Solid core door! What's it good for?

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Forum topic by MT_Stringer posted 05-17-2012 11:46 PM 3302 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2312 posts in 2078 days

05-17-2012 11:46 PM

Like the title says, I found a guy with three solid core commercial doors he wants to give away. They are 3×9 footers.

I plan to make a workbench out of part of one.

My question is what can I do with the others? I don’t want to be greedy but if I can recycle them, I will most likely bring all three home. I called a friend to ask if he wants one, but haven’t heard back from him.

I have at my disposal a 10 inch table saw, planer, and a skill saw that I can use to cut them into smaller pieces. Space in my garage is limited so ripping them into 12 inch wide widths might be a good option. Or…

So, a little brainstorming if you don’t mind…

Solid core doors…what are they good for? :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

17 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1485 posts in 1208 days

#1 posted 05-17-2012 11:50 PM

I made a desk top out of one about 25 years ago. It’s still in use.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Don W's profile

Don W

16029 posts in 1415 days

#2 posted 05-18-2012 12:13 AM

glue 2 or 3 together to make a heavier and thicker work bench.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

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2312 posts in 2078 days

#3 posted 05-18-2012 12:15 AM

I have no idea what type of wood the doors are constructed out of.
Is it fair to say the inner portion of the door will be pine of some sorts? I guess what concerns me is I will wind up with something that is of no use if I cut it up.

Guess I will find out tomorrow. I am thinking about taking my saw and rough cut one door that I will use for the work bench so I can see what’s inside.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Don W's profile

Don W

16029 posts in 1415 days

#4 posted 05-18-2012 12:27 AM

some of the solid core doors are still veneered, so you may not know whats inside. Worst case is you’d have to edge it like you would plywood.

Edit: Commercial doors especially (talking about veneered)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View adaughhetee's profile


104 posts in 1530 days

#5 posted 05-18-2012 03:46 AM

Router table top? Table saw out-feed?

View Vrtigo1's profile


433 posts in 1839 days

#6 posted 05-18-2012 01:06 PM

I used two to create work surfaces and that has worked out really well. One thing I would be wary of is planing them. I have always gone by the saying unless its solid wood it doesn’t go through the jointer or planer but maybe someone will correct me on this.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6461 posts in 2276 days

#7 posted 05-18-2012 02:00 PM

Work tables and benches and desk tops are what I’ve used them for. Mine were all cored with MDF. Heavy!!!!
Another idea would be to make an assembly table and set of assembly rails.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View joebloe's profile


157 posts in 1141 days

#8 posted 05-18-2012 02:19 PM

Some solid core doors the core is partical board.If you cut them you will need to cap them off and seal .

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1698 days

#9 posted 05-18-2012 02:22 PM

“Solid core door” is a little misleading. It means no big air spaces. (Some hollow core doors are eggcrate construction and the “crate” part is corrugated paper.) A solid core door, heavy like you can imagine it is solid wood, may well be particle board. I have seen some where the particle board is way less dense in the middle but typical close to the surface.

Think what doors are designed to do: Stay flat and true. They don’t have to have any particular stiffness past that requirement. Therefore, spanning a couple of file cabinets, they’re great. Work bench top supported by a framework, super. Shelves, not as worthy as their thickness would suggest.

Still, if you take them home, you cannot be accused of hoarding. They have uses. I have some doors that surround my compressor, as noise abatement. (Hollow core; I’m no Charles Atlas.) Another one is the tabletop on which my vacuum bag lives.

If you rip these, I’d suggest a good sharp blade in your skilsaw, clamped straightedge, and masking tape on the cut line to prevent tearout on the top.

I think my brainstorm has degenerated into harmless wind.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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2312 posts in 2078 days

#10 posted 05-18-2012 03:06 PM

Thanks for the brainstormin’ session. I am heading out to pick them up. Sometimes free isn’t all it is made out to be because the Houston area Woodcraft store is just off the beaten trail I will be following! :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View John's Woodshop's profile

John's Woodshop

347 posts in 2864 days

#11 posted 05-18-2012 03:07 PM

I have used Solid Core Doors for Bench tops, Shop Counter tops, Outfeed Table, Assembly Table. There are several shop uses for them.

-- John -- Racine, WI -- Woodworking..."It's not just a Hobby, it's an Adventure"

View EEngineer's profile


950 posts in 2460 days

#12 posted 05-18-2012 03:26 PM

I made a lathe stand out of one piece of folding solid core doors (here).

A second piece I intend to use as a miter saw bench later this summer after I get the garage rewired.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View helluvawreck's profile


16667 posts in 1714 days

#13 posted 05-18-2012 03:42 PM

I have made a medium sized conference/worktable for an office out of one. You can obviously use them for any sort of top.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Tennessee's profile


1753 posts in 1362 days

#14 posted 05-18-2012 05:48 PM

My radial arm saw table is a solid door. Been on there for years.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 1090 days

#15 posted 05-18-2012 08:22 PM

I dare say you could build just about anything with solidcore doors. Like the rest, I’ve used them for workbench tops and desk tops. They can be used vertically as well as table legs or supports. Not familiar with commercial doors but I’m guessing it’s MDF thru and thru with some kind of veneer on top, probabliy almost an 1/8” thick?

Hang on to the stuff. As you build your workbench, the ideas should start flowing…

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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