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Thread: Trying to figure out what to do with this door, and what type wood it is

  1. #1

    Question Trying to figure out what to do with this door, and what type wood it is

    I am completely new to woodworking and have been blessed with several saws. My wife wants us to replace our flimsy front door with this thick hardwood door I got for 5 dollars. I have to shave off 16in of height and 4in of width but still keep the proportions correct. I was going to cut them out of the middle and then glue the whole thing back together. I am scared this will ruin the strength of the door. How would you do it? What kind of wood do you think this door is made of and how would you stain/treat it to really make it look nice? Thank you!
    https://goo.gl/photos/vodMqcobV3vgJ8XA7

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,698
    Welcome aboard Gage,

    You can upload pictures here as well which will generally make it easier for folks to see them. I've inlined the two you've referenced here in my post. Just click on the little square picture frame image that says "insert Image" when you mouse hover over it.

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    I think we'll want a couple more pictures, in particular if you can get one showing the top or bottom of the door and another showing the entire front (and perhaps another with the back as well) it would help determine how its made and if this is even feasible at all.

    My first guess without seeing those is that this is going to be a lot more challenging that you'd think, especially considering how much you want to take off. Doors are surprisingly complex structures and its not clear from what I can see there if this is an entirely solid slab of wood (seems unlikely and undesirable if it was due to woods desire to move in all directions just when you don't want it to). Depending on how its made this might be either simple or very difficult.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  3. #3
    This is the best I can get right now. I can tell that the framing panels are jointed. I have to take some off the bottom and top because of water damage but i am assuming the rest is going to have to be taken from the middle
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida Keys
    Posts
    85
    Gage I would have to agree with Ryan. More pictures would help a lot. Look at the existing photos I would have to say it is a panel door. I think it would be unwise to cut this door in the middle to remove your extra width. Your are right to think about the future strength of the door. Properly done with some internal splines in the top and bottom with good glue it may work out but I am not leaning that way. Get another door that fits your dimensions.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Rose View Post
    Gage I would have to agree with Ryan. More pictures would help a lot. Look at the existing photos I would have to say it is a panel door. I think it would be unwise to cut this door in the middle to remove your extra width. Your are right to think about the future strength of the door. Properly done with some internal splines in the top and bottom with good glue it may work out but I am not leaning that way. Get another door that fits your dimensions.
    It is definitely frame and panel. Our home is a rental with cardboard door and no deadbolt. I am trying to do this cheap and also learn a little bit a long the way. Is there no way to cut and glue this thing to fit?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida Keys
    Posts
    85
    Gage, being that you payed only 5 bucks for the door, give it a try. You need to cut it smooth and straight, a table saw or track saw would be your answer. As I mentioned, you could add splines top and bottom for strength and if the panel is thick enough some biscuits there also. Good glue and good luck.

  7. #7
    I don't have a biscuit saw..just the basics. I'm starting to think this may be a lost cause

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698
    So, the molding around the inside of the door looks applied (not part of the frame) to me?

    If you can cut enough off of the ends and sides to get it to fit, I'd say go for it. Worst case you're out $5 so no great loss and we'll all learn something more about door construction (as long as you share the insides of it with us ).

    If that's not possible, pick an end, probably the end with the narrower stile (cross piece on the ends) and see if you can pull up the molding and see whats under it. If you can remove the molding (it might be glued down so you can't in which case.. carry on).

    Cut through the side rails (the up/down pieces on the sides) a bit longer than you think you need. My guess is that the panel should be free floating at this point, if not then its a bit more complicated.

    If its as I suspect there then we'll want to take a look at how the stiles are currently attached to the rails, ideally you'd be able to replicate as much of that as possible likely with the addition of either some dowels or a floating tennon (basically you cut a slot in each piece and another piece to fit and glue them together). When you get closer to this point check back in. You can do all of this with hand tools (a chisel and a saw basically - I've done thing not unlike this when broke and in college and needed to "make it work"..) or a hand drill for some doweling - which might be a bit easier to handle to start with.

    So clean up the inside of the stiles and remove the remnants of the old rails and figure out how to fit them together. Cut the rails to length/match and assemble.

    If the molding was removable, cut to length/fit and re-apply.

    Use a good outdoor finish - like spar varnish and then hang. We'll skip hanging the door for now, that's its own set of tricks.

    If it looks weird/wrong/confusing at any point please do check back in - the crowd here is good and willing to help

    An outside door isn't a super easy first project, so don't get to upset if it doesn't work out exactly as hoped for.. but like you say $5? what have you got to loose! It should be a fun and interesting learning experience either way as long as you don't mind hacking it apart and seeing what happens .
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,437
    Welcome to the forum Gage.

    What are the dimensions of the new door and what are the dimensions of the existing door (and can you provide a pic of it)? I'm just wondering if some trimming of the outer edges can be done to the new door and perhaps re-frame the existing door opening to make things work without having to cut out the center of that new door.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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