How to make a DOOR

By Andy the stuff doer

Making a Door isn’t the average DIY job but with the right woodworking tools  and the right information its not too difficult. I’ve made my own timber front door and recorded how I’ve done it.

link to how to make a door

Have a look to see if it’s something you fancy tackling. I’ve included all the design and dimensions for making the door. Written and videoed the processes for a step by step, how to make a door guide.

Follow these plans for victorian style door and the ‘how to make a door guide’ to end up with a door like this.

Victorian Style Door DIY how to

 

If it’s been a lack a available traditional style door plans that has put you off in the past, my appologies, now you have no excuse not to make you own door.

Timber Exterior Door Design

DIY External Door Design and Proportions

Door Tenon Theory and cutting

Door Mortise Marking and Cutting

Timber Door Fox Wedging mortise and tenon joints

How to make the raised panels with basic router cutters

Router cutting custom timber mouldings, again with basic router bits

Please let me know in the comments if you know of better/easier ways of making a similar door. Or if I’ve not included enough detail.

46 Responses to “How to make a DOOR”

  1. i hate the desighn

  2. Hate is a strong emotion to have for door design, I fear you must be troubled soul. If you can supply a considered critique, it might make for a more interesting debate.

  3. Dear sir. Thanks too much. I learn your door making way. I’ll try to make same door for my house. I want to learn I must use how kind glue. Is the glue must be boat glue ? Because this door will be the out of house. Thanks again for your interest.
    Good wishes to you.

  4. Hi Tayfun, The glue I use is polyurethane glue. Various brands are available but they are all similar. They foam during curing and rely on moisture in the wood to start the process. The glue is water proof, provides a stong bond and fills any small gaps. I wish you all the best making your door.
    Andy

  5. Hi
    You’ve just become my DIY hero:)
    you said £500-600 to have made, what was the cost making it yourself?
    Neil…:)

  6. Thanks Neil, You’re making me blush. As a rough estimate the materials would be around £40. Cheers

  7. Hi Andy I am making a front door at the moment and although I consider myself to be a reasonable chippy I had not come across the eouter method for making the panels before coming across yours. I have had ocasion to do them severaltimes in the past and that was usually on the saw with all the wobbly balancing acts recuired. My panels are agreat success and this is a very effective and acurate way to make them. full thickness panels of the size reguired for exterier doors are heavy lumps especially in hardwood and this is a very stable and safe method which I would reccomend to anyone. thankyou Regards Peter.

  8. Hi Peter, Thanks for your comment it’s great to know the method is useful for experienced woodworkers. The method seems to have atracted a lot of interest all over the world judging by the number of views on YouTube. It is really satisfying to know that working from a little workshop, making do with the tools available, someone like me can come up with something simple that solves a problem.
    All the best
    Andy

  9. Nice Job
    I have a decent shop with some trim and framing experience and you really do quality work. It is fun looking at things as an opportunity not a cross to bear attitude. I’m also rebuilding our 1911 house on a budget and can really relate.
    Donny McClure
    Canadian in Idaho

  10. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for putting this guide together, it’s incredibly informative! I’m building a door for my shed (when I eventually finish building the rest of the shed!) and this was a very useful introduction into the techniques required.
    Cheers,
    Toby

  11. Excellent, please do some more video.

    Best regards

    Hal

  12. Thanks Hal, The latest video is a step in to the past, making a timber beam using old tools, froe, axe and adze. Not the normal workshop stuff but fun. Cheers Andy
    :http://www.idostuff.co.uk/sections/DIY/Hewing_Beam/Hewn_beam.html

  13. Thanks Toby, Glad to hear it’s useful info. Good luck with the shed. Andy

  14. Hi Donny, Thanks for the comment. It sound like you have the right kind of spirit for sorting stuff out for your self. All the best for your rebuild. Cheers Andy

  15. Excellent job Andy, looks ‘right’ to me and love how you made the mouldings from four router cutters – you’ve some patience there !

    Cutting tenons is an excellent approach, but I’ve found it difficult to get the finished surfaces flush. I’ve preferred dowels just because I bought some of the centering ‘points’ a few years ago and have struggled to keep them, picking out of sawdust, rolling into inaccessible crevices, so now feel they owe me ! I guess you can buy lengths of dowel of a reasonable diameter suitable for a door, but the supply and waste from a long length out of the mouldings display pigeon holes in B&Q might go against this

    Router table is very useful but I’ve cut things like tenons using a circular saw (or table saw) to make multiple parallel cuts and then clean up with a chisel, watch your fingers though !

  16. Are ‘Fox’ wedges named after Ron Fox, the router guru ?

  17. exelente desde argentina, muy util para los que recien comenzamos

    excellent from Argentina, very useful for those who are just beginning

  18. Thanks, It’s good to know the information is getting around the world and that it’s useful. We are all beginners once, hope it all goes well and you are soon an expert.

  19. I have made numerous “shaker” style doors but have puzzled over making raised panel doors, with out having to take out a mortgage to equip a workshop fit for a TV series.

    Your router method is pure genius. I should really hate you, because I didn’t think of it, but thank you for sharing your skills and for a very good video.

    I can’t wait to make a fresh start- once I’ve cleared all the sawdust and scrap wood away to find my router table.

  20. Hi Jim, It’s good to know the soloution works for others. It sounds like you have a bit New Years resolution there. Thanks to your comment I might add one to my list: Write up and cover more of Stuff.
    All the Best
    Andy

  21. Hey, Andy. Love the Benny Hill theme music during your glue up. Actually watched that one several times. Can you address for me how this design deals with expansion in the frame? You made it clear with the raised panels but you didn’t say anything about the frame. Is it a non issue?
    Regards.

  22. Hi Jim,
    Glad to hear you enjoyed the videos.
    The frame parts will expand and contract as moisture level change, so yes it is an issue. First on the finished fitted door, we’ve all noticed some doors that are perfect in summer but start sticking as the weather changes. I solve this by allowing a clearance then filling it with compressable seal. For the worst cases you might want to have a look at this draught proofing idea
    Second is the joints where end grain meets side grain, the end grain will swell more so there will be movement stressing the joints that can cause the glued surfaces to break apart. The crack will allow more moistur in and cause more lossening and leading to rotting. The mortise and tennons actually get tighter as the wood swells so the structure should still be sound. For a long lasting door the trick is to make sure the joint surfaces are good and tight together to start with then well glued and clamped in compression this should then restrain the swelling at the joint. A much neglected point is also to make sure the bottom and top of the door is well painted/treated so the stop moisture getting in the end grain of the stiles.
    Hope this goes some way to addressing the question.
    All the best
    Andy

  23. hi Andy… like the video…
    just wondering a couple of things…
    what wood you used?
    other suitable woods?
    presumably it’s important which way the grain runs on different parts?
    did you make a frame. if so how is it put in?
    can i leave the mouldings off for a more modern look, or are they part of the weatherproofing?
    thanks
    jp

  24. Hi JP, Thanks for watching. I think most of you’re questions are answered on the website. For timber questions try here and for the details on the door here. But in brief the timber is good quality pine, yes other timbers can be used don’t use anything of lower quality but you could step up all the way to oak if you wanted.
    If you follow the link to details on the door you’ll find more explanations and videos on making the frame, it should also give you what you need to now about the grain directions (yes it’s highly critical).
    The panels can be fitted in rebates or grooves as an alternative so you dont have to use mouldings. The panels in grooves have to be put in when you assemble the frame.
    Hope this and links help.
    All the best
    Andy

  25. Andy, excellent video series. I am getting ready to try something similar, and I have picked up one small tip that really works well. On the raised panels, use the tablesaw to cut the inner shoulder, in my case 1/8″ deep and 3″ in from the outside edge, this produces a clean tear-out free shoulder and the router bit cuts to the edge of that kerf with no tear-out either.

  26. Thanka RF. The tip sounds like it could be good idea although you would have to to spot on with all the angles etc, if you cut the shoulder first. Let me know how you get on with it.

  27. Wow! Thanks for the great info! Love it!

  28. Caro Andy,

    Você realizou um trabalho magnifico, essa porta ficou maravilhosa, sua gentileza e generosidade em dar o passo a passo da execução foi da porta, foi uma coisa grandiosa, servirá de inspiração pra muitos, inclusive para mim, que preciso fazer duas portas.
    Quando estiverem prontas, te mando fotos pra mostrar o que consegui fazer.

    Muito Obrigado.

    Vangodias

    Brasil

  29. Muito obrigado por seus comentários. Desejo-lhe tudo de melhor fazer a sua porta e eu estou ansioso para ver as fotos.
    Atenciosamente
    Andy

  30. Barry (Tympt 1) on June 14th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Andy, I wrote to you a couple of years ago saying how much I enjoyed your videos. I have finally had to put your methods into practice for a bespoke door for my daughter’s cottage. (Nothing available due to odd size)I am cracking on with it and thoroughly enjoying seeing it coming to life. I am also making mine out of redwood and the timber cost £55, which is a damn sight cheaper than having one made! My heartfelt thanks for giving me the confidence and inspiration. Best wishes Barry. PS Your cottage is coming on well in Whitby!

  31. Hi Barry, Great to hear that you are enjoying building your own. The satisfaction of making your own is priceless.
    All the best, Andy

  32. The proper way to make a door. Thanks for educating folk. Apart from using good old oak, I don’t see how you could improve this door. I am in need of some hollow chisels, and I’ve seen a set that would suit me but costing around £130.00. I have used the run of the mill types from Axminster and other such companies. Problem is, after a couple of doors they just don’t perform, despite sharpening. (I.e, they all seem to struggle with even softwood. What would you consider to be a reasonable price to get a chisel that will do more between sharpwnings? (I am prepared to pay the £130.00 mind!) Thanks for the trouble you took. JW (Brum-Land!)

  33. Incidentally, I found your site through the ‘Tube, where I looked for a means of making bolection moulding for a small alcove cupboard I am planning. Cheers
    JW

  34. Thanks John, We never stop learning. And today you’ve taught me something I didn’t know. “Bolection” I didn’t know this kind of moulding had a name! I’ll update the pages etc. Thanks for getting in touch and good luck with the cupboard.

  35. Thanks John, I can’t help with advice on the hollow morticer chisels. Mine is just a relitivly cheap set. I use a cone shaped stone in a drill to sharpen them on the inside then a couple of swipes with a fine diamond card on the flats. This might not be the right way but it works for me. Could yours be loosing their temper due to overheating during sharpening or in use?

  36. Hi Andy, what a great website you have. I’ve got some 9′x4′ double doors to replace and was looking for more detail on the m&t joints, and you came to my rescue! Also very impressed by your handsfree camera rig, very effective! Could you share any details on that, or is it a trade secret? ;)
    All the best from Hereford!

  37. Hi Andy, Boat Building, now there’s a project my son fancies. Good to know you found the information useful. The headcam was a lash up using DV hand cam mounted on a open face motorbike helmet counterbalanced with some lead on the back. The first test is here on the blog it’s here. The old camera died a while back, I dont think it liked all the dust. I’ve now upgraded to an HD bullet camera mounted on head band (much lighter) with a seperate HD recorder. I’ll detail it when I’ve got chance. No secrets I’m happy to share.
    Cheers
    Andy

  38. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for posting your videos. sharing I really enjoy the work that you do.I am currently making a screen/storm door with inserts and was thinking of making it with mortise and loose tenon joints as opposed to traditional m&t joints. What do you think??

  39. Hi Tim, the loose tenons will save a bit on timber but it means taking a lot of material out of the end grain, can’t be wedged and is in essence another joint that has the potential to fail. As a screen door it might not matter that it not quite as strong however I would think large dowels instead might be a might be a bit quicker/easier and be just as effective.
    All the best with your project.
    Andy

  40. HI FROM New Zealand. great video’s mate.
    your tips are great even for an old door and window maker like me.

  41. Cheers Peter, It’s great to know the things we come up with in an isolated garage in the UK manages to get across the whole world and adds to general knowledge.

    Thanks for commenting.
    Andy

  42. Nice videos. Great presentation of the measuring and layouts methods. The wedge cutting was the best thing I took away.
    I never make my tendons full width of he stock which gives a bit of room to hide a bit of error if the mortising chisel slips a bit, or if you use a plunge router as I do.

    Bob from Canada

  43. Hi Andy
    Great job!

  44. Hi Bob, Thanks for your kind comments. Great to know you found some helpful little tips. I think many of the marking out methods came from my old time school woodwork teachers. It’s good to be able to pass along some of what they gave me.

  45. Hi Andy the stuff doer, Brilliant set of vids. I was looking for exactly this (UK voice etc…) ont’tube to inspire me to make three doors for my new house; two internal and one external. Even had to dig my old pair of compasses out to see the Golden Ratio!
    Rob.

  46. Good to hear from you Rob. Hope inspiration lasts long enough to get the doors finished. I still have the compass set I had for my Technical Drawing O level, 30 odd years on and still get more sense out of them than any CAD software.

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