How to attach panel to door jambs

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Forum topic by Vjeko posted 01-30-2009 10:44 PM 1358 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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135 posts in 3648 days

01-30-2009 10:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining

I’m starting my first project – a small built-in (closing off an area cca. 1m2 surrounded by
3 brick walls in U shape). The built-in area ceiling is sloping upwards towards the door opening.

I’ll ask questions step by step and put all the info / what I’ve learned together
in a project and make it available for other beginners like me.

I want to do everything as simple as possible and have as little wooden carcass(want to
use the walls as carcass to avoid problems with moisture).

To start with, I will mill and scribe the door jambs. They will be screwed to the
brick walls at the door opening (I willl later make the door and mount
using euro style hinges).

I want to mount a hardwood panel to the outside of the door jambs above the door to close the
door opening. What are good/elegant ways to do that and to avoid wood movement problems ?

My initial beginner woodworker brainstorming revealed (not sure if any of these are OK ;) ):
- threaded inserts in wood panel/screws through jambs from inside builtin
- pocket screws through jambs from inside builtin into wood panel (but wood can’t move)
- blocks of wood screwed to door jambs, screws through blocks into wood panel (small slot in blocks)

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

6 replies so far

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 01-31-2009 02:45 PM

Not sure i follow but try making a dado if possible you might want to post pics


View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3721 days

#2 posted 01-31-2009 03:28 PM

If I understand what you intend to do, I would make it like a frame and panel door. Like noknot said, cut the dado in the frame and “float” the panel. The other option is to use hardwood ply, you don’t have to worry about wood movement then.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Vjeko's profile


135 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 01-31-2009 04:18 PM

Thanks for the info. Looks like I over did it with words. Let me try a shorter version:
For the door entry, a door is hung on one door jamb (hopefully “jamb” is the
correct word for the vertical piece of wood on which the door is hung).
This door jamb is screwed to the brick wall. the other door jamb (onto which the door closes)
is also screwed to the other wall of the entry i.e. there is no door frame/just two vertical pieces of wood.
The door will be hung on euro hinges and sit on the outside /covering the door jambs.
Let’s say the door jambs are cca 10-15cm wide and 3cm thick and as high as the door entry.
Now, the door doesn’t cover the whole door entry – I still need to cover
a small area above the door (ceiling slopes/is not straight etc) – how
do I mount this horizontal wood panel above the door to the door jambs
(this panel will then be in line with the door when it is closed and may have a lip
at the top door edge) ?

BTW – am I doing something crazy here (without the door frame) – thought
it was easier this way ?

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

View SteveB's profile


57 posts in 4291 days

#4 posted 01-31-2009 09:12 PM

What you want to do is the same as a frameless cabinet. Here’s how I would do it:

  • Build a jamb system that fits the opening—that’s two vertical jambs and a horizontal jamb at the top. Use whatever joinery you like at the corners, since they’ll be hidden and screwed to walls and ceiling. I would make butt joints reinforced with biscuits.
  • Attach the door with European hidden hinges. Use one every 18 inches or so, since this door will be heavier than a typical cabinet door.
  • Attach the top panel with cleats—a strip of wood screwed to the back of the panel, then screwed sideways to the jamb.

If you make the top panel from plywood, you’ll have no problems with it changing size.

-- Steve B - New Life Home Improvement

View Vjeko's profile


135 posts in 3648 days

#5 posted 02-01-2009 02:03 PM

Little knowledge leads to a lot of wagging of tongue – hope you guys don’t get fed up of me ;)
The brick walls on which I need to screw the jambs are not perfectly vertical, so I would need to do some
scribing to get a jamb system to fit. Since I haven’t built anything like this before (and haven’t done any scribing) I thought it would be easier to scribe the two vertical jambs , screw them to the walls and fit the horizontal one above the door. If this is completely “wrong” please lead me away from this path ;) (I’m pretty stubborn when I get onto a certain path).

Also I’ve got no biscuit joiner (have routers and saw). The other thing is that the ceiling is concrete and it is the roof structure(some 10cm thick), so call me paranoid but I’m a bit afraid to drill holes in it (water/cracks are very tricky critters – they and I don’t mix together very well)

I would prefer the panel to be out of wood or to look similar to the door (at the moment I was planning rails/stiles with loose tenon joinery and plywood veneer panel). Would the cleat solution work for this
(I presume the cleats are large enough to take 2 screws to be fixed to the panel and then one screw into each jamb ?)

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

View Vjeko's profile


135 posts in 3648 days

#6 posted 02-04-2009 04:42 PM

I’ve re-read what you guys wrote and think I’m on my way now, just was not clear on
dado/floating panel (in case I go for a wood panel) , does this basically mean making the panel slightly short of depth of dados and holding it in place with one screw or dowel on each side through the jambs (that’s my understanding of “floating”) ?

I was searching about floating panel and have seen “pin” mentioned and wasn’t sure what were the options ?

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

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