Making Full-Sized Doors
Combining machine and handwork makes a tightly coped joint where rail meets stile
Synopsis: Joseph Beals used mortise-and-tenon joinery to make doors for his own home because he could cut the joints in a number of ways that didn’t require expensive tools or machinery. He used a shaper to cut the pattern molding on the inside edges of the rails and stiles, but you could cut it with a router, tablesaw molding head or even by hand. He laid out the joints with scraps. He explains how to clean out the mortises and shape the moldings. Beals marked the rail tenons directly from the mortises and dry-fit the door frames before assembly. He used epoxy since he made these doors for exterior use. A detailed project plan illustrates the hybrid door joinery and shows how to mark the mortises.
Making full-sized doors is a fine job for a small shop. The design for frame-and-panel doors offers an opportunity to draw from a…