Introduction: Home Made Hardwood Door and Ledgestone Entry
So apologies in advance - when I originally did this project a few years ago I failed to take some initial pictures of the build.
So to set the scene, I was most unhappy with our current front door and entrance to the house.
I went through all the usual options i.e. looking at factory made doors etc but as it turns out my house has a non-standard door frame for Australian houses... it's 30mm skinner and ~200mm higher. Having a custom door made would have cost me easily upwards of $2000 even for a basic sturdy door.
To further enhance the front entry I decided to cover the existing wooden and brick entrance with some pretty ledgestone.
Again apologies if I dont have all the steps document.
Here we go
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Step 1: Laying the Foundation
Firstly this was the first door I ever attempted and everything was done in my garage using pretty much standard electrical hand tools.
At the time I had just had Australian Jarrah flooring laid in the house to replace the horrible carpet in our first house.
Thankfully I had some lenghts of flooring timber already in the garage (complete with tongue and groove) I knew I didnt have enough but luckily my friend who did the timber floors always ends up with various cuts of hardwood laying around so I managed to collect enough to cover the job.
So I started with a sheet of Marine Plywood that I cut to the right size (the dimensions of the frame i the thickness of the boards (12mm) around the whole thing (so I could frame it with jarrah too)
To cut it to size all I used was a standard drop saw.
After cutting the sheet to size I cut the groove away from the first board and top nailed that to the plywood (note at every step I used flooring glue to secure the timber to the plywood)
After setting the first board I used what australians call a 'secret nailer' basically it's a nail gun that fires small nails at a approx 45 degree angle through the tongue of the timber.
Using one of these means the end result is that no nails are seen except for the first and end piece that are top nailed.
The picture attached is when I had laid a fair few boards and cut the hole where the dual glazed glass was supposed to go.
Step 2: Trimming Off the Excess and Changing Up the Inside
Once the external timber had been laid I cut the top and bottom to size (to accomodate inlaying jarrah inside it.
I just cut it using a circular saw and did a test fitting of the door handle and timber to frame the window.
Once it was cut I flipped the door around, at this stage there was a small change of plan... after looking at it I decided that having the same look on the inside was not going to match what we had in mind for the inside of the house..
After fitting jarrah edges around the window frame and around the door. After test fitting everything I ended up buying a sheet of oak and cut it to size and attached it (once the sides had been inlayed).
Step 3: Tidying Up the Inside
After fitting the sheet around everything I painted the oak white and left a jarrah contrast around everything.
Step 4: Oiling
So after making sure that I had a timber bead in the middle of frame I filled in any minute gaps between the joins and sanded everything down.
Several coats of oil went into the timber and it soaked it in like a rag.. I lost count on the number of coats but lets just say it was a lot.
Once everything was coated and painted I had a glazier cut me two pieces of safety glass that could be seated both sides of the inner bead of the frame.
I siliconed the window in (use tape on the glass edges for a perfect result. Given it's double glazed I added so dessicant at the bottom between the panes which so far has stopped any moisture appearing between the panes of glass.
Step 5: Door Install and Adding Ledgestone Around the Frame.
Firstly this door is heavy... it took 2 people to move it and I had to buy commercial ball bearing hinges to hold it up.
Once the door was in I covered the outside of the entrance with a cement sheet and started laying the ledgestone.
After running an initial row that I knew was leve I started to lay approximately 3 rows of stone until I was done.
It's probably worth noting that using a small grinder with a ceramic cutting disc is perfect.. Corners are difficult but I chose to use a hashing pattern where both sides of the tiles overlap.
I hope you all enjoy the end result and feel comfortable trying to make a door yourself :)
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