The traditional board and batten barn-style doors are made strong and stable by holding them together with Z braces. Such bracing allows the use of thinner one inch black wattle boards, compared with the minimum two inch boards required for a solid door.
Ease of access and aesthetics determined the installation of double doors. They’re hung with two and a half inch rollers on a steel rail. Another space and weight saver, and when they roll back, the view north across the clearing opens wide to a pleasing prospect.
Also traditional in style, the four pane casement window has a black wattle frame within a messmate case and sill. Small panes make sense in spaces prone to damage by flying birds and falling branches. Brad nailed beading holds the glass panes in place, and it’s simple to lever off when a pane does need replacing. Brass butt hinges at the top allow the window to open up and out.
Given it’s stronger than pine, the black wattle frame can be fined down to 32mm dimensions. When combined with the small panes, the whole has an elegant feel to it.
The messmate case is similarly 32mm in dimension, with a thicker sturdy sill that slopes 15 degrees from inside to out, which takes moisture away.
The doors, window and floor all received four coats of pure tung oil mixed 50/50 with white spirits for the first coat, then 60/40 for those following. Natural oils need a drying agent. While these are present in most modern oils you purchase, so are other additives. Tung oil resists water better than any other pure oil finish and does not darken noticeably with age. It is claimed to be less susceptible to mould than linseed oil.
“If you want to be environmentally safe,” said Lachie, “stick to unprocessed plant-based products and add in the drying agent yourself, or use thin enough to allow for maximum penetration into the wood.”
Simply apply by brush and rub off any excess after half an hour.
Lachie did break his rule and apply one extra (processed) protective coat to the double doors. He argued apologetically: “I want to hold the red-orange lustre of the black wattle longer. I’ve applied a final coat of Osmo UV Clear to add an extra layer, slowing down the harsh northern aspect greying off the doors.
“The can label claims that the product is ‘environmentally safe.’”
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