Author Topic: DIY French Doors  (Read 2475 times)

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Offline TBR

  • Posts: 105
DIY French Doors
« on: July 01, 2015, 09:02 AM »
Our French doors on our conservatory are pretty rotten at the bottom so I'm looking to repair/make some new ones. I am guessing it's easier to build new ones than to repair old ones.

I don't have the machine to make a tenon and mortice joint, but what other ways are there to make strong french doors?
Normal people... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

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Offline jools

  • Posts: 256
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 03:03 PM »
Depends on the age and manner of construction. Older doors with through wedged mortise and tenon can be knocked apart (depending on the amount of glass removal required)and new lower rails made or splice the bottom of the stiles. Old sash windows are the same. If only minor rot cut out with fein multi tool and splice in new wood. If surface rot use Dutchmen and filler.
It is easier to buy new and usually more cost effective than making them if you''re time has a cost. I own the Domino 700 and is the perfect tool for doors
It started with one little sander

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3609
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 06:34 PM »
@TBR
Can you post a picture of the problem doors? Seems to me that unless they are really, really rough, it'd be easiest as @jools suggested, to just repair/splice/fill them, sand & paint.

Offline TBR

  • Posts: 105
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 06:09 AM »
As you can see from the photos the structure is pretty weak. There are some soft areas on the surface but looks like to wood underneath might be okay.  The joint has disintegrated but perhaps it's still salvageable.

I was thinking of making a u shape piece of ply and the fixing it over the existing frame to give some strength.





Normal people... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

Online Bohdan

  • Posts: 791
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 08:10 AM »
Looking at the pictures it appears that the bottom of the door has dropped. If that is so then the door is not mortised but only glued and should be easy to pull the bottom off, and if the parts are still OK reglued. The glass may need to be refitted but this is an easy fix.

If the top of the door is loose then the whole door could be disassembled and reglued with the use of dominos for extra strength.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3609
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2015, 08:47 AM »
I'm surprised the glass is still in it!!! [eek]

The wood doesn't look to be that bad. The stiles have dropped about 1/2" and the bottom rail has dropped an additional 1/2". Construction appears to be tounge & groove. As @Bohdan suggested, I'd attempt to take ithe door apart and then assess the damage/wood quality at that time. A new bottom rail with Dominos would be a simple fix.

It also looks like you'll have to fix the threshold. I'd consider replacing the entire threshold if possible because of it sitting on the cement.

Offline TBR

  • Posts: 105
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 10:03 AM »
Thanks guys for the advice. I don't have a domino machine unfortunately.  Would 100mm screws and pva glue be a good idea?
Normal people... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

Online Bohdan

  • Posts: 791
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 10:14 AM »
Thanks guys for the advice. I don't have a domino machine unfortunately.  Would 100mm screws and pva glue be a good idea?

Make sure that you use a waterproof glue like Titebond III or epoxy. Screws into the long grain won't hold that well and unless stainless steel or hot gal will rust. You can drill dowel holes thru from the outside while the door glue is setting and add long dowels across the joint. Trim after the glue has set.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3609
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 06:23 PM »
Make sure that you use a waterproof glue like Titebond III or epoxy. Screws into the long grain won't hold that well and unless stainless steel or hot gal will rust. You can drill dowel holes thru from the outside while the door glue is setting and add long dowels across the joint. Trim after the glue has set.

Good call on the dowels...[thumbs up]...I don't know about anyone else, but I use the Domino so often that I sometimes forget about other viable methods.

Offline TBR

  • Posts: 105
Re: DIY French Doors
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 01:32 PM »
I took the door off and it promptly fell apart. Joints on 2 corners were rotten through. I did some sort or trenching cuts using the TS55 and track to make space in order to splice in some timber. And then glued on a piece of hardwood using gorilla glue. The only waterproof stuff I had. After the glue was dry I trimmed the excess timber using the TS55 again.
Normal people... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.