I guess most would call this somewhat of a shaker style door? But, to me its just a three panel design. From what I have read the idea is that if the door gets hot from outside temperatures the panels can freefloat within the frame of the structure! Therefore, the door doesn't warp like a solid structure would! After looking at how the door is built, I decided what tools and materials I needed.
Tablesaw-this is for accurately ripping boards to size and for cutting joints.
Compound Mitersaw-this is for cutting boards to length at consistent angles.
Cordless Drill-this is obviously for drilling but, also for use with the Kreg Jig and for augering the door handle holes.
Tabletop Planer-this is for getting the wood shaved down to accurate and consistent thicknesses.
Kreg Jig-this is a pocket hole jig for stengthening wood joints (they cost about $90 at HomeDepot)
Hand chisels-these are for recessing hinges and other door hardware.
Pipe Clamps-for holding the door together while screwing or gluing.
C-Clamps- also for holding the door together
Square-for alignment (needs to have 90 and 45 degrees).
Paddle Bits-these are drillbits that are flat for cutting up to 1 1/2" holes through wood.
2 1/8" Holesaw- for cutting the door handle hole.
Sanding Block- duhhh!!
Portable Belt Sander-this is optional but, can be used for truing a door into a slightly out of square opening (like mine!).
Big Flat Table-to work on.
Saw Horses-optional but, nice to have for stacking lumber as its being cut (plus, they are cheap at Harbor Freight).
I didn't mention too many of the little things you will need on a project like this because, if your planning on undertaking this you probably already have the basic hand tools!
Step 1: Materials
For the door panels I used 3/4" hardwood plywood but, any 3/4" plywood will do. I would suggest a nicer quality plywood because if you stain the door cheap pine ply isn't going to take the stain very well. It will streak and be all together blotchy!
The door handle is obviously your choice as are the hinges. Although, I would suggest making sure you read the packaging of the hinges and make sure your getting the ones with removeable pins. This makes it a lot easier to remove the door (for painting the jam or moving furniture in the house) and not having to realign anything. We sprung for a simple peep hole but, thats just an extra step.
Be sure to get a small bottle of good quality wood glue. We used Titebond brand and it worked really well. Also, pick up some sandpaper of various grits to use with the sanding block. Pick up a bottom door seal to block the draft from coming through also. If you use the pocket hole jig you need to buy a 70 cent 3/8" dowel rod to fill the holes with.
I think the cost of this build should be somewhere around $300 to$350 after all hardware is taken into account. This figure DOES NOT INCLUDE COST OF TOOLS!!!
Step 2: Getting Started
Step 3: Cutting the Planed Lumber Down to Build the Frame
This is where personal preferences come in. Figure out how wide you want the vertical frame boards to be. Likewise with the horizontals. To make the door look somewhat traditional I made the bottom panel ( or kick-panel ) a few inches taller than the other horizontals. This is so a shiny metal plate can be fastened at the bottom or whatever, your choice!
Once you have the measurements recorded its time to cut and rip all of the boards. You will want to select from your lumber how your cuts should be taken from each piece. Meaning, try not waste any of that expensive wood and try to visually find all the flawed places so they can be cut out. Next, use the miter saw to cut each piece out. Take the time to label each piece for placement, direction, and also inside or outside. One last thing, BE SURE TO ADD AN EXTRA 2 INCHES TO THE HORIZONTAL BOARDS!!!!! This will guarantee you don't come up short on length from cutting the tongue of the joints!! Last, be sure to save all of the left over scraps.......they come in handy!
Now you can start ripping the piece widths. Set up your table saw to cut against the rip fence ( this is the adjustable guide that runs parallel with the saw blade) and cut your pieces. Being that some of the pieces have different widths, you will be moving the rip fence constantly. I would suggest taking your time and cutting all the like pieces at the same time before moving the fence again. This ensures that all like cuts are more consistent.
Step 4: Door Layout
Step 5: Cutting the GROOVES of the Tongue and Groove Joints
To get started first, take the thickness of your boards and subtract 3/4" or .75 from that number. Divide that number by 2 and you have the thickness of the material on both sides of the plywood panels. This number will be where you can set the rip fence frome the side of the blade closest to the fence. Be sure to crank the blade all the way up and measure the front and back of the blade. Do I really need to stress safety before cutting and making adjustments? If you didn't read the safety precautions.........your a fool! Now adjust the blade heighth down to about 1/2" . This is the depth that your tongues will fit into each groove. Take one of the scraps and run it through the saw and measure the distance between the cut and the outside edge. If the measurement is what you set the fence for, good! If not readjust the fence and try again. Now turn the scrap piece around and cut the other side of the groove. Again, check the measurement, but also check the width between each cut because this is where the plywood must ride. If your math was right everything should be kosher! Once the cut is ready, you can run all of the groove edges through one at a time. Word of advise, as you run a few pieces through try to check the diminsions of the cut ............. sometime the blade heighth can fall a bit while cutting!
Now that the main groove cuts are done, you can move the rip fence inward a blade's width and run the pieces through again. Wash, rinse, and repeat until all the wood is completely removed from the grooves! Consistency is important with this stuff because it makes for better fitting joints when everything comes together! Moving on!
Step 6: Cutting the TONGUES of the Tongue and Groove Joints
Please note that there are several ways to cut these type of joints. But, with limited resources doing it this way works just fine as long as you are careful.
First, set the rip fence 1/2" from the blade. This time measure from the fence to outside of the blade. Be sure to crank the blade all the way up to keep the fence square to the blade. Set the blade heighth the same measurement as you used on the first rip made on the groove. This was the math crap you did in the beginning! Now, take a scrap piece and rest it perpendicular to the blade on the miter gauge. Then, cut while keeping the board against the gauge and the rip fence. Flip the board over and run another pass. You can hold the scrap up to a groove piece and tell if it is right. It should be the right depth and should line up without sitting too high or low. Once your jig is set you can cut the tongues on one end of each board?
Once the first tongues are cut, you can cut the horizontal boards to length on the mitersaw. Measure the pieces from the inside edge of the tongue and mark the length. Now, add 1/2" and cut it off. This allows for the tongue. Now, you can cut the tongues on these ends.
All thats left is to remove the rest of the wood from the tongue. To do this just remove the rip fence from the saw. Now, pass each piece through the saw on the miter gauge until there is nothing but the tongue left!
The explainations for this stuff sound complicated but, once you have used the saw enough it becomes second nature and it gets much easier to visualize how the cuts need to be!
Step 7: Dry Fitting the Door Frame
First you will need to center 2 holes on every joint that touches the long verticals. Thee is no need to use this on the interior pieces because they don't really support any weight. I set mine up for joining 1 5/8" material then instead of using the clamp thing, I used a c-clamp to hold the jig onto the door. I set the end of the jig 1 3/4" from the seam line of the joint and drilled each one.
After all the pocket holes are drilled you can take some 2" screws and sink the frame together. This helps with final alignment while gluing and all!
With the frame screwed together you can easily take measurements for the plywood panels. My prefered method for plywood cutting is to oversize cut the panels on a factory edge then finish cut the small panels on the tablesaw. But, how ever you want to cut them is fine because all the dirty edges will be covered anyway! Another tip, be sure to pay attention to the grain of the plywood! I didn't and cut two panals with the grain flowing the wrong way! Had to recut..sasa frassa.......ring rong raza!¥€£€. Be careful is all I'm screaming! Uhh, now you can start putting it together!
Step 8: Gluing and Screwing Everything Together
Before I go any farther, let me just say that I skipped an important step when I built my door and wanted to give a heads up! When you glue two pieces of wood together the glue oozes out and gets everywhere. The glue I used will will will get into the grain of the wood!! If you are planning to stain and varnish the door don't let glue get on the exposed wood!! I spent a lot of extra time learning about sanding ..........allllllll day to make it right!! To correct this take some masking tape and run it on both sides of every seam.............even on the top and bottom edges! Then put some on the plywood where it gets close to a joint. Believe me, plywood is worse with glue! I think its because the veneers are so thin that the glue gets absorbed faster.
If your using the tape method do so now. I'll wait!! Tapping my foot.... . . . . . .! now use plenty of glue and get that thing together!
Step 9: Finishing the Little Things Before Moving On
This is optional stuff.
I wanted a peep hole on my door so had to install one. Because its so much hassle to look through the window 6 inches to the left! What I didn't think aboot was that the door has to to be at least an 1 1/4" thick where the peep is mounted..... So, I had to add some scraps on both sides of the door to make the plywood thicker. Then, using a paddle bit, drilled the hole and glued the scraps to the plywood. I used the peep as a vise by tightening it up!
The edges of my door looked plain to me so I decided to decorate a bit. I took some of the left over cuts of oak and ripped them down (using the rip fence ....of course!) to 1/4"x1/4". Then, I set the miter saw at a 45 degree angle and cut them to fit in the panels. This (to me) gave the door a nice effect! I used a brad nailer to do this but I guess it could be glued too.
I also had a lot of flaws in the wood that needed to be filled. So, I got some wood putty and filled all the littleholes and cracks. Then sanded them down.
Step 10: Door Handle, Lock, and Hinges
Once the hardware is installed you can get the door into place. Mine was a new install so I had to build the door jam to keep working. After getting the door jam done I was able to shim the door into place. You may have to true the door up to fit the jam.... .. .....I did! I used the belt sander to sand the sides slightly.
With the door shimmed into place mark where the hinges rest on the jam and recess the jam to accept them. With that done you can now screw the hinges in and hang the door. All thats left is to install the latch striker plate and deadbolt plate.
Step 11: Staining and Polyurethane
You can now put the door back up and re-install the locks and peep or whatever else you added. Now would be a good time to install the bottom door seal or sweep or whatever you call it!
Step 12: Finished Product!!
If you would like to see more of our tiny house visit [atinyhomecompanion.blogspot.com]!!! Or, you can read about us in Tiny House Magazine this month!