Demystifying Door Construction

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Constructing doors can seem intimidating. In this video I share with you how I built a custom door and demystify the process of door construction.

One of the ideas that I really want to impress on everybody is this: Don’t be intimidated by new projects. When approaching a new project, most of the woodworking actions needed for it, you have done on other projects. By recognizing this, you create the mindset you need to build something that seems intimidating such as a door.

I hope you enjoy and find the video helpful.

Your friend in the shop-

Todd A. Clippinger

Share the Love – Share the Knowledge

-- Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge

I think if you can make a door straight, it will likely stay straight if you follow the golden door rule: finish ALL 6 sides. Even under the hinges. And don’t glue the panels in place. I’m definitely no expert but I guess I picked a good sturdy design because the ones I have made have held up pretty well. In fact I’ve found that the openings move more than the doors. I know that because I finished a few opening euro style with no moldings – trimmed with plaster. I used a crack treatment before painting to allow movement without breaking the paint. You can see the movement but the paint is still in place. :-)

-- Losing fingers since 1969

Very nice video todd. I like that you were able to get a better warp free door using core material thereby saving valuable solid wood. Your miters look excellent too. When cutting miters on my SMS I am a little lazy and usually just hold the workpieces by hand. I normally get a pretty good result, but I can see the workpiece sliding a bit from being pulled at the end of the cut which is bound to have some negative effect on the cut. Do you have a tip to avoid this problem without using the clamp?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

Definitely Todd.
It was easy to watch. 90% of the woodworking video I watch put me to sleep within 20mn.
I went through your and went back a couple of times.

My dad built all the doors in our building and he usually stack the door just like you dry lumber for few week before he finish and hung. I was not in woodworking at the time buy I guess he wanted the movement to happen before finishing. That way no stuck door either.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

I’m sloooooowwwly making interior panel doors for my house. Also paint grade. I’m using knotty old Douglas fir from the home despot and 1/2" plywood for the panels. I use plaster to fill the knots and imperfections. I have a few that have been through a full seasonal change and haven’t had any issues with them. I’m putting 2" long tenons on the rails and cutting a single 2" deep x 1/2" wide mortise down the length of the stiles. It makes construction easy.

It’s very important to clamp the door to a flat surface with cauls. I use my table saw for that. It’s almost long enough and the fence rails make for a sturdy platform.

Since I’m using this crap lumber, which is not thoroughly dried, cutting the mortises opens up the inside and allows it to start drying out. Do not wait to assemble or you’ll find that your mortises are suddenly a different width. LOL

-- Losing fingers since 1969

I tried to get as much nutrition in it as possible. I did not have time to record video of the construction so I had to rely on still shots to visually reinforce the information that I was sharing. I will take your compliment as a sign that I was successful;)

-- Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love - Share the Knowledge

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