A Sliding Door #6: On the glue

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 11-08-2014 01:41 AM 1603 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Grooving the panels Part 6 of A Sliding Door series Part 7: Finish and Install »

Started the glue-up yesterday, finished it today.


I started by checking the fit for all the pieces. First up, the panels. And they don’t fit, which was expected. The groove has round ends while the panel is square:

A few ways to fix this, but I picked up the mortise chisel and mallet to square off the ends of the grooves. The panels fit now

The panel was a pretty tight fit, but I can address that later.

Glued tenons into the first rail

And then the rail into the stile

Was making sure the panel lined up, too. I had to run the panel through the sander once to get it to fit. Still pretty tight. And as you can see from the scratch pattern, not quite flat.

On the bottom rail, I glued both sets of tenons into the rail, but only the bottom set of tenons into the stile

All the rails glued and clamped. I took care to make sure they were clamped square and flat to the stile.

Left that overnight and carried on today:

Glued the tenons into the other end of the rails

Two passes through the sander got each panel to exactly 1/2”

And they fit just right

Now, test fit everything:

Remind myself to let the top tenon in the bottom rail float:

And then glue in all panels. Just a light bead in the grooves all round:

But no glue in the groove in the bottom rail. That needs to be able to slide a bit…

And the most stressful part of the process, gluing the entire set of mortises at once. Working quickly, no time to take pics until everything is together

A few hours later, it looks like a really big door:

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

4 comments so far

View doitforfun's profile


199 posts in 1663 days

#1 posted 11-08-2014 12:59 PM

That looks great. Very nice m&t work. I’m also making 5 panel doors. Instead of loose tenons, I cut a single 1/2×2” long tenon on each side of the rails. The stiles have a single 1/2×2” mortise that run the entire length. The panels are cut 4” too wide so they fit completely in the mortise. Only the rails are glued. Having a single mortise this way simplifies a lot of things and it takes a little less time I think to cut all the pieces. It’s also a little more forgiving because if something is out of alignment I can bash it with a hammer into its proper place. :-)

By the way, one of these doors is also a slider. It’s going to have glass panels that I haven’t yet purchased but the door is already hung. I didn’t have headroom for pocket hardware so I set a steel track in the floor and mortised in some trolly wheels (sheaves). There is an aluminum guide in the ceiling that holds the door upright.

I haven’t read the other sections of your blog yet but will right now. Great project and I plan to follow it through the end. I’ll post a picture of my door when I get a chance later.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View Don W's profile

Don W

18791 posts in 2623 days

#2 posted 11-08-2014 01:03 PM

I’m just catching up! Your moving right along Mark. It looks great.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View doitforfun's profile


199 posts in 1663 days

#3 posted 11-08-2014 06:36 PM

Here we go. Still a bunch of things left to do besides buy the glass. The door will close up to something I haven’t built yet, which will be the door stop and also have a mirror and a place for keys, etc.

With the door open (into the pocket). It’s next to the entry closet. I made that door also.

With the door closed.

A view of the top of the door. You don’t see the guide at all when the door is closed.

And finally, the guide with the door open. It’s an aluminum “c” channel 1/2” deep and 3/4” wide. The ceiling is only 7’ and the joists run perpendicular to the door which is the main reason I’m doing these crazy contraptions. I cut the drywall to embed the guide and plastered up to it to make it disappear into the ceiling as much as possible.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2587 days

#4 posted 11-11-2014 03:17 AM

Brian, those doors look good. Neat trick, embedding the track in the ceiling.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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