Our #TinyLab is a touring tiny house on wheels, which means it takes a lot of abuse as we travel the U.S. on the Proof Is Possible Tour. We’re teaching home performance, showing people how to get diagnostic proof when doing home improvements or building/buying a home.
One of the major problems in the home market is that people just don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know that air leakage is the biggest problem in their homes, they don’t know that they’re making carbon monoxide every time they use a gas stove, and they don’t know that the formaldehyde in plywood is slowly poisoning their families. That’s what the tour is about.
Because we built the #TinyLab very airtight, almost every visible surface in our home is made of Purebond Formaldehyde-Free Plywood. We didn’t even waste time thinking about air purifiers or other band-aids; if we don’t want toxins in the house, it’s easier if we don’t bring them inside in the first place. We decided to use the Purebond for our Shoji Door to the bathroom, too- faster than using wood framing pieces, and going with a hardware-free sliding door would mean more durability overall. Here’s how the door was built:
1. Cut two sheets of Purebond ½” pre-finished plywood to size, with an extra ½” in each direction. Clamp them face-to-face. Measure and trace the cut-outs on the unfinished top side, putting the extra ½” along just two edges (i.e., bottom and right side) so that the other two edges are your reference 'finished' edges. You'll cut the extra ½” off after the door is assembled, to ensure a flat, straight edge on every side.
2. Cut the two sheets with a jigsaw to create the spaces for the rice paper, and any vents for pressure relief between rooms.
3. Dust the sheets off and stain the interior cuts you just made to match the veneer.
4. Prep your glue table with clamps- lots of them. Cut your rice paper to fit the full span of cut-outs with 1" to spare on each side. Working fast but thoroughly, spread glue on the unfinished faces of both sheets simultaneously, and sandwich the rice paper between them.
5. Clamp the hell out of the assembled door, making sure the rice paper is taut, the cut-outs line up, and the two finished edges are even.
6. After letting the glue dry, unclamp the double-thickness door and cut the extra ½” away from the two edges, leaving all four edges perfectly even and smooth. Stain the outside edges to match the veneer.
7. Install the Shoji door in the jamb where it will slide (we used a pre-made sliding door frame, and removed the hardware and metal components for wheels) and seat it in a 1/16" waxed groove in the threshold. Attach adhesive felt strips to the pocket jamb to keep the veneer from being scratched.
8. Install the door and the jamb pieces that will lock in the top and closing side- DONE!