How thick should a cedar screen door be?

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 06-15-2010 05:02 PM 6762 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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779 posts in 2426 days

06-15-2010 05:02 PM

Hello all… I’ve been quietly collecting wood working tools for the past six months. While my barn’s not wired up for 240v yet, I can use of my toys and I’m ready for my first project: a wooden screen door for the mud room. I like this door that I randomly stumbled across.

I bought some 2×6 cedar. It’s beautiful and expensive (IMO).

I plan to tenon the joints. How thick should it be? 1”?

I’d sure hate to waste 1/2” or so of this wood, so I think I’d like to resaw it and then plane it. I have a small 10” band saw (Rikon) which I’m pretty sure handles 6” boards. So, if 1” is the target size, would I take 3/8 of an inch off and then plane it the rest of the way? I’d save the thin pieces … surely I can find a use for them.

Thank you!

9 replies so far

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2622 days

#1 posted 06-15-2010 05:14 PM

Usually, they are an 1 1/8” to 1 1/4 thick.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3119 days

#2 posted 06-15-2010 05:19 PM

A beautiful, wooden door makes a warm, inviting entrance to any home. And it isn’t as difficult to build as you might think. It also doesn’t take all that much wood.

We made this door out of cedar with pinned mortise and tenon joinery,so it’s not only beautiful, but it’s strong and it will last a very long time.

CONSTRUCTION: The Handcrafted Door is 80”high x 32” wide x 1-1/8” thick. We built our door out of 2×6and 2×8 cedar. The stiles and rails are joined using a form of mortise and tenon joinery called drawbore joinery.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


779 posts in 2426 days

#3 posted 06-15-2010 05:24 PM

Oh. That’s good news. So I don’t have to remove that much material, afterall.

Do I need to look for a certain type of wood in the dowel?

Thanks for the help, guys.

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

449 posts in 2427 days

#4 posted 06-15-2010 05:30 PM

1 1/4” thickness makes a nice door. It feels much nicer than the thinner ones.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 06-15-2010 05:32 PM

I’ve made them from material as thin as 3/4” but a thicker door makes a stronger door if built properly.

-- Custom furniture

View toddbeaulieu's profile


779 posts in 2426 days

#6 posted 06-15-2010 06:44 PM

After searching for cedar dowels, it seems they don’t readily exist.

I ordered a lei-neilsen dowel plate. never even heard of such a thing, but it looks cool. Now I’ll be able to make the mortise dowels out of the exact material.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2529 days

#7 posted 06-16-2010 06:14 AM

I have the plans for this door. I’m planning on making two of them this summer. As for the dowels, I don’t think the material for them is all that critical. I am using oak dowels for my doors.
I’m reworking my band saw to resaw 6” x 6” cedar beams and will plane to 1 1/2” thickness. If you need instructions on the draw bore joinery, PM me and I will be glad to share with you. Also, since I have small grand children running in and out all summer, I will use raised panels for the bottom.
Good luck on your screen doors. Rand

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2405 days

#8 posted 06-20-2010 08:22 AM

Todd, all our screen doors are 1 1/8” thick for door units 6/8 to 7/0 anything above 7/0 is 1 3/4” thick
all joints are dowelled and warantied for 5 years
take it from the door dude…

View toddbeaulieu's profile


779 posts in 2426 days

#9 posted 06-21-2010 10:41 PM

Hi all. While I wait for my wood to acclimate, I’ve been practicing some of the individual skills required for the project. My original plan was for through mortises. I have a mortising press. I’m surprised by how unscientific that drilling. The clamp down fence is pretty lame, IMO. (Jet).

I tried the tennon by hand. Wow. Do I stink. I don’t have 240V for my great new cabinet saw. I tried cutting it by hand. Just plain terrible. I’ll try it with the band saw.

I’m now thinking of blind tenons. What a shame. I love the look of our old interior doors in the house.

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