I recently got a call from a retro-60’s furniture store owner. He told me he had a client that need my services. It turned out that the client; Tim, needed about 8 lineal feet of sliding door. Although he was of Japanese decent, he was not interested in Shoji.
At my shop, I showed him a set of Amado doors I have from Japan and are about 80 or 90 yrs old. They are antiques that I keep around to show people. They are made of Pine and look almost exactly like what I built in the pics below.
Tim loved them and we agreed that I would build him a pair of doors that slide on one track and slide to one side. They would be custom made to his opening of 94″ wide by 80″ tall.
Here is what I designed and built…
Wood: I chose a Tempered Ash. This wood might be called engineered. The manufacturer heats up Eastern Ash, normally a light yellow to blonde color with distinct grain. The wood is kiln dried then heated up so that the core is 180 degrees. This changes the composition of the wood. It cooks it! The wood turns a sort of dark caramel color throughout. This wood was designed to be used outdoors. Bug and rot resistant. And all without the use of chemicals. Great stuff.
The frame is 1-1/2 x 3″ 3/8″ x 1/2″deep dado I jointed the edges of the 1/2″ panels so it would fit snug. These are re-sawn 2 x 10″. Rough-sawn to 3/4″, they are 1/2″thick once they are planed and sanded.
The doors were finished with satin sheen lacquer. Gives it an oiled look.
Back side… This is the client’s private room that I screened away from the rest of the house.
The original use of this type of door was a shutter that fit into a track. They were stored in a slot in the wall. Like a closet for the doors. When a storm approached the house, the Amado were brought out and put in place, over the shoji. This protected the fragile paper.