Picture of How I build interior doors
My house, like the majority of houses built in the US over the last 50 or so years, has cheapo hollow core interior doors. (this particular house was on such a tight budget that even one of the exterior doors is hollow core). My son and I have been working room by room to upgrade the lighting, electrical and insulation, I guess the insulation cannot be considered an upgrade, since the house had none. We have also been ripping off  and replacing the drywall in part to add insulation and to get rid of the horrible texturing job. After upgrading one of the bedrooms I wanted to change the on-suite  bathroom and walk-in closet doors. The doors are 2'2" x 6'8" and we wanted to use single light door with obscure plastic. After being quoted $500.00 per door with a 2 month delivery date, I decided to make them myself. I recently acquired, for free, about 2,000 board feet of various hardwoods from a collector that had passed away. And out of that I selected three 2" x 14" x 7' planks of Philippine mahogany (also known as Luan).  I happen to be making 2 identical doors.

Wood for styles and rails (calculate this based on the size and number of doors).
(style refers to the vertical pieces, rails mean the horizontal pieces)
Dowels for the joints (in my case I used 8 1/2" x 3" per door)
Blue painters tape
2 part epoxy resin glue and microfiber thickener.

Warning this method of making doors uses sloppy fit dowels to compensate for a large degree of misalignment, based on my not having a horizontal drill press to properly align the holes. you must use a glue that gets its strength from a wide glue line, as far as I know epoxy is the only way to accomplish this. using any other kind of glue will result in failure.

Tools required:
Table Saw
Chop saw or radial arm saw
Sander (I prefer a DA but a belt sander in experienced hands will do)
Framing square
Drill press (big enough to fit you longest rail on end). I think you might be able to get away with using a hand drill with this sloppy fit system.
4 clamps (wide enough to clamp the width of the door)
mallet (to help align the door, when gluing up)
hammer and 1" chisel (to mortise the hinges)
Lock boring jig, also called a lock installation kit (Harbor Freight about $10.00)
Boat builders slick (optional, I use it because its one of my favorite tools)

elking (author) 5 months ago

I used Tap Plastics translucent acrylic sheet "pearl". For the stops (that hold the plastic sheet) I used 1/2 x 1/2 strips of mahogany. I see if I can find a picture of the stops.

Thank you so much for your prompt response. A picture would be great. Thanks again

The doors themselves look great. I am working on a project for my house that would need a custom size door as well. The instructions on the door look great, but you didn't mention how you installed the frosted plastic, or where it came from. Any help in this regard would be great!!!

elking (author) 1 year ago
Mortise and tenon vs dowel joint, a debate that one can't win. Ultimately either one is suitable for building interior doors. Dowels having slightly less strength. My father and I built all the (14) interior Honduras mahogany panel doors for my tugboat, with dowel joints (not so great tugboat instructable here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-convert-a-tugboat-to-live-aboard-Part-1/ ). The doors on the tug suffered a lot more abuse than any interior house door with the boat rocking and rolling, causing the doors to slam frequently, 12 years, and the doors still look like new.
mmorlan621 year ago
I'm curious; why the use of butt joints and dowels when you clearly have the ability to cut rabbet/tenon joints? Any concerns about these solid-core doors pulling apart over time?
Obviously you know what you are doing, but I would suggest you make a 1/2 inch domino joiner, in this case more of a tenon /slot cutter.
What a great gift to have so much "free" wood.
Damutsch1 year ago
Brilliant Job, well done!