Plywood for Barn Doors


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Old 02-17-21, 08:53 PM
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Plywood for Barn Doors

Hi
I want to try making some barn doors for my closets. Iíd like to match the 5 panel shaker doors that I put in a few years ago. The barn doors look fairly straight forward to make but I have a couple of questions.

Should I use plywood or mdf? Iíve seen people use both. How thick? Iíve seen 3/4Ē but am wondering if I could get away with thinner?

If I use plywood how can I get the edges to be nice and smooth? - so it looks like a solid piece of wood. Iíll be painting them white.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 02-17-21, 10:01 PM
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There's no pictures so there's no clue what your trying to match.
Less then 3/4" or trying to use MDF is not going to hold screws.
If what you used before is working why change it?
 
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Old 02-18-21, 02:45 AM
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If I use plywood how can I get the edges to be nice and smooth? - so it looks like a solid piece of wood.
You can rip thin strips of wood to glue and nail/staple to the perimeter of the plywood. This gives you a solid wood edge that hides the plywood's plys. They also sell a 'tape' that can be applied to the edges. The tape once applied resembles a solid wood edge.
 
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Old 02-18-21, 04:16 AM
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A 5 panel shaker door, at least how I imagine it looking could be pretty simple with plywood and strips of wood stuck on the face. You can leave the edges unfinished which would be easy or you can trim to conceal the edge grain of the ply. You'll be able to see the trim pieces so it won't be authentic looking like traditional methods with panels but it could look good. This will be a heavy door though. I wouldn't want to get my finger in a bad spot when closing.
 
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Old 02-18-21, 07:15 AM
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Thanks for the replies. This is sort of what Iím looking at making except with the trim boards in a 5 panel Shaker style. They used mdf. Iíve seen the same done with plywood.

https://plankandpillow.com/how-to-bu...ble-barn-door/

I bought the interior shaker doors that I want to match. I want to make the closet doors as buying them is looking pricey.

I donít think I have the skills to trim the edgers of the plywood. I read you can put on a coat of filler to smooth them out. True?

I donít know if Iíll need that much screw holding power to be worried about mdf? The barn door brackets will have bolts going all the way through. The weight of the door wouldnít pull off the top section where the brackets attach - would it?

Iím not a fan of all the glue and crap in mdf but it does seem easier to work with - smooth, straight, stable.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-18-21, 10:29 AM
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Plywood warps too much and won't hang flat. If you don't mind the way the edges look, make them out of 1/2" sheets of MDF. All your rails and stiles will be rips of 1/2" MDF that you can apply one both sides on the center panel. And hopefully your hardware will be drilled and bolted perpendicular through the door... not straight down into the top of the door. Because straight down would likely not work well at all. If hardware does mount straight down into the top of the door, you will need to drill long pilot holes and use longer screws than you would if you were screwing into wood.
 
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Old 02-19-21, 06:52 AM
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Thanks. Iíll give mdf a try. I hadnít thought about ripping sheets of 1/2Ē for the rails. Should be cheaper than the baseboard I was going to use.
 
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Old 02-19-21, 07:04 AM
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You will have lots of sanding/planing on those cut edges to remove saw marks. And you will want to seal cut edges before primer and paint. Using an 1/8" roundover bit on a trim router is a nice way to finish the door perimeters.

Do all your sanding and planing before you cut any rips to length.
 
 

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