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bpress54 03-04-2012 06:32 PM

Exterior door construction
I want to build an exterior door for my house; what's the best type of wood to use for this? Thanx

joecaption 03-04-2012 06:34 PM

And what tools do you own to build one.
Do you have a shaper?

bpress54 03-04-2012 06:42 PM

exterior door construction
table saw, router, shaper, radial saw, jointer, planer, mortising machine, oscillating spindle sander, belt sander, disc sander, bandsaw, chisels, marking gauges (regular and mortising), biscuit joiner, hammers, drills, clamps, pocket hole jig, miter saw...

bpress54 03-04-2012 06:56 PM

exterior door construction
I don't need advice on what tools to use or how to build the door, if I did I would have asked those questions. I just want to know what people think is the best type of wood to use...

Joe Carola 03-04-2012 07:41 PM


Originally Posted by bpress54
I don't need advice on what tools to use or how to build the door, if I did I would have asked those questions. I just want to know what people think is the best type of wood to use...

Call a lumberyard and ask them what the exterior prehung doors they sell are made of.

jaydevries 03-04-2012 07:47 PM

i have installed a lot of mahogany and a few oak. all oak were protected under a covered porch. the mahogany doors were between the sizes of 3'x7' up to 4'x10' full light and were painted with full ex poser to elements.

also study how the grains are laid at the door stiles so the door stay true

joecaption 03-04-2012 07:59 PM
Douglas Fir also will work if it's just a cheap door your looking for.
Sorry for asking a question.
Any idea on how many first time DIY's come on here asking questions like yours that have never built anything before and own a sander and a hammer and think there going to save money by building something like this there self.
No one here knows you or what you can do so we have to ask questions.

bpress54 03-04-2012 08:06 PM

Exterior door construction
Understandable...I guess I should have clarified that I have years of cabinetmaking experience, but haven't attempted an exterior door. I want to make it because I don't like what's available or the ones I do like are too expensive. I want it to be secure and durable. I'd also like to put glass in it. So I guess mahogany 2x stock??

joecaption 03-04-2012 08:14 PM

A standard ext. door is 1-3/4.

jaydevries 03-04-2012 08:16 PM

umm i say no 2x material you need to study how these doors are made or you will be dragging and warping in a few years have seen it before.

i will not even make them just for the fact of my time involved and material cost "since not buying high volume" when i can call a door manufacture and they can make it and sell to me cheaper then the time i have into it and then if i do have a failure it is on them

jaydevries 03-04-2012 08:25 PM

being a cabinet maker how many door panels have you made using 1x6 or larger for a door panel and why do you not do that

bpress54 03-04-2012 08:44 PM

exterior door construction
I've made dozens of doors out of 1x, but it's not thick enough for an exterior door. Minimum thickness for exterior door is 1.375"; mainly because that's what locksets are set up for, and also because it's not strong enough. Like I said, I'm NOT looking for advice on technique, only on material.

woodworkbykirk 03-04-2012 08:49 PM

most of the wood entry doors i see are oak or cedar, and the odd cherry one which was installed in a house we did a major reno on in 05'. you need a species that is very stable and can withstand the weather even with multiple coats of finish on it. memory serves correct most doors get upwards of 10 coats of clear coat for a durable finish

the biggest problem ive seen with wood entry doors is expansion and contraction caused by relative humidity.. you need to give a little more space between the frame and the door to allow for it to expand, with this in mind you have to go to a larger door stop for the weather stripping to be effective.. otherwise the door will get stuck in the opening and require planing if it swells shut.. and on the other end of things you want to avoid having wind and rain blowing inside

bpress54 03-04-2012 08:49 PM

If a door is properly made, using mortise and tenon construction, it will not warp, if the hinges are large enough and properly mounted, the door will not drag. The reason I'm asking is because I'm trying to figure out what wood has the best weather resistance and durability. Again, most of my experience is with interior cabinetry and doors, so I've used oak, poplar, maple, cherry, pine, walnut, etc.

princelake 03-04-2012 08:49 PM

i have a solid wood door and its made out of solid cedar, dont think its the "standard"

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