Workshop Interior Doors #5: the glue-ups

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 02-12-2013 07:07 PM 2556 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: the parts go together Part 5 of Workshop Interior Doors series Part 6: the large door »

Now that the parts of the doors are ready for gluing up there are a couple things to do first.

Because the tops of the doors will have plexiglass panels as “windows” I need to take off one side of the groove I made. This will allow the window to sit in from one side. I don’t want to glue the plexi window in the door just in case it gets broken sometime and trapped in there. So I will take off half of the wood and then put the plexi in and fill in around the edges with small wood strips.

Hard to explain, but I want to get to this:

And I’m starting with this:

So I will put the plexi in and trap it like this with the small strips:

To get rid of the extra piece (the one side of the groove) I use my router table. First I mark the starting and stopping point of the place where the window will sit and then take off the wood with a straight bit in my router. I use two passes, running my door stiles and rails along a fence and taking off the wood just where the openings will be.

If there is anything you don’t understand, please don’t hesitate to ask me for clarification. Some of these steps are hard to explain in writing

The other thing I need to do is to finish my panel pieces. Because they are solid wood, they will be expanding and shrinking with the seasons and therefore need to be coated independently of the doors. As I said previously I would not use these 3” pieces again for this application. A piece of plywood would be much easier, plus it does not change size and could therefore be glued into the doors. I put five coats of wipe-on polyurethane on all these darn pieces.

The first glue up is gluing one side only, so the four rails (horizontal pieces) are glued into one side stile (vertical piece):

I do add the other stile as well when I glue up but without glue on that side, this keeps the door aligned well while the glue dries on the one side:

Now that the door is half glued, I have slots for the panel pieces to fit into:

I slide the finished pieces in, one at a time from the unglued end:

Then I can glue the other stile on and pull the door together with clamps:

Here’s just one of the four doors drying:

After the glue is dried I run my orbital sander over the door rails and stiles. When YOU do this, pay attention and do not fall off the edge of the door rail, or you will take off some of the poly that took so long to apply!!!:

Okay we are getting there, next time, gluing the big door and adding hinges…

-- ~Julie~

5 comments so far

View unisaw2's profile


209 posts in 3061 days

#1 posted 02-12-2013 08:11 PM

Great series, very enjoyable.

I like knotty pine also, lots of character, great for indoor projects.
Do you think the 7/8” thickness is enough to keep the doors straight?

Can’t wait to see them up, and what hardware you use.

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3060 days

#2 posted 02-13-2013 12:00 AM

I do think the 7/8” will be fine (it was as thick as I could go with the stock available to me) especially because of the tenons and mortises. Now, that said, having plywood as panels would have made it stronger because they would be glued in. This isn’t a house either, it’s a garage and workshop, but I will definitely report if the doors warp. As you can see from the last photo, I’m honest!

-- ~Julie~

View hjt's profile


845 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 02-13-2013 04:10 AM

Very good, Julie. I too like the look of the tongue and groove knotty pine.

-- Harold

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2506 days

#4 posted 02-13-2013 04:57 AM

Well Julie … I too have to agree that the knotty panels look very attractive, but I understand your concerns and hope these worries won’t come back to haunt you later. All I can truthfully say is that these doors are going to look totally awesome!!

Thanks for the detailed blogging too. It’s a treat to follow along even though I’m carpentry-challenged!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3360 days

#5 posted 02-13-2013 10:13 PM

Step by step. It’s coming along extremely well Julie. Warpage is a possibility as you said, but so is no warpage. These are going to look great when they are mounted up.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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