How to Make Ledge and Brace Doors Part 2

What You'll Need
Level workbench with 2 or 3 softwood battens
Tape measure
Nylon hammer/mallet
120 grit sand paper and a sanding block
Tongue and groove wood (5/8 or 3/4 inch thick)
Ledge and brace wood (6 inch by 3/4 inch)
2-by-4 wood for the frame
T Hinges
Door latch or handle

In Part 1 we went over how to create the frame for your ledge and brace door, along with how to build the vertical sections for your door. Now in Part 2 we will finish the door by installing the ledges, braces and giving your door its final touches. Let's get started.

Step 1 - Attach the Ledges

The measurements of your door determine the number of ledges that you will use and how long to cut them. You will install the first ledge 4 inches beneath the top of the door, the bottom ledge 7 inches above the bottom of the door, and each additional ledge an equal amount of space apart from each other. You should have at least three ledges in order to make your door sturdy enough, so you will more than likely end up with either three or four ledge boards. For a more attractive appearance, you should purchase ledge boards that have been beveled on all sides, or do the beveling yourself. Cut the length of the ledge boards to 10 mm shorter than your door width. This will leave 5 mm of space on either side of the ledge when you install them to the verticals. Now lay out the ledges across the vertical boards. Use the best piece of wood for the top ledge and so on as you go down. This way, the best looking ledge is the one seen most often. Beginning with the top ledge, screw the ledges into the door using your drill. Use at least ten screws for each ledge, with each end of the ledge having a L shape of screws. Then alternate the placement of the screws diagonally across the entire ledge. Continue placing the screws throughout each ledge, working from the top down.

Step 2 - Install the Braces

Now that you have all of your ledges installed, you can work on the braces. Place the wood for your brace between the top two ledges and mark the ledge location on the brace. Remember, you are installing these pieces diagonally, so be sure to mark their placement at an angle. Do the same for the space between the second and third ledge, and third and fourth if applicable. Once you have all of your brace boards marked, cut the appropriate angle with a saw. These braces help support the weight of the door, so make sure that your markings and cut are accurate. Once the braces are cut, install them using screws like you did the ledges.

Step 3 - Finish up

Now that you have installed the braces, you need to run some sandpaper across the door and ledges to make sure that you remove all of the rough edges and splinters. Once you have sanded everything smooth, your door will be ready for staining, oiling or waxing. It is best to do this before adding the hinges and door latch. After you stain the door and let it dry, install the hinges along the top and bottom ledge. T hinges work best to support the weight of a ledge and brace door. Now, you either have the option of drilling a hole for the door handle, or installing a latch style handle that can just be screwed into the wood of the door. Once you have added the hinges and door latch, you are done. Hang your door in its frame or attach it to the wood frame of your building.