You never really think about what goes into making a door. Usually you just go to the local Home Depot or other hardware store and buy one. But what do you do when you need a custom size? You pay to have a custom door made. But what do you do when you see how much a custom wood door costs and think to yourself...are they crazy?!?! Well, you build your own, of course!
So we set out to build our smaller than average front door. We knew it was going to be a challenge to build a solid and beautiful door. And it was! But we did it. And it turned out beautiful! And cost us less than a custom made one...WAY less. I hope this post will inspire others who think, "I can't do this" to try and make their own. It can be done!
The biggest expense was a good electric planer, which we found at Harbor Freight. It was about $230.00 with a coupon and we will be using it to make the kitchen cabinets and a few other things.
We also bought a Kreg Jigs Pocket Hole Kit which we will be using on the cabinets and such also. This is such a handy kit to have! And so many possibilities for use.
We bought a couple pieces of solid red oak 2X8 12ft boards and one piece of 3/4 inch oak plywood.
Here's how we made our door.
We cut our main boards to length. We then planed them down to the right thickness for our door.
We also had to cut the boards to the proper width on the table saw. We laid them out to find the best looking sides and marked these as the exterior side. The side with the most imperfections will be the interior side. We marked the boards "top, bottom, right & left" so we knew where each went.
We cut a 3/4inch groove inside each of the boards to accept the plywood panels. We used a dado blade on our table saw to make this cut.
We had to cut a notched area in the top, middle and bottom boards. These will glue into the groove on the side boards.
We pieced it together and clamped it in place. We attached the Kreg Jig and used it to drill the pocket screw holes. We did this to make the door more sturdy than it would be if just glued together.
We cut the plywood panels to size and fit them into place. We then glued everything together nice and tight. We added the screws and left it to set up.
We used some scrap oak to cut small strips to fit inside the panels around the edge as rough cut molding.
We used a dowel rod to fill in the screw holes. We filled in all the knots and grooves with wood filler.
We sanded it, then sanded it some more. And sanded it yet again.
The peephole we bought was a bit bigger than the panel so we had to build it up a bit. We used a piece of the red oak on each side and trimmed around it to match the rest of the door. Viola! Peephole fits!
We used a pickling stain to enhance the natural beauty of the wood. We then applied a couple coats of sealer to protect it against the elements.
We used some leftover oak to build a transition strip. We cut two pieces to fit where to porch meets the interior floor and glued them together. We used the same pickling stain and sealer as the door.
Done! The final trim around the door frame in place along with the weather seal. It's a nice snug fit and the door shuts quietly. I love the door knob and lock set we picked out.
Inside view. The slight imperfections in the wood came out beautifully. I couldn't ask for a more beautiful door and we didn't have to pay a fortune for it!
It looks so inviting, doesn't it? So come on in, and shut the front door! :)