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Make a Wooden Entry Door

I don't think there is wooden article that is more diversified than doors. There are thousands upon thousands of different doors in all shapes and sizes, with and without window, highly decorative and exotic to plain and funtional. For this project I am building a door for my outdoor storage and garden shed. I built the shed a couple of years ago and the only door I had that fit at the time was interior door which is not really suitable for putting a good solid lock on, so the goal here is to make a sturdy, functional door that also happens to look nice that can be used to replace that interior door.
For the wood, I will be using a reclaimed Douglas Fir beam about 10 feet look that should contain enough wood to make the entire door if I cut it properly. The beam has been planed flat on one side but otherwise is rough. Three of the sides have also been stained. I do not want to run any of the stained sides through my jointer or planer if I can avoid it. Almost all stains contain some form of dirt that is used for the coloring of the stain and this dirt can be very hard on blades and contribute quickly to their dulling.

The first order of business is to cut the beam to a rough length to make it manageable to handle. The door size is 76 inches by 28 inches so with that in mind I began by cutting the beam to lenght, then in order to cut some widths, it needed to be run through the joint to make at least one edge flat and straight ...

The wooden door, like all doors consists basically of three components, the vertical pices called stiles, the horizontal components called rails and the components that will fill the voids between these are often called panels.

I determined my stiles needed to be 5 inches wide by 1.5 inches deep and 76 inches long. To make these I first cut the 5 inch width, then split the beam to give me 2 stiles,  1.5 inches deep, 5 inches wide and 76 inches long.

The rails were cut in the same manner and with all the material I had left over, I was able to salvage enough wood to make what would be the panels which were about 5/8 inches deep and 3 inche wide, length as available.

After the frame was cut to size, I next needed to drill the holes for the dowels. In this case I am using 3 inch oak dowels. Very strong, and easily as strong as mortise and tenon joints, just quicker to make and easier to line-up.

Once the dry fit of the carcass is together, this is then used for accurate measurements to cut the boards that will be the panels. These need to be cut on the loose side to ensure that any wood movement is not going to burst the sides of the door, and since my wood was quite dry, I need to leave enough room for wood expansion.

After determining all the factors, I went about dutting the tongue and grove cuts for the panels on my router table, making sure to cut tongues for tops and bottoms as these will be needed to fit the panels into the carcass of the door in the final assembly.  

After all the components have been cut and dry fitted, they are sanded and give a couple of coats of Osmo. I get asked about Osmo in almost every video, so for those interested in product in North America, there are US and Canadian sources that I know of which are, in the US, Amazon handles the product, in Canada a company called http://www.produitsEco-Reno.com is one source to try.

After the Osmo is dry, the final assembly is fairly easy. Best toi work one side at a time with the door on it's side. This way you can take you time make sure everything is seated. Using long dowels like these is a bit more challenging as they need to be seated properly for a good fit and sometimes using a bar clamp is needed to push the components together as the dowels fit very snugly and make a very tight fit, which makes for a super strong structure but can be a bit more challenging when using mulitple dowels.

In the end I was very happy with the finished door. It is sufficiently heavy and strong to hold good quality handware and locks and once it is installed in my shed, it will make for a very secure building ... and it looks great too!!

Copyright Colin Knecht
woodworkweb.com