Exterior Wood Door

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wrote: 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
And it sounds like a fun project too!
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wrote:

Does the existing door have any historical value?
If it does, it might be worth rehabbing it. [...] 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.
This is good advice. I do this all day long professionally. When you are working with historic buildings the golden rule is you never, never lose any of the historical fabric unecessarily. That means that I am employed to repair, repair and repair. Often I repair repairs. A good job is not one where it looks like new but one where it looks like you haven't touched it.
If the door is old it may have no glue in the mortice and tenons and you will be able to take them apart. Don't strip off old paint unecessarily. Use sharp hand tools and be prepared to resharpen a lot. Make long scarfs. wood patches are far preferable to filler. Patch and repair with the closest you can find to the original timber. Polyeurethane glue or sometimes epoxy. Discreet use of stainless steel pins can save the day. ( A favourite trick with old wobbly joinery is to use stainless threaded studding as a dowel with adhesive )
Good luck. Ask me if you want any specific advice.
Tim W
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Consider the Lowes or Home Depot version:
1. 30 minutes to pick it out... 2. Pay the man/woman on the way out 3. Wait for call from installer 4. Watch installation 5. Admire door every time you walk by. 6. Continue with life time project of buffet.
Warbler wrote:

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No. Don't even consider it if your house is that old.
But you know that don't you?
Tim W
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It was fairly clear that the post was concerning "how to build a exterior door", which is certainly not a trivial or reasonable thing to expect from what appears to be a complete novice.
Why didn't you explain the typical cost involved in such a project ?
(1) Finding clear and perfect kiln dried lumber (2) Tools and shop setup for door making (3) Special tools required for all door hardware. (4) Door hardware (5) Knowledge of how to hang the door in what is almost certainly not a perfect opening. (6) Proper finish (7) door making skill set
The tool set required for the lockset and hinges is several hundred dollars.
Exactly what would he be saving ?
There is any number of companies that make the "correct" door for any age house
Tim W wrote:

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Likely, because of the stated historic value of the home and presumably the door. In that circumstance, outright replacement is a temporary expedient for the weather only. If that's not the case, we all agree that it shouldn't be undertaken lightly.
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Pat Barber wrote:

One does not have to have it/them, it isn't all that hard to make plywood templates. Those and a router can do a splendid job. Granted, if one were making doors all the time the comerrcial ones would do it better and/or faster.
--

dadiOH
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Doable, and FWIW, it need be neither; albeit both help.

Only if you're making 100 doors. One-off doors can be built entirely with hand tools (How do you think they made the original in 1860whatever?)

Really? A chisel can't be used to make the hinge mortices? A forstner bit can't drill the hole for the knob hardware? A spade bit can't be used to drill the deadbolt hole?

Doable.
Difficult, but not impossible.

A bit of research is all that's necessary here.

What better way than to learn on the job?

Oh bolongne. If you're doing 100 doors, this would be nice, but for a single door? Give me a break.
scott
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I don't think you and I have the same ideas on how to build a door.
Your points are taken but VERY few folks would even consider doing it using your methods.
I have hung many doors and installed many lock sets and hinges using your methods.
I would never suggest those methods to a beginner woodworker.
I have also never built a exterior door or have any plans to do so.
Scott Lurndal wrote:

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On Thu, 08 Jan 2009 16:36:53 GMT, Pat Barber cast forth these pearls of wisdom...:

I didn't see anything unusual or difficult for a beginning woodworker in Scott's methods. What was it you saw that made you state it would be inappropriate for a beginner?
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resposibility of owning a historic building, and not putting off-the-shelf modern joinery in an old house.
Tim w
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Of course, just because a house is old, doesn't make it historic. Many homes from that time period (1860's) were log cabins with rather crude doors.
scott
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writes:

huts are as important as rich peoples houses, and much more vulnerable.
Tim w
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track. Is the old door not actually old? Should you copy it?
If not you need references of doors of the period. You need to look carefully at the style of the building and try to find a match. It really all depends. I have some reprints of works by Asher Benjamin but maybe the house isn't in the classical style.
Tim W
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Tim W wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened) goes through the procedures. Plan on ruining a few and start small. Note that the tools are not cheap (a rail and stile set for exterior doors costs about the same as a door--Hell, at the point the _book_ costs as much as a door--then there are 8 foot clamps, a flat assembly surface large enough to hold a door, etc.)
If it's something one really wants to do then by all means one should have at it. But it's _not_ a way to save money over buying a door.
--
--
--John
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I second the notion of getting that book. It's pretty good on door- making, not so good on windows.
When I made exterior doors, what I did was to make an outside frame of 2X2 clear cedar (ripped from 2X4s) and 1/8" door skins, giving a 1-3/4" thick door, which is standard for exterior doors. I filled the interior space with 1-1/2" extruded styrofoam, and a piece of 2X6 where the lockest is to go. Everything glued with Wellbond glue. To give appearance of a frame and panel door, I glued on 3/4" thick cedar, with a routed edge. So the whole door ended up 2-1/4" thick. I went to my friendly neighbourhood locksmith to make the lockset fit the thicker, non-standard door.
If you have nay questions, send me an email at recnorm at the domain name below my name.
Luigi Zanasi www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking
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