Ledge and Brace doors - where to start?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Beanwood

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
224
Reaction score
52
Location
Bristol
My lovely wife wants to replace the doors in our home with Ledge (And brace?) doors, with suffolk latches to make the place feel more like the cottage it is, instead of the cheap four panel 'things' we have currently.
She would like an 'aged' look to them, so I'm not thinking of pristine planed oak.
Are there any plans or design points I can/should follow, or is it literally take the gap, and find a suitable number of boards to fit it? (Is there an accepted general thickness?)
Should they be tongue and grooved - and could that be done on a router?
Do I clamp and glue the boards together, glue them to the ledge, or just secure them with screws to allow some movement?

So many basic questions that will no doubt be bread and butter for most of you.

Any and all advice gratefully received as always?
 

Mike Jordan

Established Member
Joined
21 Apr 2016
Messages
695
Reaction score
84
Location
Derby
If your existing doors are standard 30mm thick items a ledged and braced door will not fit the frames without altering them. Boarding is normally 20/22mm thick. You should be able to find a plan on line.
If you glue the boards together in one slab it will expand and contract with changing moisture levels and cause problems.
I suggest you consider making 30mm thick framed, ledged and braced doors and running the boarding through at the top. They will fit the frames and look much the same as the ledged and braced type.
 

johnnyb

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2006
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
359
Location
Biddulph staffs
I'm thinking from your descriptions and questions i would start with something much more basic. get your eye in. maybe start with a cupboard door and pin down your technique. leave framed ledge and brace alone for now. these things look easy but have all the pitfalls of door fitting even if the manufacture is somewhat simplified(note not simple)
 

johnnyb

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2006
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
359
Location
Biddulph staffs
have a look here
 

Attachments

  • 16054675508347839217107257807389.jpg
    16054675508347839217107257807389.jpg
    98.5 KB · Views: 73

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
872
Location
Tunbridge Wells
I've made 20 or so oak internal doors and complete frames for our current house, and quite a few in a previous house. Also fitted strap hinges and Suffolk latches.

It is not normal to ledge and brace for internal doors.

I can tell you what I did and where I got various materials from. I suggest we speak on the phone - PM me and I will give you my number if you want. I can also send some photos that I am not willing to publish on-line.

It's quite easy. I would say fitting good square and solid frames is more than half the battle.

Adrian
 

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
11,302
Reaction score
738
Location
Leeds
also, mikeg made something similar and did a wip. worth a search
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
1,260
Location
Yorkshire
People often just use floorboards for the boarding.

As said above the thickness can be a problem if you have door casings with a rebate in but not so much a problem if you have linings with a lath you can move.

It often gets a bit messy with tee hinges and the architrave, do you cut out the architrave or bury the hinges under it, neither way ideal.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
872
Location
Tunbridge Wells
People often just use floorboards for the boarding.

As said above the thickness can be a problem if you have door casings with a rebate in but not so much a problem if you have linings with a lath you can move.

It often gets a bit messy with tee hinges and the architrave, do you cut out the architrave or bury the hinges under it, neither way ideal.

I opted to have no architrave and doorframes thick enough to mount the T end on. However, this requires careful frame jointing and good plasterwork abutting.
 

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
1,394
Reaction score
637
Location
Wiltshire
I would do framed ledged and braced. This gives a nicer edge as it meets the frame and the stop.

Ollie
 

Beanwood

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2012
Messages
224
Reaction score
52
Location
Bristol
Thanks all for your replies - and the PM's - you are all as helpful as I could wish.

If your existing doors are standard 30mm thick items a ledged and braced door will not fit the frames without altering them. Boarding is normally 20/22mm thick. You should be able to find a plan on line.

Thanks Mike - I won't glue them up, and that's a really good point about the existing frames.

this might help...

Thanks - although that looks a tiny bit contradictory to some of the other advice I've found/been provided with (Angle of the brace, the braces going right into the corners...) I suspect I'll stick to the type described by Johhnyb.

I'm thinking from your descriptions and questions i would start with something much more basic. get your eye in. maybe start with a cupboard door and pin down your technique.

Thanks JohnnyB - Indeed my technique may not be perfect yet - but I have 10 or so to practice on. I may well try a new kitchen cupboard door first...

I've made 20 or so oak internal doors and complete frames for our current house, and quite a few in a previous house. Also fitted strap hinges and Suffolk latches.

It is not normal to ledge and brace for internal doors.

I can tell you what I did and where I got various materials from. I suggest we speak on the phone - PM me and I will give you my number if you want. I can also send some photos that I am not willing to publish on-line.

It's quite easy. I would say fitting good square and solid frames is more than half the battle.

Adrian

Thanks Adrian - that's a very generous offer - I will PM you shortly.
 

mikej460

Established Member
Joined
19 Jan 2019
Messages
1,283
Reaction score
935
Location
Daventry
I built a ledged & braced oak door that was a kit from County Hardwoods, they are excellent quality but need assembling, cutting to size, sanding and treating. I would definitely recommend buying a solid oak door liner kit (about £80 to £100) to do it properly. I also bought black forged hinges and latch from Cheshire Hardware. I was very pleased with how it turned out and County Hardwoods were very helpful. I've got another kit to assemble for our bedroom door.
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,735
Reaction score
820
Location
North West
the problem with ledge and brace doors is hinging it on an internal door with architrave,

as Ollie suggested making one with a frame around the edge that's still ledge and brace is the way to go, it's likely to be more stable as well, and can be hinged with standard butt hinges.
 

tcanact1

New member
Joined
15 Jan 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
Location
Norfolk
Thought this might be of interest...

I had these ledged made up for a house renovation. They were delivered unfinished and required me to hang and trim due to the non square and irregular sized doors in an older property.

I used ironmongery from Anvil and as you can see I cut the architrave around this, which I think looks ok

4E20A610-793F-4881-891B-E6B7C62AF893.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • BB36885F-518A-4DF6-875A-97B158DEBFE1.jpeg
    BB36885F-518A-4DF6-875A-97B158DEBFE1.jpeg
    43.5 KB · Views: 30
  • 29C10779-850C-49B1-B99F-D218F487FC8F.jpeg
    29C10779-850C-49B1-B99F-D218F487FC8F.jpeg
    30 KB · Views: 30

mccpe

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2018
Messages
26
Reaction score
9
Location
CAMBRIDGE
I've done this in a couple of houses, and here's my thoughts:

As has already been said, traditionally braces are not used on internal doors, but there's nothing to stop you adding them if you like the look. They definitely aren't needed for strength. I've done both and both methods work.

I wouldn't worry about wood movement (any more than any other type of solid wood door). Make sure that your timber is either kiln dried or acclimatised to your house environment before hanging them.

In my opinion, a trad victorian era cottage door would be painted softwood. Oak suits an earlier or later period. Again, you make your own choice according to taste, but if you are using clear finished oak, then I think you need to replace the door linings with clear finished oak as well.

Strap hinges are supposed to be attached to the door boards, not the ledges. However, if you are careful with board and ledge thickness, it can be easier to fit the door to the lining if you mount on the ledges. See pic for the way we did one door:

DF49BF20-9CB6-492F-9208-71F4AB2C4FFD_1_105_c.jpeg

The hinge is fixed to the edge of the lining and is covered by the architrave.

Before you do anything, think about the orientation of each door. In general I would go with doors that open in to the room and have the ledges on the inside. Then the stops go on the side of the door with no ledges. Make sure that your ledges stop before the edge of the door and you can hang doors with the stops on the same side as the ledges without any issues. Again, we have done both, but ledges that finish an inch and half from the edge of the door work best. Because of the ledges and suffolk latches, each side of the door is quite different. It sounds obvious, but if you are accustomed to standard doors and door furniture you can easily end up putting the doors in one way round and then deciding afterwards that they are back to front. Don't ask me how I know this.

For the oak doors we have done, the boards are T&G with a cock bead on one edge (no cock bead on either edge of the door). Ledges (3) are heavier than needed with the edges cut at an angle. Boards are nailed to the ledges with rose head nails (through pilot holes) and the nails are clenched on the ledge side. There are two nails in each board for each ledge in a zig-zag, the boards at the sides get an extra nail so that the sides of each ledge have two nails vertically aligned. The boards are random widths, arranged with the widest boards in the middle and skinniest at the edges.

The softwood doors are T&G V-grooved with square edge ledges and braces. These are glued and screwed, then painted.

This is the style of door we made in oak (not from these kits, but they look reasonable):

Internal Solid Oak Door Battened Kit

This is the hardware we used:

Suffolk Latch Fine Handle Pewter
 

OldWood

Established Member
Joined
1 Mar 2005
Messages
1,073
Reaction score
75
Location
Edinburgh
I have 5 doors out of some 10 in my 18th century Scottish cottage which are ledged - that is no brace and no frame. The others are intruders which would be a nice idea to replace. I've no idea how original they are.

I'm not fully understanding some of the concerns expressed here about existing 30mm doors, but suspect these relate to the door stops rather than anything else.

I question the use of oak in this application as these doors would have been for 'cottages' rather than 'houses' and as such will be made as quickly and cheaply as possible. I suspect the additional weight of oak would require the braces. All 5 of the doors here are nominally 20mm t&g pine with 3 off 30mm battens some 150mm wide with T hinges into the top and bottom battens. There is no glue but up to 4 nails per board into each batten, and I suspect these would be cut nails which seem to be cleated over.

These were all painted originally and I had them stripped back to the original pine. One of the interesting tasks I faced was staining the modern door stops and architrave to the colour of the soft set honey of the doors - light oak stain plus some pink comes to mind.

Two have cock beads which is a nice feature (having looked up 'cock bead' to make sure I was right).

The one weakness with such a simple door is a proness to twist, but I just trimmed the stops to match.

I can post photos if that would be of any use.
Rob
 

Latest posts

Top