Introduction: Front Entrance Upgrade

The DESIGN IN FULL: This was supposed to be halfway into this instructable, i messed up somewhere.

Heres a little info on the Brackets that make this whole setup work. 2 years ago an Antique dealer contacted me to repair one bracket that had a corbel that had fallen off. So i got home, brought it in the shop and then looked at it and thought about the imagination and skill it took to design and create it. It was a 200+ year old piece of art. So i repaired it. I was about to drive to drop it off the next day, and before my hand reached the door, i stopped and had a quick thought. Theres no copyright on this thing, so i can duplicate it exactly. I took the whole bracket, laid it on plywood, and drew a linear outline of the whole thing and the Corbel. It was just an outline. Now what? I took the measurements of the specific detailing that made the bracket itself. The middle of the bracket is inset giving it a recessed detail. So i measured that. The whole thing was originally made using 1 and 5/8 finished stock, i used 1 and 1/2, again, out of a 2x6. This was wide enough to account for the curving profile of the sides. Made 2 of them, got that part done.

The corbels were a whole different world of duplication. All i had was a 2-D reference. I took a cube of Cherry and started turning it. starting from the bottom of the corbel, i measured the distances between each bead and contour, all the while looking at the outline drawn with a permanent marker. Once i got to the bell-shaped part of it, then it became a real "turning point" in the duplication. The bottom of it was duplicated almost perfectly. That took a half hour. If it messed up this bell shape, its all over. Proportionally it wouldn't have looked right if i messed it up and then shaved it down to something that tried to look like the original. I very carefully shaped the outer and then the inner part of that bell shape. Then the detailing to the tip, or point of it. After doing the first 2/3's that couldn't be messed up either ! So finally after an hour and 20 minutes i had an almost exact duplicate of the original. SWEET!.

Well, thats only one of them. You need two of these. So i waited until the next day because my finger tips were sore from working so hard holding the tools at certain angles etc non-stop. The last time i used a Lathe was in 1988, in High School. I was really not so sure i'd be able to even duplicate the duplicate i just made. Well, i went at it. It still took just over 40 minutes, but i was faster and everything was just about perfectly matched until i got to the point, or Spire, of the corbel. The scalloped section near the tip on both corbels are slightly off, only noticeable by me. I had no immediate use for the brackets, they ended up under one of my worktables for the next year and a half until now. I finally was at the stage where i could make this front entrance and started making it to duplicate the traditional entrance i made on the side entrance of the house. About 3 hours into starting it, i remembered .. hey wait.. i made those brackets, i can finally use them ! I was so glad i had them and felt dumb i forgot i made them, I've made over a hundred items of furniture since i made them. The KEY here in this project is to properly proportion all of the parts that make up the trim, and overall entrance detail. This whole entrance was thought out, and free-hand designed, one stage at a time. No blueprints. Sometimes its easier to do it that way, IF you are well versed in construction. This whole thing took 3 days, of me also taking my time, to complete.

Not sure how its gonna look? Step back 20 feet and look at it... i did that a lot and it ended up looking proper in the end. Save scrap wood, it can be used for small projects like this. Use a trim stapler instead of thin nails in a trim nailer. Trim doesnt come apart that way. Moisture and heat and cold contract around a regular trim nail, either backing it out, or slowly loosening it. Staple some pieces of wood together and see how difficult it is to take apart. Youll be surprised...

Good luck, and don't ever think you can't do it. With the right amount of interest youll learn and do everything. Just like learning to read, because you so wanted to learn how to read like everyone else. The interest is the Key.

Step 1: Framing

Heres where proportioning is a key element in design. The width and height of the roof, in relation to the width and height of the door. Cut the siding back all the way around the door. The first step was adding two planks on either side of the door. 2x10's. Size of Crown moulding was determined after the roof was put on.

Step 2:

Step 3: Sub Framing

This is the stage where I'm adding sub-framing for the trim. Aside from regular framing, this particular application of sub framing requires accuracy. That accuracy can exponentially help you or make you completely frustrated as to why its so hard to join seams. Make sure everything is strong enough in relation to what its attached to.

Step 4:

Front view

Step 5:

In my case, this design was working, and i could see it from looking at it periodically at different angles

Step 6:

A door is a door. Well not really, especially if you designed and built it yourself. Its the first and most important part of what someone sees when they come to your house. A presentable entry way. Most woodworkers have tenacity in their outlook on completing something that they want to make. This door would've cost at the least around $1K to buy anywhere else, for what it is. Its all about how you want to divide or make time for something like this.

Step 7:

We'll get to the steps eventually. I just needed a base that wouldn't move, to start with. A nice 600 lb chunk of granite or stone will do that for you

Step 8: Knock Knock

Put in a peephole, put some side lights up, hang some flowers on your door. Make some shadow boxes on the vertical planks, the possibilities are endless, and completely up to your imagination.