Front door - do's and dont's

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Forum topic by mbmattvt posted 09-06-2017 11:50 PM 923 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 2714 days

09-06-2017 11:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: front door home made

Hey Lumberjocks,

Has anyone ever built a front door? I have a front door that is not very efficient and really not too secure – It’s a 3-0 door, but has a 15-inch side light that opens up – so convenient for moving furniture or appliances… I want to duplicate it, but make it better… I’d like to add a deadbolt, for one. get rid of the large panes of glass (have smaller ones, instead) and just make a well made door.

I’m looking for some guidance on it – What kindof wood to use, how to build it so it doesn’t come apart or need to be repaired, etc… I’m in Vermont, so it needs to be durable to stand up to teh weather too – Although the door opens onto a front porch – so it’s somewhat out of teh weather – But it faces North, so…

Anyway, looking for any advice you can offer.

Thanks in advance,

-- "There are three kinds of men. The ones who learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." --- Will Rogers

3 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6173 posts in 3616 days

#1 posted 09-06-2017 11:59 PM

I built one following the instructions in a Fine Woodworking magazine, and the process went well. I just built the door, and installed it in the existing jamb.

More info here…

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1688 days

#2 posted 09-07-2017 12:34 AM

Some front door building tips—buy an insulated fiberglass or steel door. If you MUST build one,

1. Use mahogany (natural finish) or clear fir (painted) lumber
2. cope and stick the stiles and rails or use mortise and tenon joints
3. use marine grade plywood panels
4. waterproof glue—plastic resin/resorcinol glue.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View shipwright's profile


8570 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 09-07-2017 01:38 AM

I designed /built these two thirteen years ago. They are still going strong, refinished once about six years ago. That was just a quick sand and a coat of poly. Vancouver Island: hot and dry in the summer, cold and wet in the winter.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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