Construction 51: Cellar door

09/02/15 | ۩ |

Considering that the cat is safely locked in his cage, I can finally resume the construction of the ground floor.
After the placing of the stone jambs in the entrance wall, the last remaining element to finish the making of the basement is the wooden door on top of the staircase.
This is the first door I'm going to build. Every time I deal with a new element I look for information material and, when necessary, carry out some previous tests. There will be no tests this time, only some hint read on one of my books, and a few pictures found on the web.
The raw material will be a wooden slat previously put aside for the purpose


The access to the basement is reserved to the residents of the Domus and to the servants, so it's a simple and small sized door. However it opens to the main entrance,  a transit room for all guests and family, so it must look decent and quite robust too.

Some pictures taken by a tourist inside the guardhouse of the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa come to help me. Perhaps those doors look too massive, but they're not so far from what I want to achieve.


In my case I decide to build a simple door, where the vertical planks are framed on the inside and fixed to three horizontal planks. Two iron hinges will fasten the door to the wall, allowing its movement. The door will open outward turning right to left, and will be closed by a deadbolt.
I didn't take many pictures of this first experiece (I'll try to illustrate all the process with the building of the front door), but you can see the final result here below.



 The planks are glued with vinyl glue; The iron pieces are made using old wire segments forged cold and inserted into the planks without any glue. Some of them are been made many times, until I reached the desired result. The main challenge is to place the hinges in such a position to allow the optimal movement of the door, without the unsightly split between the wall and the door itself when it's closed. To avoid that, I need to insert the hinges well deep into the stone jamb.

It's hard to explain all this with words (twice as hard doing it in english), but it's even more difficult to put it into practice. The main problem is precisely the insertion of the hinges, something that will drive me to dismantle a part of the wall replacing the pieces broken when I was trying to drill the stone.

A useful tip: to avoid dust from falling down to the basement, I filled the stairwell with wadding, which I'll remove at the end of the operation.


If something I learned after the building of this door (probably the first of a long series of doors to come) is that the hinges must be fastened while the wall is still under construction and not at a second time like in real buildings. Drilling the wall when the jamb is fixed in its place is a task too hard to do because of the small size of my model. Even more in this case, as it was impossible to work on both sides due to the vaulted staircase.

The door remained unfinished during some time, while the construction of the floor and the walls were going on. Still need to complete some details, like the replacing of a plank on the door frame, lost during the assembly... but here you have a couple of pictures of the hinged door:


MATERIALS:
wood, iron wire,slate

TOOLS:
cutter, ruler, pincers, anvil, hammer, vinyl glue, Dremel + diamond point (stone cutting)

SIZE (in cm):
height: 3,6
width: 2
thickness: 0,2






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