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A few,haha.

Built dbl doors for our 1810 Federal period house that are going to give somebody a big suprise down the rd when I'm looong gone.

My mom was a "shapely" woman....you know the type,maybe 75 lbs over weight.When designing the fr doors,had to see how small an opening she could easily fit through.Already having a pretty good idea....just wanted to make sure,haha.

So,I intentionally made the doors a non std 44" total opening.Each door is 22...duh.And they've been in use now almost 30 years.The point was.....when I'm gone,and basically as looong as this house is standing,no-one is going to hang some cheapo,home store doors on this lovely house.And we're talkin full-on door surround with ALL the bells N whistles.....so it'll take an act of congress to change the opening.Haha.

Generally,your biggest concern is wood species....and it's relationship with how the area interfaces with weather.You can not beat mother nature.
 

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where's my table saw?
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what is your issue?

Any of you guys make an exterior door before?
What kind of wood?
What process to use?
What machine/tools are needed?
What type of glue?
What type on finish?
How large is the opening?
Brick or frame construction?
What direction is the exposure to sunlight or weather?
What's the climate... cold/dry or warm/humid... seasonal?
What's your woodworking experience?

One member made a red oak exterior door with no prior experience: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/building-oak-front-door-11451/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a 32" entry door id like to replace with a partial glass. Ill post a photo in a reply.
 

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Probably the easiest method you could use is to take a solid core door and cut a hole in it and apply trim to both sides to hold the glass. To actually make a door you would need to purchase a entry door coping and sticking router bit set. Then you would have to find a supplier for 1 3/4" thick wood to make it out of, preferably a place you can go in and pick out the wood so you can get some straight boards for the stiles. Then you would need a doweling jig to drill the 1/2" holes to dowel the rails to the stiles because the coping and sticking isn't enough of a joint to hold the door together.
 

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Only door I ever built from scratch was for a theater set. I used to be the master carpenter for a theatre in Portland, OR.

Thing about the door was that it had to be a solid door, because it needed to be slammed many times and have some "oomph"--unlike most fake theatre doors.

I mortised and tenoned the rails to the stiles, and we added some plexi where the glass should be.
 

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Jack of too many trades..
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356 Posts
Exterior doors are a slightly different animal, but I've built several custom interior doors out of very stable 2x6 stock that I squared and sanded. I faked the cope and stick ends with glass bead molding.
I'm presently building replacement casement and double-hung windows. I won't be using that shortcut on future doors.

There are books on the topic, but the trickiest thing seems to be getting a decent router/shaper bit set that will work for doors. Almost everything you find out there are for cabinet doors.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Jack of too many trades..
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356 Posts
On a recommendation, I paid abut $70 for an out-of-print book by John Birchard called "Make your own handcrafted doors & windows" It's not a step-by-step how-to, but the information in it is excellent. It gets deeply into door construction, weatherstripping, wood selection, shop set-up. Expensive, but highly recommended. Your local library might have it, or can probably get a copy through inter-library loan.

Make Your Own Handcrafted Doors & Windows: John Birchard: 9780806965444: Amazon.com: Books

The guy's got several other books, including some specific ones on doors.

Still... I've found that working from an existing door/window will tell you most of what you need to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I ordered a copy and then came across it today at a library in another town on accident. Came home and checked amazon and sure enough i had already paid for it. No worries cant get saw dust on the library copy.
 

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Jack of too many trades..
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I ordered a copy and then came across it today at a library in another town on accident. Came home and checked amazon and sure enough i had already paid for it. No worries cant get saw dust on the library copy.

It was a little pricey, but I don't regret the purchase. Birchard clearly knows what's he's talking about and this is a book I'll be referring to for a long time.

The book I *DO* regret buying is this: Handbook of Doormaking, Windowmaking, and Staircasing (Home craftsman series): Anthony Talbott: 9780806988962: Amazon.com: Books

There's a tiny amount of useful information - if you want some guidance on historical trim on a stairwell. It's mainly a reprint and combination of much older sources. It really ought to be a $8 dover press reprint book, not a $20 book. Don't waste your money on that one.
 

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Here are two pictures of entry doors that I made 12 years ago. They had never been refinished and had become weatherbeaten and faded. I received some good advice here from the woodfinishing forum on refinishing. Stripped, three coats of Sikken Cetol Marine, no stain and no wood filler. Put them back up this past week.

The doors were actually easy to make. I only used a RAS and a 2hp plunge router to make three inch tenons. A rabbet for the glass and molding applied to hold in the glass. The lumber yard ripped the wood to width and planned to 1 and 3/4 inch. The stock was 2" and I should have had them make it 1 and 7/8". There are extension spindles for the hardware and the extra 1/8" makes a noticeable difference in feel. I should have selected the boards more carefully for color. A more experienced woodworker could have even out the color with stain. Mahogany is a very stable wood and I have experienced no warping of the doors.
 

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Very nice! Is that residential entry?
Thanks for the compliment. It's the front door for our condo building. The building was built in 1910 as a private residence, mansion if you will. It was later a nursing home, then 16 rental apartments and lately seven condos. Along the way many original details went missing. I made these doors to replace an aluminum framed door that replaced the original door.
 
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