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Today, Dad and I started building the missing Gallery Folding Accordion Doors (FAD). I am sorry to say that the previous Haynes owner had decided to â€œopen upâ€� the house a little and removed several sets of these FAD. The house was actually worth â€œLESSâ€� to me that these parts were missing and the house had been altered. By chance, I later asked him for the parts but he told me he discarded them.
The FAD is more complicated then it looks. Mostly, because it was very difficult and expensive to find the rare parts. I searched the ends of the earth for the roller and track mechanism to fit in the existing slot in the ceiling. The closest match I found was a company called Johnson Hardware http://johnsonhardware.com/. It wasnâ€™t perfect but there was nothing else I could do. Once the parts are gone, and the manufacturer is unknown or out of business, nothing else can be done. It also costs more in materials and labor to put back together then when it was first made.
The next step was to find the continuous hinges. It turns out that we had to get all the hinges custom fabricated to match the originals. As luck would have it S&S Hinge http://www.sandshinge.com/tour_facility.html in Chicagoland offered to make the hinges and donate them to the Haynes house (if you look at the link you will see their H.Q. is Prarie style.....did I say they were big Wright fans!). I canâ€™t overemphasis how expensive these pieces are and how kind S&S Hinge was in donating them to us.
Finally, the last part was the cypress. We picked up several rough sawn 1â€� x 12â€� Cypress Select boards and started work. The hardest part was plaining down the massive 1x12 to the proper thickness.
The one problem we have is what to use as a door handle? I was told by a carpenter who worked on the house and dismantled the originals that he thought they were recessed round circle pulls. Not sure what to do. If anyone has ideas let me know?
The wood was $205
Labor 8am-1:30pm $220
Total So Far: $425
Jleshaft, I like posting here. There are skilled craftsmen on this board and it is great hearing and learning about different ideas and techniques. I disagree with your comments about woodworking not being â€œdifficult.â€� If woodworking is not â€œinterestingâ€� to you then you should not be a Wright fan. Most of Wrightâ€™s gems are made of wood.
I posted a research photo of the track and rollers we are using. http://www.flickr.com/photos/36675938@N00/ I was holding it up with my hand. You can see the track is skinny and aluminum versus the original wider and steel track which fit snugly in the wood bracket. It will have to do. We are now building the Music Room FAD which is 2x the size of the Gallery FAD and 560 #6 slotted 7/8â€� screws. I am not sure I will post more photos since feedback says they are board with them and this is not a difficult project.
However, in a Wright home as he intended, the corner-accordion door looks surprisingly "solid" when closed, as if it was a permanent wall and integral to the design (which, of course in a Wright design, it was!). What a guy.
Nice work, and thanks for posting.
This statement is extremely misleading. FLW specified a FINISH for the Tidewater Red Cypress which rendered the finished wood totally different from the extremely white, unfinished wood that we see here. The unfinished wood shown in the photographs is not historically accurate as shown. I have a copy of his standard pre-printed specifications from this period. I commend RJH for putting the folding wall back in, although I wonder if it is historically accurate to have a FLW folding wall that does not assume a flat position when fully opened.Dr. Peter Faulkner wrote:On the contrary! Mr. Wright NEVER used any stain of any sort in his Ionian houses.
If you go through all the photos and read the captions carefully you will see we did put 3 coats of â€œfinishâ€� on the FADs. They are NOT bare wood.
The doors do open and close flat. After installation, it was our personal opinion and observation that FLW must have meant the doors to not open fully (to flat) but only left as a zigzag. Who knows?
It took dad and I 1.5 days (2 men @ 12 hours) just to hang the prefabricated FAD. They caused us a lot of problems and at one point I said, â€œletâ€™s just give up.â€� You have to cut the width of the last board attached to the wall at extremely high tolerance so it opens and closes properly. Furthermore, you also have to unscrew about 50 tiny slotted screws to make each cut. The wheels at the top of the boards all have to be in sync and line up as well. It â€œappearsâ€� like an easy job but it is not. My father is a professional carpenter and he later said if he took on this carpentry job he would have lost a lot of money.
I would have bought myself a giant flat panel TV with all the money I spent on this instead of going through this headache again.
Here is a pic of the original FAD the previous owner took down vs. our new ones.
Pharding, you were graciously invited to visit the Haynes house to perhaps see one of Wrightâ€™s small compact Usonian houses for the first time right in your hometown. It would have increased your knowledge. The invitation went unanswered.