Exterior Wood Door

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My house (vintage 1836) has a beat up exterior wood door that is so drafty that during last week's cold weather, ice was forming on the interior side. Well my wife demanded that a new door has to rise to the top of the long list of woodworking projects that never get done. Hey I've been working on her buffet piece for nine months and still not half way there. But to my question. Are there any good sources (books?) that go into all the details on how to build a a top quality wood door. I remember seeing posters of all the classic doors from Dublin & NYC and thougth someone has written on this subject with a woodworker in mind.
Thanks for any guidance
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wrote:

I've built many doors in the last few years including this one
http://www.geocities.com/lenhow/Bertuz014.jpg
and it is a challenging and rewarding process. It isn't, however, neccessarily the most cost effective venture, lol.
If you should decide to procede with it you might look for the episode of the NYW where Norm built a new front entrance door. Also as I recall Woodsmith did an issue on building an entry door.
My best advice is Mortise and Tenon joinery and choose and prepare your stock wisely !
Best of Luck Lenny
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"Warbler" wrote:

Take a look at the NYW episode where Norm built an exterior door.
Personally, I'd take a hard look at a project like this before undertaking it, based on the availability of composite doors which are not only more stable, but have better insulating qualities, and probably are less costly.
Lew
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And sometimes I think this group should be the rec.mdfworking rather than rec.woodworking :-)
I like Norms door and probably will build it, using quarter sawn white oak. If the panels are 3 ply cross laminated, they will resist splitting. If the door opening is a non-standard dimension, then composite or steel doors cannot be sized to fit. If you have leaded glass you want to keep, a ready made door will not suffice either.
There are some that prefer fiberglass boats, but then I have never seen a Herrshoff 28 out of fiberglass. I still would entertain building one if I had the energy.
Check the following link.
http://www.edgewoodyc.org/h28 /
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"Lowell Holmes" wrote:

If God wanted man to have fiberglass boats, he would have given us fiberglass trees.<grin>
Lew (Fiberglass boat builder)
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Lowell Holmes wrote:

Middleton Marine.

--
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--John
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With the information you provided, you should probably look into buying a door.
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I have a book on doors published by Fine Homebuilding. Mario Rodriquez has a book on colonial style housing that I think has something about doors. You will have to size and straighten boards. The tools I have had to use in the past on door construction included a table saw, jointer, shaper and many clamps. For entry doors, mortise and tenon joints are preferable, although cope and stick joinery will work.
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Sweet. To the point. Leon strikes again.
Listen to Leon.
Do you want to go to the lumberyard and pick out your own lumber? Do you know what to look for? Are you sure it is dried properly? Have you priced the actual materials? Can you shape the materials you will be working with using your current tools? Do you have the correct clamps to span your door width? Do you have a bed or table to use to make sure the door is dead square? Can you cut the bevel on the door down its length? Do you have the skills to bore and mortise the locksets? Can you mortise the hinges in the door, and match them to the frame?
If you any doubts, price a door and think about what you are getting.
Listen to Leon.
Robert
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Listen to Robert.
I am not a pro, but a very serious hobbyist. In the last 12 months, I have done both: bought and built.
I built 3 interior frame and pannel doors and bought one exterior fiberglass door. The original exterior door was a beautiful 40" wide 150 year old door.. it just leaked like a seive. In a northern NY climate it was just not working.
Without a doubt, it was a compromise, comfort v.s. style.
Building closet doors to match the rest of the house was quite a bit of effort, but the margin for error interms of fit/flat/square are nearly an order of magnitude larger that for an exterior door.
Maybe if you were in a mild climate where the impact of leakage was minimal I would go for it, but it sounds like weather tightness big requirement.
-Steve
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wrote:

Sweet. To the point. Leon strikes again.
Listen to Leon.
Do you want to go to the lumberyard and pick out your own lumber? Do you know what to look for? Are you sure it is dried properly? Have you priced the actual materials? Can you shape the materials you will be working with using your current tools? Do you have the correct clamps to span your door width? Do you have a bed or table to use to make sure the door is dead square? Can you cut the bevel on the door down its length? Do you have the skills to bore and mortise the locksets? Can you mortise the hinges in the door, and match them to the frame?
If you any doubts, price a door and think about what you are getting.
Listen to Leon.
Robert
That Too!
My suggestion was solely based on the fact the he has a list of things that never get done and has a project that is not half finished after 9 months. If he has ice forming on the interior side of the door the energy bill to warm the house has to be considerably higher than if the door was better fitting and insulated. Given his stated speed in finishing a project it will probably be summer before the door would be completed should he decide to go ahead and build one. I would have to believe that with the current situation a newly purchased and installed door would probably pay for itself in energy savings during "this" season. Take care of the immediate problem with a prebuilt and hung door now and then after considering Roberts good advise and list of things to consider build a door in your leisure time at a pace you are comfortable with. My suggestion was from a purely economical point of view.
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Warbler wrote:

Have you ever built a frame & panel cabinet door? Entry/passage doors are done in essentially the same manner, just bigger & beefier. Hint: loose tenons to join rails & stiles make life easier, YMMV.
--

dadiOH
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Go to Home Depot. Buy a pre--hung insulated Fiberglass Door and install it carefully. (or, buy a Steel Insulated door - I saw one after Thanksgiving for $99 with an oval insulateed glass insert!).
Then, over the nasty Winter, you can relax in the draftless home while you find out how and plan and acquire the wood and tools and begin to cut the pieces and fit them and trim them up and assemble them and sand and seal and finish and get ready to welcome the Spring flowers with your latest creation.
Swap the doors out in the nice weather and sell the "Hardly used 3-0 RH Outswing pre-hung door @ 70% of retail.
And, if, by chance, the new creation is not ready 'till Summer, or this year or next, the peace gained from the draftless doorway will seem well worth the discount taken when you do finish the job as intended.
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wrote:

If for some reason you decide to go against the good advice of Leon, Robert and all that replied, and do indeed tackle this project, let me offer a few tips.
Purchase your stock (in the rough) from a reputable mill to insure it's properly dried (check it's moisture content if possible). Pick the two straightest pieces for your stiles. Assuming you have a good longbed jointer and planer, joint one face until absolutely flat. Now plane to within 1/8" of your final thickness. Let it set for a few days to see how it stabilizes. Better to reject pieces now than the whole door later. Usually pieces will not be perfectly straight. Pick the straightest stile for the strike side ( the hinges will help to straighten the hinge side stile). Also keep in mind which face is Inside/outside so any slight curve in the stile will hit the jamb first at the top and bottom. Clear as mud ?
And now that you've read that go buy a door. =0 )
Lenny
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On Dec 31, 3:30pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Lots of suggestions to go buy a door versus build. In all my limited years (about 10) of woodworking I've rarely built anything that couldn't be found cheaper purchased at one of those furniture import shops (West Elm, Pier One, iKea). I tolerate that stuff in my house only when my wife nags me to either finish the project or she is going to buy it on our credit card. Good news is that she appreciates my craftmanship, the credit card is maxed out and she loves to shop for quality wood.
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Lots of suggestions to go buy a door versus build. In all my limited years (about 10) of woodworking I've rarely built anything that couldn't be found cheaper purchased at one of those furniture import
Sure, you're right, but I think most of the woodworkers here build for the pleasure of it and the pride of doing it yourself. You'll never get that feeling buying a door.
Of course, the OP's statement that he's experiencing ice on the inside of his door would probably be enough impetus for me to buy a new door, eliminate those drafts as soon as possible and get my woodworking pride from some other project.
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Duct tape, aka 200 mph tape, aka the ultimate power tool. That and a roll of poly film will get ya through a few more winters. Plenty of time to whittle that door.
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"Warbler" wrote:

years (about 10) of woodworking I've rarely built anything that couldn't be found cheaper purchased at one of those furniture import shops (West Elm, Pier One, iKea). I tolerate that stuff in my house only when my wife nags me to either finish the project or she is going to buy it on our credit card. Good news is that she appreciates my craftmanship, the credit card is maxed out and she loves to shop for quality wood.
If, after you buy them books, they eat the covers......
Lew
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I also have a long list of projects that I would like to build, which is exactly why I installed a fiberglass door, painted on exterior and stained interior. Could I have dropped all my other projects and built one? Yes but it wouldnt have the R value, and guarantee of not warping. I still might make a second door with a removable screen and glass storm panel to add to the same entryway.Warbler buy a door and finish the buffet. The purchased door will pay for itself.
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Does the existing door have any historical value?
If it does, it might be worth rehabbing it.
If it doesn't, it might be worth a visit to an architectural salvage company to look for a door appropriate to the period and style of the house.
Have you thought about putting a storm door over the existing door? You can get a thin frame door with store door insulating glass that will allow the old door to show while giving you some of the energy savings you are looking for.
Rehabbing old doors means taking them entirely apart, cleaning up the glue lines of the joinery, repairing splits and structural flaws, etc. If it is a good old door, the exercise can be an education.
tom
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