construct sliding patio door

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 05-26-2019 12:14 AM 169 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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131 posts in 2430 days

05-26-2019 12:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sliding patio door

We now have an ‘odd ball’ sliding patio door due to house settling (expanding??). Our old metal door door doesn’t fit (even after homemade shims) and I don’t have the patience for online shopping and all the crap you get with that.

I’m an experienced woodworker and was wondering why not make my own sliding door with a customized height? I don’t see anything particularly difficult about it. It wouldn’t be very adjustable obviously. But why not? I can route a screen channels, ues mortise and tenon joints for the rail and stiles and dividers, and surface the wood so it fits within the existing opening (thickness). Has anyone ever done this? pitfalls ? (I don’t see any). I’‘d probably make it out of white oak or cedar for the weather. Opinions?

3 replies so far

View SMP's profile


1186 posts in 326 days

#1 posted 05-26-2019 05:01 AM

I think if i were to ever try this, i think it would be teak or nothing. Just my opinion. Even the fiberglass clad wood ones they sell can have all kinds of problems after a few years in the elements.

View TEK73's profile


101 posts in 127 days

#2 posted 05-26-2019 05:33 AM

First I think you should figure out why your current door no longer fits.
It is a wooden house so that the readon is seasonal changes in the wood?
Or do you have unstable ground?
It seems a bit strange/worringly that the movements is so big that it is not possible to adjust the existing door to fit.

For building a door I expect that you can look into two different approaces.
1) go for «dead» materials like MDF and seal it by painting it
2) go for «live» wood, like some hardwood

I guess you are setteled on option 2).
I assume that it would work, but as a door is quite big and exposed for different temperatures you will have ensure that your design allows for wood movements.

-- It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. - Ursula K. LeGuin

View Greg66's profile


30 posts in 78 days

#3 posted 05-26-2019 03:11 PM

Several door companies make door units to fit an opening for sliding glass doors, they are shorter than a standard height unit. You should be able to order one at a local building supply.
I’ve built a lot of entry doors and would recommend only using true rift sawn (radial grain 4% movement) lumber as it’s the most stable and movement will be half of flat sawn (tangential grain 8% movement) lumber. Freud makes a nice set of cutters for entry sized doors. The cope cutter enables you to make through tenons for a super strong frame.

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