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Antique Barn Doors

Barn doors are large, durable doors usually hung as a pair on a structure used to house livestock or grain. If you are doing property renovations, you may want to consider the weathered look of barn doors that have been outdoors for a long time. These doors come in a range of sizes and can be used for period reconstruction of barns or for an antique look in home renovation.

What are the features of antique barn doors?
  • Metal hinges: Barn doors typically have metal hardware that allows them to open outward or slide along tracks. The hardware of antique doors was often wrought by hand from cast iron. Cast iron is heavy and thick, and the hardware often extends deep into the doors frame for stability.
  • Roller tracks: Antique doors may have roller tracks for sliding them open. The sliding tracks are paired on the top and bottom of the door and on the top and bottom of the door frame on the barn. The tracks were made of iron, cast iron, or other materials. The same material was used for the sliding tracks as for the hardware in order to ensure that no unwanted chemical interactions or excessive wear and tear occurred.
  • Hardwood construction: Before the 1950s, barn doors were constructed of hardwood. Wrought iron nails were typically used in the 1800s and machine-made nails after 1900.
What materials are barn doors made from?
  • Wood: The most common types of wood used for doors included oak, maple, hickory, and chestnut. Less commonly, pine, birch, or beech wood may have been used, depending on what was locally available at the time of the barns construction.
  • Cast iron: The handles of barn doors were often constructed from cast iron in order to match the hinges and roller tracks. The latches were also usually made of cast iron.
  • Bronze and steel: Some antique barn doors have bronze or steel latches and handles. These materials were difficult to come by before World War II.
How do you use antique barn doors?

Older barn doors are often used when a barn is being restored to the way that it looked when it was first built. You may also want to use antique doors if you are building a barn or storage structure and need durable materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Barn doors are wide enough to accommodate big vehicles which makes them a useful choice for a structure that will be used to store machinery, farm equipment, or large trucks. If you are building a log cabin or mountain home and want doors that will coordinate with the architectural style and blend into the natural surroundings, antique barn doors are a suitable choice. The hardware can also be taken off of the doors, and the doors can be repurposed into tables for use as indoor furniture.

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