I Made A Door(s)

I Made a Door(s)

So about 20 years ago, Liz and I are walking around and found this piece of leaded glass.  At that time people were pretty much pitching these things out in the trash or selling them for cheap.  This probably cost $5.00 or under.  Fast forward a few years and  I was needing to make a new back door and trying to come up with a design that would look ok. I remembered the leaded panel(hiding behind the couch, a good safe place, really).

This is the hole the door and associated trim and siding has to cover, notice the new white door on the back right.  This will now match the kitchen door and when this project is completed we will have an airlock/entry at the front and the back of the house.  It will really help with heating and such. I'm also digging out the sides and  putting in some drain lines to channel the water from the driveway.  When I had the driveway installed I should have told them to crown the asphalt, slanting to the north, to make the rain go away from  the house. I should also have told them to excavate about 6 inches lower, but I did not. Any little project grows and this door started a chain of construction.  Now is the time to fix the gutters too.  And so fourth. 

The door is basically a frame of 1", almost, square popular, with 1/4" luan nailed( I used an air brad nailer, real thin nails) and glued to it, here you can see the hole cut and ripped down pieces of cedar glued and nailed to the door slab.

This is a shot of the door sanded, filled, and painted with Kilz. You can't see it but the bottom of the door is cedar and the various small cracks and such filled with automotive bondo. I used one of those PVA, Elmers, water proof wood glues for everything.

This is the door hung in the jamb, with the leaded panel installed. It opened and closed pretty well.  I was shooting for 1/8"-1/4" tolerances and pretty much got it. I ripped down more cedar into 1/4" strips to build a frame for the window. I don't size jambs, install hinges, etc., and hang doors very often so this took a while. Since I hung the interior door a day or so before this went much quicker the second time.    

Door with hardware installed: opens, closes, locks!  I so happy!  The exterior T-1-11 paneling was back primed with a mix of exterior paint, so it looks 'kinda ugly here but it will eventually will be gray. I generally throw leftover paint into one bucket and use it for back priming(painting on the back). Now I have to do trim and get back to my digging/drain lines.  

Here is the finished door, with a bit of the trim up and painted and a small decorative railing Len's brother was getting ready to pitch.  Len showed up at just the right time with his van to go get the railing.  It 'kinda matches the front of the house. The black iron hanging on the wall is an old cast iron fence section Liz got from a friend who was going to pitch it.  We just hung it because it looks nice.

So the next project is......The matching screen door 

Makita chop saw:great tool! Makita table saw:terrible fence, riving knife, and safety guard!

I pondered what kind of wood to use for the screen door.  Popular is stable and cuts up nice, I used some in the making of the actual door.  But the screen door I wanted to be naturally rot resistant.  I wanted to use cedar, but its not real easy(or cheap) to find around here. It's somewhat splintery too. Having just removed some old wolmanized/treated decking and noticing how straight some of the the wood was, especially after having layed around in the weather for 5+years,  I thought I just go ahead and try to make the screen door out of the leftover deck. Certainly cost effective!  So basically, what you're seeing above is my screen door kit, a bunch of old, used wood. The price, not including hardware, being free!

This is some of the selected wood with the ends trimmed up and the edges cut off.

This is the door biscuit jointed, pocket screwed, and glued up.  I should have taken more pictures, but really I just butt joined everything with screws, glue, and biscuit joints and then on the back some wood crosses over the joints for more long term strength.  I cut a small dado/slot in the bottom pieces and inserted/glued the plywood for the bottom part of the door.  It made it nice and strong.  Getting it all glued up flat was a challenge.  In retrospect, I should have not dado-ed/slotted the panel in, but set it flush, into a rabbet.  It would have been easier to glue and square up and I think it would have been stronger. Gluing this up square was a pain.  I really needed a big flat table.  The deck was the next best thing I could think of.

 Here is the door hung and painted.  I'm real happy with it, it has a nice sound when it slams shut.  It still need to have the top window put in.  I was going to make/install a window and moveable screen, but I'm think'in, since there is a window in the small entry, I really don't need a screen so I'm probably going to just put a piece of lexan or some such into a small sub frame and install that.

 This is hard to see, but the door sets against the face frame of the exterior trim of the door and sets into the jamb also where it also sets against another piece of trim/stop molding. I have not added any sort of weather stripping yet, I want to see how good it works without first. I want to add some brass weather stripping and some rubber stuff too.

This is a close up of the unpainted piece of molding attached to the bottom of the screen door.  As the door closes it slips over the threshold, sealing the bottom edge off. This will eventually butt into a threshold piece screwed into the floor.   Tolerance are about 1/8"-1/16".   I  could have made it tighter, but I'm wanting to add some weather stripping, as I mentioned above and I want the door to open and close without any sticking.  I'm curious/worried about how it all holds up during the winter. 

This is a shot of the back door.  No great shakes I suppose, but, it's a back door, and I'm happy to have made some doors from scratch.  I learned a lot.  Next time I'd like to have a big flat table to make it on.  The goal here was to have a new entry(soon to be tiled)with two doors that would create a primitive airlock and that will help keep the back end of the  house warmer this winter without actually turning up the thermostat.

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