Like most homeowners, I have an endless list of repairs and projects that need to be done. Making a new set of garden shed doors has been on mine for several years. I am not sure when this tool shed was built, but I would guess 30-35 years ago. It’s a great storage space and is well constructed, but the doors have been falling apart for a long time.
I have made temporary repairs on them three times, which now seems like wasted time and effort. In each instance, I had to remove the doors, cut away rotted boards, add new fasteners, sand and repaint. The process took a weekend. I could have easily made new doors in about the same amount of time!
Yes, you can make garden shed doors for under $100!
If you stick with simple construction materials and methods, it’s surprisingly affordable. Here’s a breakdown of my costs:
- 2×6 x 8′ boards (6): $27.42
- 1/4″ sheet of plywood: $27.72
- Quart of paint: $21.95
- Pocket screws $5.47
The lesson for me is to evaluate home repair jobs carefully to determine if my time is better spent fixing or building.
Cutting the boards
I used three, eight foot long (244cm), 2×6 boards for each door. These are actually 1.5″ x 5.5″ or 38mm x 140mm. I bought construction grade Douglas fir boards. Like 2x4s, the long edges are rounded over a little. In order to get a nice tight fit when assembling, I like to cut the edges off of each board to square them up.
I cut the four long side pieces to size using my miter saw. I measured the first one, then used it do line up and measure the rest. This is a much better method for making repeated cuts, rather than measuring each one with a tape measure.
To cut the eight short pieces (the horizontal frame boards) all the same length, I set up an extension fence on my saw and clamped a stop block to it.
Then I butted the boards up to it so they all cut identically.
Using my Kreg Jig, I drilled two pocket holes in ends of all the short pieces.
I began the assembly by screwing the top and bottom pieces into place.
To position the two middle boards equally apart from each other, I cut two scrap boards to use as spacers. This is much more accurate than trying to measure and mark where each board should be.
I used my router to cut a rabbet (ledge) along the inside edge of each of the frames. For this, I used a rabbet bit.
On the front side of the doors, I routed out a decorative Roman ogee profile.
The panels are 1/4″ (6mm) plywood. I cut these to size, and then glued and tacked them into the back side of the doors, resting on the rabbets.
I lined the doors up to where the old ones were, marked the hinge positions, and screwed them in place. This can be a time-consuming process. Dealing with hinges is one of my least favorite things!
Once everything was working properly, I removed the doors and painted them with a quality exterior latex paint. It’s important that all surfaces get painted in order to protect the wood from the weather.
Making the latch
On the inside of the right hand door, I installed a sliding bolt for keeping it closed. When extended, the bolt catches behind the door frame.
To make the latch, I found an old steel L-bracket and bent it into a squarish U-shape. I screwed this onto the right hand door.
On left door I attached a board with a screw and a lock nut so it can swivel freely.