Pecan Threshold
rabbet in pecan threshold

I made this threshold to transition from our pecan floors to the tile bathroom. The step up is about 1/2":

step up needed threshold

The rabbet in the threshold eases the step up so I don’t stub my toe in the morning.

To figure out the shape for the threshold, I used a combination square to measure the step up and then drew the cross section in MacDraft Pro:

threshold schematic

I started with rough 4/4 pecan, flattened the bottom with a hand plane, and planed one edge square to the bottom. Then I ripped it to width on my bandsaw.

To make the sloped transitions, I resawed the board with the bandsaw table set to the appropriate angle. I smoothed the bandsaw cuts with a plane.

Next I cut the rabbet using a router mounted in a table. I tried using a rabbet plane, but the hard pecan just laughed at me, especially with that huge rabbet. (Table saw would have definitely helped here.)

My block plane eased the transitions between each surface.

I stained to roughly match the 73 year old floor and finished with several coats of Wipe On Poly.

I borrowed a 23 gauge pin nailer from a friend to install it. I angled each pin slightly to make them hold better. The pins are nearly invisible and have held three different thresholds in place with absolutely no problem.

installed threshold

This is definitely a hand and power tool project. Pecan is very hard, so many hand tool operations are difficult. The rabbet would have been very, very difficult by hand and driving 23 gauge pins into pecan by hand is nearly impossible. On the other hand, smoothing the bandsaw cuts without a well-tuned hand plane would be very difficult.

Like most projects, this seemed like more work than it should be just to “make a board.” I did look for pre-made thresholds, but didn’t find what I was looking for. It makes me wonder how people without a fully equipped shop and hand tool skills acquire thresholds.

Daddy,  Can We Play in the Workshop?

If hand tool woodworking is your passion, you may enjoy my children's book, Daddy, Can We Play in the Workshop?