Franken door: Exterior door with dog door

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Project by onobed posted 01-29-2018 04:42 AM 1793 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Franken door: Exterior door with dog door
Franken door: Exterior door with dog door No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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I entitled this post Frankdoor because that phrase best represents what my first attempt at building an exterior door. The mistakes were many and time consuming, but in the end I have a door that will be, when cut to size, square. That is about all I can say.

So, the mistakes. Well – the biggest one is that I cut the rails an inch too short because I forgot to calculate the reduction in length that results from cope and stick construction. But, rather than start again – I didn’t want to have to buy more African mahogany – I figured I would keep going and make finish the door. Or, at least produce a finished door so that I can make all the mistakes I am going to make so that if I did buy new lumber I would limit my exposure.

The way I recovered from my too short rail scenario was actually the result of another mistake. I intended on cope and stick and use mortise and tenon to add the strength needed to support a door.

Well, the next mistake was that my Powermatic PM701 benchtop mortise was not big enough to accept the 5” stiles. Yes, the limit on the Powermatic is about 4.5”. This made me super sad because I had purchased a 5/8” mortise bit for this very purpose. Oh well, more tools.

Ok, I knew that going forward with mortise and tenon construction would result in a door that would not work, but I wanted to do it just to learn. But, the fact that my mortise was too small was a blessing in disguise. While obvious to some, but not to this newbie, if I changed the construction method from M&T to loose tenon, I could make the existing rails work.

Fortune had it, my neighbor just purchased a Domino XL 700. I have questions as to whether or not the dominos will be strong enough, but I wills soon find out.

This post is way longer than I thought, I made more mistakes, but I will update later. For now, just looking at the photos I am sure people will have a good laugh at all my errors. But, the door is almost done.

5 comments so far

View Rich's profile (online now)


5718 posts in 1398 days

#1 posted 01-29-2018 05:09 AM

I know the challenges, weight being a big one. I’m glad you got the loose tenons in there, since the standard cope and stick is only intended for non-weight bearing pieces like sidelights and transoms. You need long tenons. I’m surprised the Powermatic wasn’t able to be turned around to add more capacity. I had to turn the post to rotate the head around 180º on my Jet and build a mount for it, since obviously it’d tip over otherwise. I’ve left it like that, so I can do pretty wide boards.

Tackling an exterior door for your first effort is pretty impressive. I’d done a couple dozen interior doors before I did mine.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View robscastle's profile


7238 posts in 3012 days

#2 posted 01-30-2018 06:28 AM

I dont know about laughing, the images tend to ruin the project presentation and skills applied in making the door in a big way.

Get them fixed so they accurately refelect the effort put into the door please.

-- Regards Rob

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


7672 posts in 1521 days

#3 posted 01-30-2018 03:16 PM


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View onobed's profile


6 posts in 1705 days

#4 posted 01-30-2018 03:54 PM

Whoops. Sorry about those photos. More is less in this case.

View robscastle's profile


7238 posts in 3012 days

#5 posted 02-03-2018 10:27 AM

Read this Blog

-- Regards Rob

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