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Doors for John and Joanna

Posted on Aug 28, 2022 by in Uncategorized | 2 comments

A few years ago John and Joanna asked if I had any suggestions for the 6 double hung windows they had along one wall looking out into their back yard. The windows were old and the rain had caused extensive damage over time splashing up from the patio.

The old windows.

My solution was to remove the windows and frames and replace them with frames made of Ipe and a single pane insulated window. The transformation was remarkable. They loved the new look.

The new windows.

The windows were spaced 3 on either side of a double door in the center that opens on to the back patio. These were “French” style doors with glass panes full height and width. They asked if I could design doors that would complement the new windows.

I designed a tapering curve starting at the outside bottom edge of each door and meeting at the top in the middle. Sapele was the wood chosen for its beauty and durability. This meant that I also had to replace the old painted jamb with clear coated Sapele.

I began work as I have quite a few times now with a plywood core to keep the door shape rigid. I applied the outer layers of Sapele and measured the openings about 7 times just to make sure.

Then my eye issues started and I became very unsure of my ability to cut the hinge mortises accurately. I did not want to miss a measurement or a mark because I could not see it.

John and Joanna were exceedingly patient with me. They kept saying “Don’t worry. There’s no hurry.”

Eventually with the help of my friend Anthony, I installed the doors and it really did make a difference.

My thanks to John and Joanna who have been so kind to me.


  1. Beautiful as all your other projects. The depth of color and beauty in the door design is so Philip. The grain lines add the extra bit of cultural uniqueness to the doors.

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