Making a Storm Door - How to install glass?

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Forum topic by bgrady posted 11-11-2014 09:17 PM 653 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 712 days

11-11-2014 09:17 PM

I’m new here and I first want to say that I really enjoy this website and all the information on it. I’m just starting to get into woodworking and I think I’m hooked. So far I’ve built some patio furniture and a bed and now I have really challenged myself on my current storm door project.

The old storm door recently swung open and broke at the joints. It’s an odd size so I figured making a new one would be a good challenge and a fun project and I was right. After doing some research I decided on poplar because it will be painted and poplar is inexpensive so I could afford to buy extra in case I made any mistakes. I also decided to use a Kreg jig to assemble the door.

The finished door will be 1 1/2” thick. Following is the design that is roughly to scale:

I arbitrarily decided to use a 1/4” oak panel for the bottom (between the bottom rail and glass) and I’m using wood casing to frame the panels. I don’t have the tools to make raised paneling so I figured having a larger “frame” around the panels will make it look fancy enough. I hope it doesn’t look stupid. I cut 1/4” notches (actually about 9/32”) to hold the panels. I enjoyed cutting the notches on the table saw so I proceeded to cut the same sized notch to give me the option to hold the glass on the top part of the door.

I will be installing one piece of glass (my drawing has fake muntins) and I have no idea of the best way to install it into the door. I heard people usually rabbet the area that will hold the glass but I don’t have door making router bits. I could rabbet it but I think it will look odd on one side.

Finally my question(s): Can I install 1/8” glass directly into the notches in the door? If I go that route I would jam some putty into the notches to hold it tight. I also would not plug the screw holes in the top rail so I could replace the glass if it broke. And I would frame it with some moulding that will provide extra support.

The other option I thought of is to make a separate window frame then install it into the door. If that is the better option, what is the best way to fasten the window frame to the door?

Thanks for reading and I appreciate any response!

5 replies so far

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 840 days

#1 posted 11-12-2014 01:23 AM

I custom build screen doors, storm doors, etc., myself. In reading your post, were it me, I would make a separate frame for the glass, & fit it into the door. the reason being, you can go ahead & construct your door as planned, strengthen your corners & door. If you build a separate & removable frame for the glass, not only will you not have to dismantle the door to replace the glass when it breaks, but it will be much easier to remove & build another frame for a screen to install next spring.;)

-- Sawdust703

View jerryminer's profile


497 posts in 861 days

#2 posted 11-12-2014 07:21 AM

I would turn the groove into a rabbet and install the glass with a stop, as in the drawing:

Looks essentially the same from both sides.

View jerryminer's profile


497 posts in 861 days

#3 posted 11-12-2014 07:46 AM

And when it’s time to change over to a screen panel, I would use an aluminum screen frame so the screen itself is easy to replace (with a screen spline)

View bgrady's profile


2 posts in 712 days

#4 posted 11-12-2014 08:56 PM

Thanks a lot for the replies. It looks like I’ll need to decide which option to go with although I’m leaning towards building a separate window frame.

If I decide to build the window frame, what is the best way to attach it to the door? Just some screws?

Thanks again!

View jerryminer's profile


497 posts in 861 days

#5 posted 11-13-2014 04:25 AM

Just some screws?

That’s probably the simplest. If you bevel the glass frame and the glass stops at about 15 deg. it’s easier to drive screws in without hitting the glass with your screw gun (or screw driver)

Or you could rabbet both door frame and glass frame.

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