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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting in gear to remake my front door. It's old and has some rot that I repaired 30 yrs ago. Was going to try repairing it again, but might as well try to make a new one. It has 3 beveled glass panels higher up, that are 2 diff sizes, and 2 raised wood ones the same size lower down. The plan is to make the wood ones the same width at the glass ones, that I think would look better.

Trying to learn what I need to know to make it. I picked up some router cutters to make the raised and stiles and rails. Been reading that a high HP router is better. I have an old Craftsman, probably 1 HP, and 1 speed. I had looked at router tables before, but have 80" long side pieces. I read a table in necessary, and wonder if mainly for hard wood, but I plan to use pine. Learning about router speeds for big bits. Mine are 2" w, and my router spins at 25K. Wondering what a table is recommended for, like can the router become unwieldy held by hand with such big bits? I think the wood would be with the long pieces I have to cut.

I have a RAS with lots of hand power tools, plus an injury that sapped my strength, stamina, and I had sever memory problems, plus I'm not a kid anymore.

Thinking of rigging up a table somehow, though the bits have bearings, so they should work like a fence would. Looking into speed controls for the router, and plan to dowel the joints. With my limits, I don't look forward to doing much more, so would like to use what I have or make it, except for what I really need. Thinking about cutting off what I can with the saw to make the router have less work to do. I have a big Variac, and have read it will and it won't work to change the router speed.

Any answers or ideas would be appreciated. I research all I can till I am happy with choices before I start.
 

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I'm not suggesting that you couldn't do it, but there are easier projects to learn on. You may be under equipped. You might be able to be talked through the build by responsive members. It would take you having the proper tools, a suitable space, and pictures of the progress.








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Discussion Starter #5
I'm under everything, but that never stopped me before. My first project was a livingroom suit with 2 custom tables for the stereo & TV, built In an apartment, and no tools, 40yrs ago. I'll build or buy what I need.
 

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where's my table saw?
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It's a high skill project and requires ...

A pretty darn good router table and router, as well as a jointer and planer and table saw of course and lots of clamps....:eek:
This thread is a step by step walk through the whole process by someone in a similar situation as yours having never built one. He did a great job on his!
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/building-oak-front-door-11451/

BTW I would not use pine on an exterior door exposed to direct sun, moisture and changes in temperature. It just won't hold up for very long.
There are many ways to make the rails and stiles other than solid wood, including skinned laminations to avoid dimension changes in the wood. Dimensional changes also includes warping....
 

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You can make an entry door with a router but like cabinetman said it ain't easy. The hardest part is finding a couple of eight quarter boards that are straight and flat enough to make the stiles. A custom door company uses a 12" or larger jointer to flatten the stiles before surfacing them. With a router you will need to make mulitple cuts with the sticking. I use a Northfield shaper and it drags it down a little on hardwoods. Then you will need to bore some 1/2" holes for 4" to 5" dowels. In this weather I would get some help assembling the door. The exterior glue will start setting up before you can get it all together.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I figured it would be a challenge, but that what makes life interesting. I reproduced or repaired all the trim around the windows and door. Broke down and bought a scroll saw to make it easier. Then came up with things to make with the saw.

I used to hand veneer a lot with teak veneer. Built folded corner horn speaker cabs. Even put veneer on the floor around room sized rugs. Have about 1200 sq ft of veneer left. Got a small flitch from Tompson Mahogany Thinking of veneering the inside of the door. The veneer is 12' long.

Taking my time with the raised panel doors, and deciding how to install the glass. That adds to it all.
 

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You should be able to make the door. I have made five 1and3/4" thick doors both interior and exterior. I did it with a RAS and a 2HP plunge router. I had the lumber yard flatten and rip the rail and stile material. I cut the mortices with the longest 1/2" bit I could find. No router table. Use the edge guide and plunge cut while the stile is on the workbench. I cut the tenons with the rail material laying flat on the RAS table and going back and forth with the blade. Avoid 2"cutters and 25,000rpm. I cut a simple rabbet for the panels and held the panels in with molding.
White oak would be a better choice for an exterior door than pine.
Good luck and enjoy.
 

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I made a few doors several years ago out of solid core slab doors. I cut out the size openings I needed, made the raised panels, sealed the cut edges of the openings, before installing the panels. I made trim that overlapped the edges of the opening and held the panels in.

The trim was like an outside corner type. The painters sealed and painted the doors and they looked good. I also made a few with a drop mold or panel mold to dress the edges of the openings and hold the panels in. I know the solid core doors aren't the best thing in the world but if sealed up really good and painted well they will last a good while.
 
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