Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Vault

It finally sort of resembles the vault that it kind of is, now that I added some actual doors to the area in the basement in which we store the bulk of our bicycles. The area is a small three and a half sided room that sits under the mudroom and spare bathroom addition to our home.

We have used the alcove, for lack of a more descriptive term, as the storage for most of the bikes, hung even and alternating from hooks. However, the logical closure to the rectangle footprint was not even and putting a door on required framing and hanging at an angle, making an actual five sided room when complete. Give this and the fact that there was duct work running through the space anyhow, I opted over the years to leave it open save for a shower curtain which I pulled shut when doing woodworking in the main part of the basement addition, off of which the bike room sits. This worked fine and did the trick if not looking very finished.

Last year I threw together a couple of cheap and easy 72x30" door panels using 2x4" fir with 1/2" x 1" deep dado cuts on one edge and 7/16" OSB panels. The dado served as channels for the OSB panels to sit in as well as the groove for a tongue and groove joint, for which I cut the matching tongue for into the top and bottom pieces of 2x4", to fit into the side pieces of 2x4" making up the door frame. I held it together with glue and finish nails and let the OSB float for different expansion and contraction. Not exactly finish work but functional and for the past year, I used the as a free standing screen to keep sawdust away from the sump pumps by holding them together with a set of hinges in the middle.

I'd decided that the screen was in the way and some quick measuring showed that the two panels would fit nicely with some light framing into the hole that would be the doorway to the bike room. All I needed were a some PT 2x4" to be bolted to the concrete walls via lag shields, then I could frame off from those. The angle ended up being 23 degrees so in order to frame out to that from my "L" shaped PT corner caps in the smallest amount of space I had to rip a 2x4" edgewise on the table saw. Tack that onto the corner caps and I was now less than a couple inches from the rough dimension for the doors. Unfortunately that left little room to trim and true but realistically, I didn't want that big an investment at this point anyhow. My door panels were not exactly square anyhow and if you aren't starting square, finishing square is really hard. So for this project it was tool-shed square. Basically the doors open and close evenly but the hinges would be integral in the alignment process.

With that I pulled it all together. The door panels hung, though with some protest, and are set to give tension against each other, holding the two shut. To afford some adjustment in the tension I put screws into the matching door edges that would butt against each other and could be drawn in or backed out to increase or decrease tension. I used scraps of PVC lattice to visually close off the areas over the top of the door frame on either side of the duct work, plumbing and wiring that ran between the sections along the open ceiling.

Nothing fancy but it will help keep the sawdust off the bikes and didn't cost much of anything.

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