Friday, March 5, 2010

First Presbyterian Church “Tunnel Door”


First Presbyterian Church 6th Ave Pittsburgh


Called the “Tunnel Door” this local 1905 Landmark has seen substantial daily use.  The church serves hundreds of wonderful lunches daily, most customers using this set of doors.  After a few break-in attempts and many years of use, a full restoration was in order.  We installed a temporary door for use during the restoration, and the doors were brought to our shop.


The doors were almost completely disassembled, and in doing so we discovered some inherent problems with the original construction methods.  Most glaring was the use of dowel pins to join the hinge stile to the arched top rail.  Using a horizontal slot mortiser we created pockets in which loose tenons could be installed.  Other items on the repair list were to replace the bottom rails and completely restore the iron hardware, cutting away and replacing some sections. Stain and four brushed coats of marine varnish topped off the project.  The “after” photo here was taken on a rainy day, as we re-installed the newly restored doors.