Flat track doors, also known as barn doors, are a great way to add an industrial design element into a space. They’re space savers and a form of functional wall art. Jay, door guru, and Rob, general manager, of our fine woodworking division NEWwoodworks, gave us some insight into custom track doors:
Reclaimed hand hewn timber skins bring texture and character to a lower level rec room entry.
Start with wood: “You can do a lot more with wood than you can with metal or fiberglass,” explained Jay. “There is so much more character and story in wood than any other material. Wooden doors fulfill our biophilic desire; they’re tactile, interactive, and functional.”
Flat tracks are top hung systems employing a top rail or mounted track above the door opening. A pair of hangers are assembled to the specific door (thickness, width, and weight of the door are all considered). A second bottom track/rail, subtle bottom guide fins, or cradle fins are employed to help maintain the door’s vertical alignment with the wall.
Doors are the transitional pieces, the welcoming elements, the barriers against intrusion—be it weather or other diversions—the room dividers, the separators of space. A high-crafted door is designed to function flawlessly and be in service for decades. Yet over time their movement and environment can impact aesthetics and usefulness. Our fine woodworking group, NEWwoodworks, has had the opportunity to restore doors of heritage, bearing, and beauty for a few special spaces.
Home at the Spa
Elements from an original carriage house in Rochester were carefully salvaged, including the main entry doors, for a local spa. Always believed to be arched, during removal it was discovered that the original doors were rectangular. They had hung for years behind an arched opening to give them the look of arched doors.
Original doors, site salvaged.
The craftsmen at NEWwoodworks, lead by door guru, Jay, were tasked with creating arches in the old doors, along with general restoration. The doors were constructed in a traditional way using wedged tenons which were hammered in from the side. This type of old craft construction would close and tighten all of the stile and rail joints. With skill and care, an arch was cut in the doors and components were re-fitted to create truly arched doors. The surface was then wire brushed and mounting hardware was set into the backs of the doors so they could be hung on a wall.
Today they greet patrons from their new home where they live as pieces of art behind the spa reception desk.
Though species and finishes play a large role in the durability of wooden entry doors, time and weather will eventually wear through and some TLC will be needed to bring the wood back to life. A set of white oak entry doors on University Ave in Rochester, NY were removed by our craftsmen and transported back to the shop.
The original weather-worn oak doors on University Ave.
It was clear the bottom rails were beyond repair which lead the team to dismantle the doors and sidelights. Over 200 oak pieces and all joinery was restored. New insulated glass units and oil rubbed bronze hardware were added bringing a touch of modernization to the doors. Originally the oak was stained dark brown, but for this revitalization, it was requested to keep a natural finish to allow the oak’s patina to be celebrated. The craftsmen employed a polymerized tung oil that will be applied biannually as part of normal maintenance for the revived doors.
A fun find by a restaurant owner, this tall and slim pair of doors is believed to have originated in India before making their way to the US and eventually to the NEWwoodworks shop for a bit of care.
The doors were sinch-nailed together, nearly 3″ thick, solid white pine covered in layers of paint and signs of age.
Original, as-found pine doors.
The first step was stripping off the hardware and cleaning up the grills. A light wire brushing was applied to the surface to remove some of the rotten paint while highlighting the hard-earned surface character. Structural repairs were required in the moldings and some of the rails, but overall these doors were fairly solid. Frosted glass, new hinges, and a dead bolt completed the overhaul. Today the doors conceal a closet while acting as wall art. Their grills and glass are backlit, warm and captivating in the eatery’s entry foyer.
Rejuvenating and repairing, bringing new life and new love to these timelessly authentic doors are stories we’ll tell for many years to come. They’ve influenced and inspired new doors (below) and reminded us of old high craft techniques. See the gallery of door creations here.
Inspired by the adjacent antique doors, the new main entry door for the eatery entrance was crafted of Reclaimed Heart Pine by NEWwoodworks.
For over 20 years NEWwoodworks, our fine woodworking division, has specialized in handcrafted cabinetry, furniture, stairs, doors, and other custom designed interior furnishings from their shop in Shortsville, NY. The Shortsville-Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce (SMACC) is a volunteer organization that promotes progress and a positive business climate. NEWwoodworks has supported local Shortsville activities for many years, including the annual Wild Water Derby, and has been recognized by SMACC as business of the month.
“Crafting projects from antique reclaimed wood is a unique privilege,” remarked Rob D’Alessandro, General Manager. “We’re excited to be recognized by the Shortsville Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce as a Business of the Month.”
NEWwoodworks has built a reputation as the go-to shop among designers and architects for taking on challenging, one-of-a-kind, custom woodworking projects. Each piece is hand-crafted using sustainably harvested and often antique wood by skilled craftsmen and design software. Thanks to experience, talented hands, digital technology, and good-old-fashioned creativity the more unique, the more difficult, the better the project.
The craftsmen at NEWwoodworks have knowledge and abilities which ensure every project is a work of art, whether it’s doors, cabinetry, stairs, tables, wine rooms, or commercial fixtures. They have worked with world-famous retailers, hotels, restaurants, and spas to bring the vision of the brand and the designer to life. Great attention is paid to the details: hand-forged hardware, oil rubbed finishes, and antique wood-with-a-story-to-tell are a few of the features incorporated in their products.
NEWwoodworks has been the fine woodworking division of New Energy Works Timberframers for over 20 years. They specialize in custom crafting cabinetry, furniture, stairs, doors, and other custom woodworking that is unique to the individual and harmonious with the project design. The group is well known for their expertise in handcrafting elements for timber frame homes and constructing projects with reclaimed and extraordinary wood.