The restoration of the original main doors on the Fourth Avenue entrance to the Warren County Courthouse is complete.
Loizeaux Woodworking in Sugar Grove replaced the interior doors Thursday afternoon after completingrefinishing and repair work on both the interior and exterior doors that began in September.
"I was impressed by the shape they were in, being more than a hundred years old," Tom Loizeaux said. "They're really a well-made door."
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Tom, right, and Russell Loizeaux of Loizeaux Woodworking in Sugar Grove install the restored doors on the Fourth Avenue entrance to the Warren County Courthouse on Thursday.
Each door is nine feet one inch tall, three feet wide, three and a half inches thick, and weighs over 200 pounds, he said. They're a solid pine core with about a three-sixteenth of an inch walnut veneer. All the moldings are walnut as well.
"The exterior doors, we had to strip the outside," Loizeaux said. "Did some repair work on them, there were some broken moldings and things that had to be replaced, and then sanded everything down, stained it and refinished it."
The interior doors wouldn't close all the way and dragged on the floor leaving scuff marks, he said.
"These were actually in good shape. The finish was terrible, but evidently it's mostly sun exposure. The UV light does a number on the finish," Loizeaux said. "They were a little beat up, but there wasn't any rot or water damage on them."
While replacing a piece of the molding on the exterior doors, Loizeaux said he found the original square cut nails intact.
"The outside is totally redone, the inside I sanded it down, gave it a light wipe with some stain and gave it two coats of finish," Loizeaux said.
Repairing the sunburst on the lower half of the exterior doors "would've been a real challenge" he said.
"Those carvings on the bottom, I don't know how they did that because it's so uniform," he said. "That had to be done by hand. They didn't have CNC machines a hundred years ago. If you study them they're really nicely done."
His son, Russell Loizeaux, helped clean and prepare the hinges that were stiff and went over all the hardware to make sure it is working better than before.
The doors are probably original to the construction of the courthouse in 1876, County Commissioner John Eggleston said in September, adding, "They are weathered pretty badly and in need of a little touch-up."