One of my biggest projects on my “to do” list for this month (you can click here to check out this month’s goals) was to make and install double glass doors on my pantry doorway. So a few days ago, I inspected the old wood doors I had stacked in the sunroom (i.e., the old solid wood doors that were original to the house that I had planned to use to create my new French doors), and realized just how banged up and chewed up those doors were on the edges. In order to do a really nice job, the project would require tools that I don’t have, like a planer and jointer.
So my options were to find a planer and jointer that I could borrow or spend $500+ on a new tool that I really don’t have room for at the moment.
I decided to measure the doorway opening and see if I could come up with a Plan C. When I framed out that doorway, I didn’t measure to be sure it was an exact measurement. Since I was planning on making the doors, the doorway could be any width, and I’d make the doors to fit.
So imagine my shock when I measured and found that somehow, quite miraculously, the doorway width was exactly 36 inches. That opened up the possibility of using ready-made doors.
I got online and started searching for a solution, and found these bifold closet doors that were perfect for this project. My local Home Depot didn’t carry them in stock, so I ordered them and had them shipped to the store for pickup so I could get free shipping.
They are really beautiful doors, and came packaged very well. Some of the panes of glass look broken, but that’s just wrinkles in the plastic that covers each pane.
Since they are bifold closet doors, they come hinged together at the center. To turn them into double French doors, I turned the doors onto the edges, with the existing hinges down, and installed new hinges on the edges that were pointing up.
These doors are kind of heavy, so I used three hinges per door.
Then I lay them flat again and removed the center hinges holding the doors together.
Before I carried one of the doors into the breakfast room, I placed a scrap piece of 1 x 6 on the floor to place the door on in order to allow for the appropriate gap below the door.
Then I placed the door onto the lumber, lined up the hinges on the door jamb, and screwed them into place.
Then I repeated that process on the other side.
To make this even easier, I used non-mortise hinges so that I wouldn’t have to mess with routing the doors and door jambs to make room for regular hinges. Non-mortise hinges are surface mounted on both the doors and the jambs.
The Home Depot here only carries them in brass, so I used some spray paint to paint them black before installing. I still need to touch up the screw heads.
And just like that, I had French doors on my pantry. Thirty minutes of work, and done!
Well, okay. Not really. You may have noticed just a slight, teeny tiny gap at the top of the doors. 😀
The doors I was planning on using to make my custom doors are a true 80 inches high. These doors, while they’re labeled 80 inches, are actually shorter, as all bifold closet doors are. So now I have to make some adjustments. I don’t anticipate that this will be a big deal at all.
I’m simply going to remove the top and side door facings…
…and then add a spacer to the existing top door jamb, and install a new lower top door jamb. In other words, I’m not going to remove any of the existing jambs. I’ll just add a new one that’s lower. Then I’ll cut down the side casings and reinstall, and then reinstall the top casing.
It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s much easier than building completely new, custom French doors! And fortunately, I haven’t yet installed the casing on the pantry side of the door…
So it really shouldn’t be a big deal at all.
I’m actually glad that my original idea didn’t work out. This was so much less stressful, and I think the doors are beautiful.
And best of all is that I think these doors will take one more day of work (maybe two with the priming, sanding, and painting), and then I can finally cross something off of my list for this month! It’s already the 13th, and I’ve yet to actually complete any of the projects on this month’s “to do” list. It’ll feel great to get such a big project done!
UPDATE: The pantry doors are finished! You can click here for the rest of this project, and to see the finished doors.