The doors in my 50-year-old house range from cheap to completely disgusting, and I’m thinking of rebuilding them.
The entry doors are fine (metal) except for one which leads out of the garage. I could build that one as a test and practice for the needed skills.
The rest are just regular room doors.
There seems to be endless material on FineWoodworking about cabinet doors (naturally), but very little about big doors. I found the following:
“Entry Doors” from issue #9! 🙂 https://www.finewoodworking.com/1977/12/01/entry-doors
“How to Build Your Own Front Door” https://www.finewoodworking.com/2012/04/05/how-to-build-your-own-front-door
“Build a Houseful of Doors” https://www.finewoodworking.com/1998/06/01/build-a-houseful-of-doors
I read all those, but I still have so many questions, perhaps someone here can help answer them?
Types of doors
Frame-and-panel seems to be the default choice, but I’m not excluding the idea of making a hollow-core door if it can be made to look good. What types of a door are reasonable options? Photos would be appreciated, I don’t know much of the appropriate jargon.
Interior vs exterior
If security is not an issue – is there any difference between an interior and exterior door? Or is it just the finish and glue used? Though on that point I loved this from FW 1977: “In order to be classified “waterproof,” a glue joint must withstand boiling water for some hours without losing strength. If you plan to boil your doors, phenolresorcinol glue is what you want.” 🙂
Door frames and trim
I wouldn’t be surprised if both the door frames and the trim were made of the cheapest softwood available at construction time. I do think it’s wood rather than the MDF they use these days.
I worry that these materials will not hold once I remove the hinge screws, or hold a heavier wood door at all, and the trim has been (badly) painted so many times it might make more sense to replace it instead of trying to make it look good.
What do you think?
Type of wood
It may be just a personal bias, but I don’t like using softwoods for things that take a beating. What’s a reasonable other choice in Ontario? Poplar seems to be popular for this sort of thing (because it’s cheap I think), but are there other options? Especially if we decide to clear-coat them instead of painting? (that’s not likely but it’s possible) I’m not planning to spend thousands of dollars on this.
I can’t quite tell if it’s common or good in any way to have the panels be the same thickness as the frame. It would surely make the door very heavy, but other than that – are there reasons for thicker or thinner panels?
“A tenon with blind dowels need not be haunched because the dowel pins not only make the tenon effectively longer, but also transform a stub tenon into a haunched tenon.”
I can see the hounched tenon on the plans but I’m missing something, I don’t understand what the purpose of it is. Why the complication?
One thing I would really like is to have more sound insulation for the rooms. I’m thinking that the biggest problem in that regard currently is the crappy doors. How do different types of doors compare in this regard? If it’s panel doors – does the thickness of the panels make any difference whatsoever? How does a solid panel door compare with a hollow core door when it comes to blocking sound?
Distance from the floor
Several of these doors will go into rooms which have carpet currently, but not for long. I’ll be replacing all of it with hardwood at some point. What should I measure from? The top of the carpet pile? The bottom of the carpet minus 3/4″ for the hardwood I’m adding?
And what’s a good space to have there for an interior door? As little as I can, while still being able to swing the door open?
Again, for sound insulation, that crack under the door is a very big deal. Are there ways to minimise it without installing a sill?
I’m attaching a photo of one of the doors, so you can better appreciate why leaving them alone is not a good option 🙂 That’s right, it’s not even cut straight on the bottom.
Thanks in advance for sharing any suggestions or experiences!