Exterior Door

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Project by GeoBuk posted 05-30-2012 04:36 PM 1539 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first exterior door. A relative approached me with several pieces of rough-cut White Cedar, all 2X10 and a piece of stained glass 10” X 36”. He sketched the initial plan-which included 3’0” X 6’8” dimensions and placement of the stained glass. I prepared initial drawing in SketchUp and after fine tuning, began milling wood. The wood was cut more that 30 years ago- so it has fine, straight grain and no knots. It has a very intense cedar incense- the place smelled great! Stiles and rails finished at 1 3/4”, the panels are 3/4”. The bottom panel is comprised of 5 pieces that were glued together using biscuits.

I planned on using routed tongue and groove for the 3 floating panels. After resaw work, I finished planing. Preparing edges was fairly straight forward on the router table. The wood is fairly soft and no knots or other “figure” to deal with.

I spent most of my time drawing and making trial pieces for top and bottom of window. At first I tried to taper the ends. The tapered wood wouldn’t hold together and broke off. So with help and encouragement from a neighbor, I came up with 3/8” stop on the ends. See pix #4. He wanted a way to remove the glass for repair or replacement, so I relied on two 3/8” X 1” strips and screws to secure the window from the inside. The step is revealed on the outside, but looks good. Needless to say, the window frame created some complicated geometry. Along with this I decided to encase the stained glass in acrylic (Plexiglass) sheeting.

He wanted stile and rail joints to be joined using 1/2” dowels with epoxy. See pix #3. The fifth pix shows the final dry and practice assembly. I used a medium open time epoxy-giving me time to fit rails and slide in the panels.

Looking at 3rd pix, you can see black rubber “space ball” I used to stabilize the panels. This pix also suggests that dowel placement is critical. The smallest mis-alignment could be a nightmare- I practiced several times using a dowel-centering jig.

-- George in Missouri

3 comments so far

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3443 days

#1 posted 05-30-2012 09:32 PM

That is a fine looking and well built door! The Cedar shows well has a fine color and grain, very nice wood. I like making doors and the customers love them at least twice a day. I used to live in Missouri, Rockport the NW tip of the state. I wonder what it is like now after 50 years and if Susan Carpenter is still as pretty! Nice work and thanks for showing.

-- $tudie

View NormG's profile


6418 posts in 3300 days

#2 posted 11-15-2012 12:16 AM

Wow, what a great door. Wonderful job, thanks for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3243 days

#3 posted 12-31-2012 01:13 AM

Great project and results, love the stained glass!

-- Smitty

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