Making massive doors

Here are some of the magnificent doors in Penrhyn Castle. The craftwork of the artis and is exceptionally high and the wood was the very best English oak. Much of it quarter-sawn, the doors have been ganging for 160 years.



Some of the doors curve into a round to fit a round aspect of the walls, which I have never seen anywhere. One day I would like to write a simple book on the doors of Penrhyn Castle. Some of them ar 6 metres tall and 3 metres wide.


Here I am laying out the doors for the walled garden. I began cutting the mortises today. Though these doors are small, they are still 65mm thick and the bottom  and mid rails are 275mm. Just lugging the stiles around is heavy work.



I drilled out the bulk of the mortises because they are so deep, 200mm, and even with a swan neck t’s hard to get them clean to the bottom.


Here I am using the long paring chisel to smooth out the mortise walls. Assembling such massive joints in close proximity to each other and with such thick and large panels will mean fast assembly work to close the glued joints without them ‘freezing’ with ‘glue-grab’.


  1. Salvador on 10 December 2015 at 10:21 pm

    wow, I would like to see the finished doors.

  2. Jeremy on 28 December 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I would dearly love a copy of that book. I love doors.

  3. Tom on 25 April 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Are those elevator buttons to the right of the door ?