Exterior Door Design/Wood choices

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Ben posted 01-07-2018 03:23 PM 628 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ben's profile


482 posts in 3745 days

01-07-2018 03:23 PM

Hi All,

I need to replace a single pane 9 light entry door.

Have built many cabinet doors but not an entry door yet. I’m mostly wondering about building it from solid wood.
I suppose something quartersawn, or cvg fir would be best?

Door will be under a porch roof. In western MA. Plan to have a small insulated glass light in it.

Also wondering about insulating panels. Maybe 1/2” rigid foam sandwiched between wood?


2 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2737 posts in 1050 days

#1 posted 01-07-2018 03:52 PM

looking at the blizzard conditions you guys Up Nawth go through every year,
I would go with the highest insulation I could find for the core.
then build around that with the appropriate skeleton and skins.
I purchased a “solid” mahogany door for my mothers house 35 years ago from BORG.
it is under a covered porch facing North behind a screen door. not much exposure at all.
my brother and I varnished it with Spar Varnish and installed it.
10 years later, the moldings started to fall off – the veneer began to loosen.
the inside core had only a few pieces of loosely fitting styrofoam.
I was EXTREMELY disappointed in this $300.00 door.
I ended up picking all the moldings off and rebuilding it with TiteBond II glue and epoxy.
I would have been better off building it myself from the get-go.

have you walked through your Home Center window and door section to see how the
residential doors are fabricated for your area ??? that would be my first step….. and take notes.

I applaud your efforts !! you will receive many suggestions as to what materials to use.
just pick what will work best for you and what is available in your neck of the woods.

this would make a good “How To” for your projects page when you get started.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View pontic's profile


801 posts in 1496 days

#2 posted 01-07-2018 04:47 PM

I’ve built a few exterior doors. Some turned out great some so so some as John says 10yrs later rebuild and refinish. Good insulation is a must. My longest lasting type is the one that is withstanding the Indiana winter we have now. Instead of using my exterior Door makers shaper’s bits, I used my cabinet door bits. Made 2 entry sized cabinet doors. Set it up so there is a 1/4” back lip. then milled 1/2” stock and assembled the doors so the front door half cross locked the joint on the back door half then made a mitered frame out of the 1/2” to fit in between the two halves. This gave me 1” space for insulation between the panels and the frame is now 2” thick. Used Titebond II to glue it all together. Finished with Some exterior resin I got from a Marine supply house. The wood was cherry with oriental dragons carved in the upper panel.
I still don’t think I charged them enough for the job.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics