Old tools, building door thresholds for our home

Well, we finally did it, after months upon months upon months of procrastination we finally put in door thresholds across the bottom of the three exterior doors that needed it. I also patched the three rectangular holes in our hardwoods that used to be vents for my grandparents’ old hvac system. This is one of those thankless jobs that I wasn’t sure would make any more then a foot note in a blog entry here about something else. However, how Joe tackled this project was just too cool to NOT devote an entire blog entry to them. He made them by hand, out in the barn, using my grandpa’s old tools! So here is what our doors liked like before:

Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps. Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps.

You can see the spray foam through the hole where the old grate for hvac used to be and the old wood from the wall that used to be there, not to mention the grand canyon like gap between the floors and the doors. NOT pretty and very obvious and very noticeable. These thresholds alone have kept me from taking pictures and revealing my kitchen and my living room! So, why did it take so long for us to finally get this done? Because it is thankless work 🙂 This is the perfect example of a job no one appreciates or notices when it is complete lol Which is, of course, the ultimate compliment because now it looks like they are SUPPOSED to look!

We started by calling around at the local lumber yards looking for door thresholds because I knew I had seen them before. No one had any in stock but they could order them and a six foot length would have been about $20. The cost didn’t bother us so much but the wait did. Joe got inspired after I explained to him exactly how they had to be (I love it when he gets inspired and I just run along after him to see if I can help) and he headed for the barn with our measurements. With some digging around I came up with the wood that would work and he clamped it on the bench, found my Grandpa’s old rasps and got to serious work!

Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps. Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps.

I can’t even begin to tell you how cool it was to do something like this so entirely by hand. A friend of Joe’s stopped by the house not two days after we finished these thresholds and asked Joe, “Where did you get those old wood door thresholds?!” lol, it is just to cool that we made them 🙂 While Joe was at it hacking off two corners of the boards I went on a search for patching materiel for the floors. When it comes to patches I really just look for something that will work because I know full well that no patch is going to be perfect. Around the time I finally came up with what I needed Joe had finished.

Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps.

Yes we have serious birds in the barn lol, just ignore that pile of bird poop that that board is sitting on. With the boards complete we went in and cut all of them to length and while I put the patches in (cut long so I could pound them in and know for sure they wouldn’t move ever) Joe got to work getting the thresholds right for each of the doors. There was a certain amount of sanding he did to make sure the doors would open etc. Then, with my patches installed and his door thresholds installed I got to work sanding everything down one more time and staining it all to match the floors.

Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps. Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps.

So much better and now I’ve finally been able to take pictures of our finished kitchen and revealed the entire room here on the blog!

Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps.wood working how to tutorial making hardwood door thresholds by hand to match wood floors diy do it yourself for an authentic antique look 100 year old country home

Hi guys :) Thank you so much for coming by and reading my posts! You might also like my Weekly DIY newsletter so you don't miss anything! Just type in your email to sign up!


  1. Carol Dammer
    August 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Looks good…so ambitious and love the “quips” (bird poop)….so real. Thanks Tarahlynn for all the updates.

  2. Candy Walsh
    August 5, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Hi Tarah! I commented on your post on HomeTalk and I, for some reason have trouble typing on their site (my keyboard keeps disappearing, lol). But I just wanted to tell you more in detail how very talented you and your husband are and I can imagine the pain of losing your grandparents but you’ll always have that piece of them, and what a legacy they left you! I’m very intrigued by your story and the renovations ya’ll are doing so I’ll probably sit here and look at all of your entries because I’m dying to see the rest of the house. That’s my dream to live in an old farmhouse with an old barn where I could just refurbish and renovate to my hearts content. And the space~oh I would die, lol.
    We live in a pretty small house with no extra room for any little extra furniture projects or wall space for the things I enjoy making. But my farmhouse dream is just that, a dream.
    Make as many memories as you can and cherish the incredible gift you’ve been given, in your talent and your home.
    Sorry this was so long, I just had more I wanted to say, lol.
    Now I’m off to look at pictures you have hopefully posted.
    Blessings and good luck to you 😊

    • August 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Candy thank you so much for coming by! I have issues with Hometalk sometimes too lol I don’t even go near it when I’m on my phone anymore. I also had the dream of an old farm house and, somehow, over many many years, the stars aligned with my Grandma’s passing and my coming home and suddenly being in a place in my life where I was ready to have my own home. Thinking back on it my heart still flutters, gosh it was all so exciting in the beginning – it still is but the renovation slowed me down a bit lol The house is coming together with every little finished project. This was our first summer here and I found myself holding on to the summer, cherishing seeing our plans coming together and the house finally (finally!) starting to look complete 🙂 Thank you so much again for coming by! Also, my very first post is a before and after gallery of each of the rooms the day before we started renovation and then of the day before we moved in. http://www.grandmashousediy.com/before-and-afters-gallery/
      Thanks again!

      • Candy Walsh
        August 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        Thanks for the reply Tarah~I must’ve spent two hours last night reading your blog and looking at pictures. I almost felt like I was there :). It sounds like incredibly backbreaking work, but you and your husband seem so have it well under control as well as balanced in with your lives.
        God does some truly amazing things sometimes and places us right where we need to be when we need to be there.
        Again, I’m sorry for your grandmothers passing, but I’m sure she’d be very proud of what you’re doing to restore their old homestead but also making it your own.
        Maybe one day my farmhouse dream will come to fruition, until then I’ll just live vicariously thru your pictures, lol.

        • August 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm

          Yes it does seem like in spite of everything we do end up right where we need to be 🙂 Losing grandma was hard, that three year stretch for me was extremely difficult, I lost both of my grandmas and my three child hood dogs. In the end though tackling the house turned out to be the best thing I could have asked for for working through my grief. Thanks again Candy 🙂

Leave a Comment

Iris Nacole


Everything you see here on this blog the author has chosen to do so entirely at her own risk. And that is: risk to herself and risk to whatever she may be working on/her home and her own wallet. The author assumes absolutely no liability if you choose to follow in her foot steps and attempt anything you see on this website yourself. The author strongly urges you to do your due dilligence before attempting anything of a diy nature at home.

Disclosure and Privacy Policy

This post may contain affiliate links and, if you do choose to use them it will cost you nothing, but you will be supporting our little farm as well as this blog and our future projects. Likewise for the banners and ads you see around this site. Thank you so much for your support!
For our Full Disclosure, click HERE
For the Privacy Policy, click HERE

Copyright Notice

All the photos and text on this blog are copyright Protected and owned by the author. If you would like to feature or use any of the photos or work you see here that is wonderful! You may share one photo from a post, if linked back to the original post. You may not copy entire articles and posts (even if you link back to me) without my express permission. Email requests using the contact form HERE