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Iím heading to a customerís home to discuss a new front door or full replacement, jamb snd all.....
Iím debating between Douglas Fir and African Mah. Preference and why?
Itís a half circle and she wants a price a few different ways....
1. Right now the door skin is plywood and itís delaminating. She wants to find out what it would cost to modify the door and cut in a half circle top glass or full circle.
2. I do not have a CNC, so Iíd have to do it the old fashioned way with a router.
2a. Since udding a router may be my only way of making the arched top, my thought is to glue a few boards together and route the arched top out of that and join the segments together via biscuits, dominos, spline or mortise and tenon.
3. Where could i ger weather stripping that will press into a groove.
4. Regarding measuring for the radius, my thought is as follows:
5. Put a piece of masking tape in a centralized location, so I have the length of chord (width of the door) mark my center at a point where arc starts, then measure to the center of the furthest (highest) point of the chord) lay it out in autocad, then offset my lines
6. Measurements for opening, the opening, I cannot think of any other way, than to pull the casing on the interior
7. The exterior is stone
Anything Iím missing?
I will stake out the negative opinion and state my personal advice is to sub this out to a person that knows all about building doors.
Everything comes together in a main entry door: Security, appearance, function, hardware, finish, durability, timing, and more.
It is basic to have a working knowledge of finishes, hardware, weatherstrip, IGU, muntins and their joinery, sealants, glues, exterior jambs, sills or thresholds, wood species and door construction details and methods.
You seem to have given the geometry some good thought, but that is the least of your worries.
Where is your previous experience and at what level?
Just because someone asks you does not mean you have to do it.
I have over 20 years as a custom cabinetmaker/furniture builder, but front doors are a new ballgame for me and a challenge Iím definitely up for, especially since this is now the third request in just the past year. What makes this one uniquely different and difficult for me is the arched top like your pic and then to add the mutton bars to boot (on the radius)
Iím looking for advice from those such as yourself, to help ďguideĒ me through the best practices on making these types of doors....not sub it out.
We all didnít become good at what we do over night, nor by not asking questions.....hence the reason iím asking for guidance.
My answer may not be much different than earlier. I don't mean any disrespect. I appreciate the jump in and swim method - it is one of my favorites. But it is not for everyone, and at some point it's too deep or the current too strong and you find things going out of control.....
If this came to me, I would encourage a completley new door and frame. Re-use the hinges, latch, and interior trim if possible. Patching onto an existing door means that if something pops 3' from your new work, you get the call, and you get to explain why it is going to cost more money - and time. There is not a clean way to join stile butts together if it is rail and stile (or frame and panel) or flush (as it sounds like).
That, and the cost will be about the same for the repair over new. I can spend days and days piddling around on historic doors, whereas a new unit gets run thru the shop on its normal pace.
One big advantage to a new unit is that it can arrive on site 100% ready to go in. Finished if you like. Tear out the old and set the new in one day, go home done, happy all around. Yes, it costs more (but you sell more!). I have sent out door slabs to nice older houses where the carpenter wants to fit and hang, and after 3 days of cutting, it is too small, and we get a call to cut down the jamb, or shim hinges, or worse, the owner calls and says they don't think he did a good job.....
Now curved muntins - that will be chapters 146 thru 182 in my How To Build A Door Book. It would take a half day of explaining with you in the shop, and it is distinctly tooling driven. More than a few router bits. That and every shop doing it is doing it differently. CNC is not required, by the way. We also only do divided light glass, and never tacky tacky muntins.
A shaper is fundamental to door making, even if it is the upper half only. And a curve head door, frame and perhaps trim? Start shopping. We have two shapers for a two man shop, and over $16K in tooling.
Some people get offended when others that think complex knowledge can be handed over in a few minutes of typing. I once had a woodworker ask me to teach him to build curved stairs - he had an afternoon free and could pay me for two hours work. I spent two hours talking about the good ol' days and petting his dog, and invoiced him. I spent years learning it. I still take huge risks building them. I'll learn something new on the next one. While I do not mind sharing my knowledge when it is well received, it is not simple stuff. Curved muntins? I learn that every time I do it. And will again.
Since we cannot do the door book here today, I can back out a bit and say the two most important things you need are a good mechanical mind, and aggressive, multi faceted problem solving. You may well have both since you have long experience. If you are nearby, come on by one Saturday, bring some good beer, and I'll tell you all about curved muntins and answer your questions. I'll also talk about them good ol' days a bit.
Doug Fir has no rot resistance. The common African Mahogany other than Sapele is difficult to work. Very hard, squirrely grain that typically tears out. Spanish cedar or SA mahogany is a better choice.
Door is made of plywood. Stop wasting everyone's time and build a new one properly.
Door is delaminating. glue it back together with epoxy. No warranty.
Door is delaminating. Glue it back together with epoxy. Modify it with complicated glass work. No warranty.
You could spray some of the blue foam that we use around windows and door jambs. If you choose to go down that rabbit hole.
Build a new door.There are plenty of cutters available for routers that will allow you to make such a door. In order to be accurate and safe we use shapers with power feeds.
Making these type of doors is a risky proposition. They either work well for a decade or for 6 months. Then you start trying to fix them.
We've all taken on projects that are sink or swim. Be prepared to lose a bit of time and money on this first door. Then decide whether its worth it to make another one. That's how we all learn.
First off you will need a good 8ft jointer, you can't build a straight door without straight material. You maybe be able to get 1 3/4 " door out of 8/4 in the rough but I would figure on 10/4 to be sure. The radius is going to be time consuming but can always be made up as shown (in two peices, joined top center. most likely doweled) . So lets get our list started:
This is just my opinion but I think that any millworker that truely makes his money from this sort of custom woodworking and has been successful at it will tell you the same thing. Making custom doors is an expensive time consuming practice and you need to have a customer that knows that and is willing to PAY for your services.