Thursday, December 5, 2013

Door'd (part 3)

Enough about these doors, right?


These doors need some serious help.   I last left you guys with a fresh coat of paint. I'm not stopping there.

At the very least, a door can hide my shame of drinking that Coca Cola.
I'm going to spin the proverbial wheel of misfortune (aka google serach) for a random Coca-Cola link.  Its just too easy.

My idea:
Let's dress up these doors with some moldings, and give the illusion of the doors looking like they are fancy, solid-core, one-panel doors.  Does that make sense?  If not, allow me to continue.

I did some simultaneous design work and some math.  It became apparent that I could get these done with about 15'-3" of molding per side.  Phew! Since the yard sells em in 16' lengths, I got a pretty efficient layout.

(9 doors) x (2 sides) = 18 pieces of molding.

Although all the doors aren't all the same height, they are close (-+ a half inch centered over 77"). I'm going to lay them out all the same.  I'll just use the negative space on the bottom as my variable. I doubt anyone will notice.

Measurements and layouts:

vert (in)
horiz (in)
qty (two per side)
A 26 77.625 1.375 66.75 17.5 4
B 26 77.5 1.375 66.75 17.5 4
C 30 76.625 1.375 66.75 21.5 4
D 27.75 77 1.375 66.75 19.25 4
E 30 77.5 1.375 66.75 21.5 4
F 30 77.5 1.375 66.75 21.5 4
G 30 77.5 1.375 66.75 21.5 4
H 30 77.5 1.375 66.75 21.5 4
I 30 77.5 1.375 66.75 21.5 4

So, in the dark, I set up the saw out front and cut 36 identical 66.75" vertical pieces, with opposing 45-degree angles on the end.  That's (9 doors) x (2 sides) x (2 verticals per door, per side)
Pile of verticals

Next, I set up the Ryobi on the floor of the finished room since I still have the floors covered.  I set up a stop for each cut group.

Like every good carpenter usually does, I made some pivot tables my cut lists. I don't want to think about anything once I'm on the site.  I just need my instructions so I can hammer this out quickly on a work night.
With my handy cut sheet at my side, its time to go to town.  Just look at those horizontal pieces stack up to the right of the saw.

Nothing beats setting up a jig and getting into factory-worker mode.  Its precise and fast.

Now lets start seeing if it will all fit together.

Test fitting in process.
Hit 'em with some glue.
Obligatory advertising shot for Titebond.
Titebond: works for me every time!
Now tack this thing with some 16 ga. brads.  The brads just provide the press fit while the glue cures.  Really, the glue does all the work in this project.  Right, Titebond?  I'm still waiting for my royalties check.

Voila!  One door. 

Two doors.

Three door.. I mean, oops. These guys are in the queue for their moldings.

Other wall.  These doors are starting to stack up all over the place!

Install time!  Door between master bedroom and middle bedroom.  Traverse through this door if you want to stay within the confines of the only two rooms that are finished in this house!  I write that with the deepest of sorrows.

View from my bed.  Looking good!  But not quite as good as that wallpaper rip in the hallway.  

Just look at this new room coming together, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Closet door, with custom plinths and "tricky spot." These shots are critical because in the rest of the house, it looks kind of crappy when juxtaposed against the old clam shell moldings.  Thus, I'm showing you these pictures for now.

Main entrance to room.

I'm going to pat myself on the back here for the first and last time:

These things look freakin' awesome.

Even though I despise painting, and I still have to paint the moldings after the install... I got these done for $4/piece of molding.  So, this was an $8/door upgrade.  They actually look like the real deal.  Only an extreme ball buster like myself would be able to criticize this job.

This one got done on time and under budget.  I haven't had a success story in a while, so I plan on milking this one.

Doors: Done.

Read part 1 and part 2 if you missed it.


  1. Well done. My doors are pretty much the same size as your doors - if you don't mind, I'm gonna borrow that measurement and layout table in the middle of the post.

    1. Pick a height that works for all of them and knock out the verticals in one shot. You'll probably have to adjust on the widths.

      Also, I learned a lesson on this project (one that I already knew but ignored). If your jambs are significantly out of level (like some of mine are) then making perfect molding rectangles works against you. It will create two lines out of parallel which is basically a carpentry cardinal sin. Most people will quickly pick up that something is off. I will show in a picture at some point.

      I was (am) in a serious time crunch and I just did the quick-n-dirty cut list without thinking about any customization for either door. I just didn't want to be bothered, but if i had to do this over.. I would have bothered.