on the back of the door.

Clamps hold the pieces together for drilling and screwing.

That gives a wider base to attach the shelf to.


That little shelf is really handy for setting something on to unlatch the door, to lean on when looking inside, or as a cat seat.

Hinges were next.


Then door latches.


To secure the top part of the door when it's open, a spring hook was attached.


Here it is.


One down and two to go.

To see the other Dutch doors Dan made, click here for the exterior door on the Little Barn, and here for the interior door in the chicken coop. You'll have to scroll down to find the pictures.

23 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Good job!

Michelle said...

As always, beautiful work!

Weekend-Windup said...

You have done a great job. It looks good:)

Kristina said...

When we had the big barn still standing, and used it for the goats, it was missing the bottom half of the door. We re-built it, and in fact, I'm heading out next week, to take the hardware off the door to recycle. The door is in shambles now.

Leigh said...

Gorges, Michelle, and Weekend-Windup, thanks! We're happy with it. :)

Kristina, interesting that it was missing the bottom half. I'm guessing you got quite a few serviceable years from it after your repairs. But even the hardware is still useful! That's as it should be.

Ed said...

Made lots of similar doors back in the day when we raised hogs. The only differences are that we had 'Z' shaped stiffeners and not 'X' shaped and our latches were of the kind you could push shut with one hand or bump with your heel on the way out and get them to latch. The latch mechanism was on the door frame and not on the door itself. The door just had a pin sticking out.

Leigh said...

Ed, that sounds like an excellent door latch. I have to say that so far we haven't been satisfied with any of the ones we've tried. It's hard to figit with a latch with only one hand, which is usually the case. I'll have to see if I can find the kind you mention.

weavinfool said...

The hand healing must be going well if Dan can do all that work on doors. Congratulations on your regimen.
That door looks great.

Quinn said...

Oh, I am a bit envious! In less than one year after construction, not ONE of the four bottom doors on my goat barn would line up and close. I'm going to have to take down all the "professionally built" ones and start over, VERY annoying and expensive, A door that won't close properly is a jaw-tightener Every Single Day. But it hasn't been tackled yet because there are always more "must do" things on top of the list. Plus, that "expensive" thing. Grrrrr.

Susan said...

Wonderful job! It's so important to have good doors and gates!

Leigh said...

Weavinfool, thanks! Dan's hand has come a long way although he gets impatient with the healing progress. He's learned how to compensate for not being able to use those two fingers, but by the end of the day his hand is usually hurting pretty badly. Still, feeling useful and making progress on our projects is worth it to him.

Quinn, wow, I'm sorry to hear that! I agree it's annoying, but can't say our non-professionally built ones won't have problems down the road. At least we can look to ourselves and say " we shoulda." Much more frustrating to pay someone for the product as well as the problems.

Susan, thanks! We're really looking forward to the whole thing being done.

Rain said...

Leigh!! That looks so fabulous, congrats to Dan on the great job!!! :)

jewlz said...

Glad you did a post on doors- looks so easy when I read about it :). I've been working on "barn door" style barn doors- but will try a dutch door soon, on a smaller opening.
A random thought I had re: Dan's healing at home. I remember your prayers that a way for him to be home with you would open up. Is even this 'negative' really just an answered prayer? Dunno. Carry on the good work!

Florida Farm Girl said...

What a gorgeous door!! Glad to see Dan is getting better use of his hand.

Ed said...

Leigh - Here is a link to ones similar to what we use.

https://hdsupplysolutions.com/shop/p/heavy-duty-gate-latch-p905311

We buy them at a local hardware store in bulk. I'm not sure what they are called.

Leigh said...

Rain, thanks! Doors always lend a finished air. :)

Jewlz, I was hoping the photos would tell the story for you. And yes, it does seem like Dan's injury was an odd answer to a prayer. Or maybe a benefit. SS starts this month and we've been discussing a potential budget. It will mean some adjustments, but without having to be over the road, we'll save on some expenses as well.

Sue, thanks! Yes, he's foraging ahead and learning how to compensate. But he's still improving and hopefully this will help.

Ed, thanks! Seems as though our local offerings are pretty limited as I've not seen this particular latch before. Good site and good prices. Free shipping never hurts my feelings either!

M.K. said...

Oh, PLEASE come to my barn next!!! :)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi, I like your barn doors. Great idea to be able to just open the top. I like how you are practical with using wood also. Nancy

The Wykeham Observer said...

Beautiful door. Now I have the inspiration to start a new door for the barn. The racoons have eaten through the top left corner. But when I see your husband with that saw, all I want to say is "take it easy!"

Leigh said...

M.K., at the rate we're going, that "next" may be awhile! :)

Nancy, thanks! I think not having a lot of extra money lends it self for learning to be practical, and it's a skill I'm thankful for. :)

Phil, I know what you mean about the saw! How annoying about your door though. I didn't realize raccoons would do that, but it's good to know. Keeping things safe is important.

Chris said...

Those are some well made doors. And so versatile. It's great to see Dan, able to handle the electric saw again. I can imagine his anxiety. But still, when job needs to be done, you get in, and do it. I hope the rest of the build goes, without incident.

Leigh said...

Chris, thanks! Yes, there is a lot of anxiety every time he uses the saw, but he says he just focuses on what needs to be done. He's finding ways to compensate for what his hand can't do in hopes that as it continues to heal he will be able to do more.

Sam I Am...... said...

Beautiful doors! Great job...I wish I knew how to build things...it's on my list but there's so much on my list! LOL!