Wooden “Sandwich” Doors

Building your own doors can further enhance the design of a handmade house. They are made to fit any size and are cheaper than ordering a custom door from a store or mill. Exterior doors are at least 1 3/4” thick while interior doors are 1 1/2”. When building the AAC walls we left an opening for both windows and doors. Although a masonry saw could be used to cut new openings, it is easier and saves on material if you plan ahead.

The “sandwich” doors are made of three thicknessess of wood. First, we made door jambs and measured the length and width of the opening. The door was made using leftover tongue and groove flooring in combination with wood from the mill. All the edges were planed to give them a smooth finished look. Once the pieces were cut to size and planed, they were ready for assembly.

wood cut, planed, and ready for assembly (3 doors total)

wood cut, planed, and ready for assembly (3 doors total)

The top, middle, and base boards were secured to the sides using pocket holes, screws, and wood glue (http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-make-a-pocket-hole/index.html). We left a space for a window and completed the rest of the door with the tongue and groove in a horizontal position for interest. These boards needed to have an additional tongue on the sides to fit into the side of the door, so we used the table saw and mimicked the tongue on the long side of the boards.

pocket holes

pocket holes

helping hands

helping hands

Each of the the three sandwich layers were built exactly the same except for the middle layer. The width of the middle boards were cut about a half inch slimmer creating a groove when the layers are put together. In this layer, a piece of glass is cut to fit in the window space with wooden strips wedged and glued to secure the glass in place. Next, glue the three layers together and fasten with a clamp to dry overnight. Don’t worry if the edges are not perfectly aligned, an electric planer will fix that right up.

clamped for the night

clamped for the night

Since the door is heavy 3 heavy- loose pin hindges are need for installation. Follow these steps: http://www.wikihow.com/Install-or-Replace-Door-Hinges.

hung and open

hung and open

Once the door is hung, mark the knob holes and the backset hole and drill using respective size holes. Most standard door knob assemblies use a 2-1/8-inch hole saw to cut the door knob hole and a 7/8-inch spade bit to drill out the hole for the backset. Use a utility blade to score where the backset face plate. Score deep down and use a chisel to remove excess. Next, place the backset into the hole and trace around the front plate for the striker and chisel til the plate sits flush.

installed sidedoor

installed sidedoor

interior batten door

interior batten door

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