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DayCreek Journal
March 19 , 2002

Thanks for the intro, Ed. Well, actually it's only one door so far, but it's a start. With winter finally arriving in March, I've decided to "work from home" until such time as the nighttime temperatures get a bit warmer in Minnesota. (It's rather hard to keep my little cabin warm.)

If you recall, last fall I was able to take down a bunch of barn siding off of an old barn that was about to get torn down. The wood is somewhat okay structurally—at least enough to build interior doors out of it.

I started constructing the door using a piece of 1/2" plywood that I cut to 34 1/2" wide. I cut it an inch and a half shy of 36" (the final width) so that I could finish the door off with a nice piece of 3/4" trim strip. I laid out three barn board panels, each approximately 12" in width. The center board, gets ripped down to about 10 1/2" so that the total width of all three boards equals 34 1/2". Each board gets attached to the plywood using 1 1/2" wood screws.

The same procedure is duplicated on the other side of the door so that you end up with the plywood sandwiched between two barn boards. This makes for quite a sturdy door, and I might add, rather heavy. (I may try going with 3/8" plywood, just to lighten things up a bit on the next door.)

After the six barn boards have been secured to the plywood, I finish off each side with a "Z" pattern batten to accent the door.

The next step is to go around the door with a power planer to even out the sides a bit. After planing, the side trim goes on to complete the door.

I also bought a quart of paint and had it matched to the color of the barn board to paint over the screw heads to keep the look rather weathered.

As I stated earlier, the only downside to this homemade door is the weight and I may try a thinner plywood piece in the center. The overall thickness of the door is about 2". It is quite a sturdy door.

Foam Insulation Update
In the last journal entry I mentioned a product called Icynene and since reporting on the product, I have found two other foams worth mentioning.

The first product is called Sealection 500 manufactured by another Canadian company: Demilec. From everything I have been able to find about this product, it has the same characteristics as Icynene except the price. It's about 20% cheaper than Icynene. If there is any drawback to the company, it would be the lack of a warranty, something that Icynene provides with their product. Here's a link to their U.S. website:

The second product that I have found is a bit different from the standard foam products. It is made out of minerals (magnesium oxychloride cement) derived from sea water. The name of the product is Air Krete and has been around since the early 1980's.

Some of the advantage to this product is its R value and fire-stopping capabilities. It's R value of 3.9 per inch, makes it a slightly less expensive product than Icyenene, if you are strictly comparing R value. Another big plus for this product is that it's an environmentally friendly product. The foam product will safely disintegrate into the soil with no harm done to the environment.

One of the disadvantages has to do with friability or in other words, it crumbles rather easily. This is no big deal as long as the product is installed in between walls, but it is something to consider. Also, the product doesn't adhere to the wall cavities and attic spaces like Icynene, so a wire mesh should be installed in open spaces to hold the insulation in place.

Here's their website:

All of these options will give me plenty to think about while mudding up walls this summer. Stay tuned for updates.