Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DIY front door mat

Because I live in the countryside ( sort of countryside considering the village is 10 km away from the Romanian capital) it's very important to have a sturdy front door mat.
Since moving here 2 years ago, I had changed several door mats because they weren't strong enough to withstand the forces of natures or my dogs that liked to play with them.

Our house is uses a wood-burning heating system for winter time so we have to supply ourselves with wood during summer months. This year we got some scrap oak wood from a company that produces wine barrels and among these pieces of scarp were thin long strips of wood of slightly different thicknesses.
I once got a newsletter email from Lowe regarding a DIY floor mat in bright colors that used threaded rods so I thought using that idea with my pieces of scrap wood.

I decided upon my length and width of mat and went to a local store to buy the necessary threaded rods. When I did a total for the 7 rods that I needed ,suddenly the entryway mat was not so cheap anymore.
Instead of getting discouraged I decided to purchase beech wood dowel rods that were 0.70 USD each instead of 2.00 USD for the metal threaded rods.

After cutting all pieces to the proper length, I did a mock-up to see how the different thicknesses would fit.
I do own an electric hand held planer but it would have been to difficult for me to bring all the pieces to the same thickness because it's not easy to maneuver. It works OK for rough bigger pieces but on biscuits of wood not possible.

Now keeping the mock up in place, I made a stop block template to use with the drill press ( it's not really a drill press -it is a foot that has an old drilling machine of my father installed). So what I did is get a piece that was slightly larger than the width of my mat pieces and screwed on a stop block and then installed it in the vise that came with the drilling foot.

Now in order for the pieces to fit properly use a drill bit that is larger than the diameter of your rods ( it will give you some wiggle space to place them).In my case, my rods are 8mm in diameter so i used a 10 mm wooden drill bit. You can see here the positioned piece in the vise and against the stop block.

The pieces must be drilled in columns from your mock up mat,allowing to insert the dowel rods easily.

After all rods have been inserted , since the pieces are not glued on to the rods and are moving freely, I decided to add a frame that holds rods in place ( drilled corresponding holes through the frame and passed the rods with wood glue through them and after hardening , I cut them flushed with the surface of the frame.

I decided to use the electric hand held planer to round up the edges of the frame but as I told you it's hard to handle and upon coming to a corner it slipped away and bit a lot more than the edge.

Too late to fix it now since all was glued up. I decided to live with my mistake and never to use the electric planer to round up the edges ( i should've used the sander instead -Lesson learned)
After this, I sanded down the surface and used an outdoor clear coat lacquer . I figures that it will see a lot of foot wear and it may need resurfacing maybe in 2 years and it would look to messy if it had on a stained finish.

That is just my preference and I'd like to think that I spared myself some hard work in the near future.
So this is the end result. It is hardwood , weather proofed and dog proofed ( it's heavy enough , not bendable so they can't chew on it).

If you have build your version, I'd like to see it and have it in my featured section.


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