Building an exterrior door.

My wife is wanting a stained front door. How hard would it be to build a nice wood front door as well as a new front jam/casing? How would you hang a door in a casing you made yourself?
It seems I have also read you can stain a metal door like I have now with special stain. Have any of you tried that and were you happy with the results?
Wuld a wood door I made myself have opening/closing problems with changes in the weather due to expansion and contraction?
I have a sawmill with kiln dryed white oak available and that is what I was thinking of using.
I appreciate any help. My wife is about to drive me crazy.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

To do it right requires a pretty well-equipped shop - molders , table saw , jointer-planers , clamps , etc . I suggest you find the nearest discount lumber outfit and buy a prehung door unit . The expansion/contraction issues are inherent in wood . A well-sealed and varnished door will have less trouble than one that's raw . If there's also a security or storm door that's even better . Don't forget to finish the top and bottom , that's the biggest mistake DIYers make .
--
Snag



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On Friday, May 2, 2014 9:41:47 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It would seem to me that this is an advanced DIY project. Do you have the skills? The necessary shop equipment? Is it worth your time, with an unknown result, vs just buying a door? I do a lot of repairs myself, but I would not do this one for two reasons, I don't have the skill, experience and eqpt to make something that's going to be an attractive front door.

They have gel type stains, that are made for wood where you don't want the natural grain, but instead the product leaves a finish that looks like grain. I've used it on wood doors and it worked great. Don't see why similar wouldn't work on steel.

Sure possibly because of the wood and construction techniques.

Simple, fast solution, buy a door.
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On 5/2/2014 8:41 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

'Pends on what you've got for gear and what level of experience and adeptness you have in w-working. That you ask _probably_ means you're short on both, I guess...
Here's a way w/o a $300 set of shaper cutters/router bits...
<http://www.cjohnhebert.com/Catesdoor.htm
Here's the background sheet Freud publishes w/ their router bit sets...
<http://www.ptreeusa.com/PDF/EDMS-Instructions.pdf
As for hanging, you build a jamb just like a real one and hang it the same way a prehung is hung with exception you're the one doing the "pre" part, too...
Don't forget the sill as well, storm seals, and all the associated to have a tight-fitting, weather tight and energy efficient installation. Needless to say, if you don't know construction details on such, you're basically in over your head or have a lot of learning to do before you even start.
As another said, visit the box stores w/ your missus first and perhaps sticker shock will relieve you of duty. If that doesn't do it, go to the Peachtree or other outlet in your fair city... :)
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With hinges :)
Seriously, there is no difference in hanging a home made door on a home made jamb than there is in hanging any door on any jamb.
I've never made an exterior door - will be later this year - but there is no difference between that and an interior passage door save thickness and the thickness isn't written on stone.

That depends on how you make it. If you use panels in the rails and stiles and you leave room in the grooves for the panel to expand there should be no problem.
Of course, there are other types of wood doors...vertical boards, for example, either glued together with or without toingue and grooves and with or without a "Z" frame. For something like that you would have to allow for expansion/contraction of the entire door, not just a panel; neverheless, they are not uncommon. There are some examples among the images here...
https://www.google.com/search?q=church+doors&client=opera&hs=PLK&channel=suggest&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UOpjU-X4J-eL8AGFpYGIDA&ved AgQ_AUoAQ&biw4&bih`2&dpr=1

It will be a heavy door, use good hinges...4" solid brass, at least 3, maybe 4 of them. And use brass, bronze or stainless screws with the oak, else it will stain.

Making a door isn't all that hard. Refering to a frame and panel door, you need...
1. A way to get the lumber straight, smooth and accurately sized in length, width and thickness
2. A way to make accurately sized grooves in the stiles and rails to hold the panel(s). A table or radial saw can do it - even without a dado blade - so can a router. With a router, I think it easier to use the router hand held rather than in a table (for this purpose).
3. A way to join the rails and stiles. The nicest, IMO, is mortices and tenons; the nicest of those - again, IMO - is loose tenons. The tenons can be made with most any kind of saw, power or hand; mortices can be cut by hand, with a router, a mortiser or drilled and chopped. I usually make my loose tenons about 4" long so there is 2" in both stile and rail.
I have also joined the parts with half laps. At the moment, I am looking at a screen door I made about 18 years ago that is joined with what amounts to half laps; they weren't cut, they were made by gluing together 2 - 3/4" boards.
I also have two pairs of French screen doors (four doors) that I made 2-3 years ago...they were joined simply with epoxy and 1/2" stub tenons.
For what it's worth, these are the dimensions that I would use for a standard size (80" x 36") exterior door...
stiles and top rail: 4-6" lock rail: 4-6" bottom rail: 7"-?? (NOTE: don't try to use one wide tenon, use two or more smaller ones, 2-2 1/2" wide.
4. Enough clamps - pipe clamps are fine - to glue up the panels and to glue the rails into the stiles after the panels are inserted. Three clamps would be sufficient, six could be useful. ______________________
What you DON'T need are those special router bits for rails and stiles. Nothing wrong with using them but you don't NEED them. Their only purposes (besides cutting the groove which can be done in other ways) is to give decorative and coped edges. If you want a decorative edge it can be done with standard router bits either after the door is assembled or before. True, there will be an arc at each right angle corner...doesn't bother me a bit. For that matter, using chisel/knife/rasp/sand paper can make the corners look coped.
Something else you don't need is a panel raising router bit...those bits that skinny down the panel for an inch or two along the edges to fit the rail and stile groove. The skinnying down can be done on the saw or with standard router bits. For that matter, you don't have to skinny it if you make the grooves the same width as the panel is thick.
--

dadiOH
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On 5/2/2014 8:41 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

>

You can definitely stain a metal door to look like wood. I just took a picture of the interior of our front door and uploaded it to one of my domains. The door is steel stained to look like oak and thus match the oak trim that surrounds it. Sorry, but I don't remember the product that I used but you can see the door at http://www.dongares.com/door.htm
Don
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On 5/2/2014 2:50 PM, dadiOH wrote: ...

No, but the novice can trade a lot of inexperience for some $$ and have shot at moderately near professional results that ime just doesn't happen so frequently if have to do the setup individually otherwise.
One of the links I provided shows a "lower-tech" way w/o even raising the mould on the the door itself but using applied mould.
Only place in your process I'd seriously disagree is that floating tenons are better than traditional ones...
--


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