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Passage Door Build Along - jteneyck - 12-02-2019

Just two remaining tasks on my kitchen rehab project, one of which is to replace the door from the kitchen into the garage.  The current door was the front door to the house at one time.  When we bought the house that door leaked like crazy and it looked warped in the frame.  I replaced it with an insulated steel door (the subject of another project in the next few months).  When I I removed the door I found out it was dead flat - the frame had either been installed wrong or the house had settled.  So I used that door to replace the lousy kitchen/garage door and it's been there for almost 40 years.  But the color and style don't go with the new kitchen so it's time for a change.  As part of the kitchen project I made new doors to replace the one to the half bath and the one to the basement.  They both have the same simple design, just a central panel captured in two stiles with no rails, the same desgn as the kitchen cabinet doors.  The new door will be of the same basic design with the addition of an insulated glass unit (IGU).  

Construction of the new door is different from the interior doors I made.  Those doors are 1-3/8" thick; exterior passage doors typically are 1-3/4"and this one will be too.  Using the same solid center panel design as for the interior doors I realized one upsized to 1-3/4" was going to weigh a LOT.  And the cost of the 1-1/4" PlumaPly was about $220 for a single sheet.  That was the last straw on using the same approach as the interior doors.   So I decided to use an insulated ladder core design.  A ladder core is similar to a hollow core door.  It has a perimeter frame, framing around any opening, and blocking for the lockset.  Foam panels are cut to fill the spaces in the frame.   The strength comes from gluing the skins onto the frame and foam, in the same way a hollow core door is bonded together.  

Here's the door as I glued it up today. 

The frame is a mix of ash, maple and poplar, 1" thick, as is the foam.  The top and bottom pieces are 1-1/2" wide, the others only about 3/4".  There is a big maple block where the lockset and deadbolt will go.  The frame has no joinery; I just glued the pieces to the bottom sheet of MDF, then cut the foam to fill the openings.  If you look closely you will see the Gorilla glue beads all over the top of the frame and foam.  To be clear, I put Gorilla glue on the bottom of the foam before inserting it into the openings.  After pin nailing the top sheet of MDF to the frame I put an old hollow core door on top and clamped it with cauls to my bench.  

I'm not a huge fan of Goriilla glue but it bonds to foam board great so I used it.  

More to follow; stay tuned.  


RE: Passage Door Build Along - Admiral - 12-02-2019

I love that your clamp collection is multi-manufacturer..... Looks just like my clamp rack, Bessey, Irwin, Jorgy, ect.....

RE: Passage Door Build Along - jteneyck - 12-03-2019

Today's progress was to trim the top sheet of MDF flush with the outside edges, cut away the MDF spanning the IGU pocket, and add hardwood edges to both sides of the panel.  I cut away the MDF with a plunge cutting router bit.  The edges are 3/4" maple just glued to the sides of the panel, with a quite a few clamps.

It's starting to look like a door.  I can tell you that it's dead flat and very stiff.  


RE: Passage Door Build Along - jteneyck - 12-06-2019

Next I added the "stiles" to the inside of the door, just two pieces of 1/4" maple.  I shot a few pin nails along the outer edge so they wouldn't shift then clamped them in place unti the glue dried.  

With the basic door complete I beveled the lockside edge at 2° on the TS. Then it was time to drill the lockset and deadbolt holes.  I find it helpful to set a combination square next to the hole saw to maintain perpendicular alignment.  I also pre-drill a small pilot hole to help keep the holesaw from wandering.  And on the face of the door I drill from both sides, again following that pilot hole I drilled first.  A router would be the ultimate in mainaining perpendicular alignment and I've often thought of doing it that way but never have.   

But I do use a router and template to cut the pockets for the escutcheons.  I use a piloted mortising bit which allows you to make the template exactly the same size as the escutcheon; no adding 1/16" all around required like when using a collar.  

I use the same process for cutting the hinge mortises.  Have you ever thought about where the hinge is located in relation to the thickness of the door?  There are standards based on door thickness.  For a 1-3/4" door the standard says the mortise starts 1/4" from the outside face of the door.  Of course, if you are replacing an existing door w/o changing the frame, like I am, you put the hinge exactly like it was on the old door.  In my case, it actually was 1/4".  

Chisel out the corners, and:

Finally, I made some frames for holding the IGU in the door, using a simple molding cut on the TS. 

Now I just have to hang the door to check how it fits and make any adjustments and then it will be ready to finish.  Thanks for following along.  


RE: Passage Door Build Along - Mr Eddie - 12-06-2019

You always make it look so simple!  Nice job.


RE: Passage Door Build Along - Tapper - 12-07-2019

Looks very nice work John! BTW, what is IGU?


RE: Passage Door Build Along - jteneyck - 12-07-2019

(Yesterday, 01:17 AM)Tapper Wrote: Looks very nice work John! BTW, what is IGU?


IGU = Insulated Glass Unit.  And the one I'm using is actually in my front house door right now.  That door needs to be replaced, too, so I'll use the IGU from it in the kitchen/garage door and then just put some plexiglass in the opening until I build that door.