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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old adobe house with nonstandard exterior door sizes and I need to replace the storm door. I tried cutting down a solid core door from Larson but that exposed the particleboard core & it wicked moisture & decomposed. I want to reuse the screened window from the Larson door and build a new door from composition decking.

The problem is the joinery. Stile and rail bits for entry doors seem to start at 1 3/8". The thickness of the Trex composit decking available to me is 1 3/32". I haven't bought the decking or the bit(s) yet so I'm wide open to ideas. What can I build a door out of and how do I join it together?

Thanks for your help.
 

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wanart

Do you want to make a new Exterior Door or a storm door ???
Most Storm doors are Not 1 3/8 " thick or 1 3/32 most are 1 1/2" if it has the glass and screen type some are just 7/8" without glass insert.

Can you post a picture or two and I'm sure some one will help with your question.

Just a note Trex composit decking is not flat, you can plane it like wood BUT it will not take on glue very well but you can use poly. base type glue on it.

I just made a mail box post with the Trex stock because you can put in the ground and it will last forever..


Bj :)
 

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You can create your own tongue and groove using a 1/4" straight cutting bit. Mark your material and plow out the 1/4" groove on the stiles. Next make rabbit or rebate cuts on the ends of the rails to fit your groove.
 

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On an old house (100 years plus) I use to have (or rather, it had me) the screen doors and storms were made with bridal joints and then pegged - that could be easily done with straight cut bits as Mike was suggesting - and the look may just be in keeping with how I picture an adobe house - although it sounds like you may be wanting to get away from traditional materials - just a thought anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My intent is to reconstruct the storm door that is falling apart. The existing door is about 7/8" thick. It's a 3/4" particleboard core with thin laminates on both sides. What I want to do is rebuild it of some material that is as waterproof as I can get. That is why I'm looking at the Trex composition decking material.

I didn't realize glue would be a problem. I thought that composition, like particle board and MDF, had a lot of glue in it.

I thought about tongue and groove, but the stile & rail configurations look like they would be more stable. I'm also wondering about biscuits. I haven't tried them yet so I don't know if they would be viable in this situation. Anyone have any comments?

Gilbear, what is a bridal joint? I'm not overly concerned with a traditional look, what works is more important, but the Trex decking is made to look like a wood plank so it would be in keeping with the adobe.
 

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This is what I would do.
Plane down one side only to the 7/8" then use a mortise and tenon joints on the top and bottom and the center stile, 2" long tenons then 4ea. 5/8" long plastic dowell pins in ea.joint but can only be seen from the inside of the door.
Then rabbit the inside of the door for the glass/screen ,then mortise for the hing.
This should keep rustic adobe look on the out side of the door.

Definitions of Trex


Trex is a brand name of composite material and it is a registered trademark of Trex Company.
Trex is made from reclaimed plastic and wood waste & epoxi and resin.

Resin
Any of numerous physically similar polymerized synthetics or chemically modified natural resins including thermoplastic materials such as polyvinyl, polystyrene, and polyethylene and thermosetting materials such as polyesters, epoxies, and silicones that are used with fillers, stabilizers, pigments, and other components to form plastics.

Bj :)
 

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Wanart, Biscuits are fine for furniture indoors but a poor choice for outside use. In order to keep things simple you can build a simple half lap joint on each corner. Use a straight bit to remove half the material from each piece, place the two pieces together and you have a perfect match. You would want to use either Titebond 3 or a polyurethane glue for this project. Gorrila glue is one popular brand name. Be sure to measure the long diagonals so you are square when you clamp this up. Once your glue dries you will want to install dowels through the joint to keep it pinned in place. (Minimum of 3, 4 preferred) Be sure to use hardwood dowels such as oak, cherry or walnut. You may want to use a contrasting color rather than trying to make them match your composite. I would seek advice on the finish from a local building supply company. They will steer you to the products that will work best in your area.
 

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Before you get to excited about Trex.... I don't think it will work for a door....

"Can Trex lumber be used for deck posts or joists?
No. While Trex lumber is tough and durable, it does not have the same stiffness as wood. Therefore, it is not intended for use as a load bearing post, joist or any other primary load-bearing member."

The prime word here is "same stiffness as wood".

Ed
 

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wanart said:
Gilbear, what is a bridal joint? .
I guess you could say it's a variation of a mortise and tennon joint - see attached image - the door I was referring to also had 2 pegs that were driven all the way through at each corner - I liked the look and it was a strong joint - however, I've never made an exterior door myself.
 

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Hi: You could use treated lumber for the door sash. The bits for the stile and rail start
at 1 3/8ths" because that is the standard for exterior doors. Making it some other size
may make the job tougher, since lock sets and other hardware are basically made for the 1 3/8ths thickness. The door could also be mortise and tenon joinery. The screen you want to save could be set into the door with a rabit. Good luck.. Woodnut65
 

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wanart

The jig below will do just about all you need to make the door.

http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=2641

But if you don't cut/mill down the door you will need to make a new door frame as well .
If the door was 7/8" thick you should stick with that size if you don't want to start from sq.1 with a new door frame.(hardware etc.)

You don't need a planer if you have a table saw and a sander.
Most of the Trex stock is about 5" wide,if you use it for all of the door parts it should be ok that's to say don't use the standard door size of 2 3/4" to 3 1/8" wide.
It's true that Trex will bend but a short stock should be ok .

Good Luck
Bj :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have another idea for consideration. Lowe's is now marketing Arauco AC sanded plywood. It is 23/32" thick with 7 plys, exterior glue, and the face side is nicely finished. If I fill in the knot holes in the back side and glue a fibreglass wall liner to the back side (which would become the outside of the door), the resulting thickness is the same as the Larson door I'm replacing. That would allow me to reuse more than just the window/screen unit. I could use the door edging as well.

What would be the best glue to use to bond the fibreglass liner to the plywood? Liquid Nail has been suggested but I don't have much faith in it.

Would edge banding the plywood with strips of Trex be a good idea to make it more weather resistant?

Will this exterior grade plywood stay flat or is this just a bad idea to begin with?

Art
 

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wanart

"just a bad idea to begin with"=yes
It will always look like a plywood door but if that's what you want it to look like go for it.

Plywood will not stand up to outside weather unless it's under cover.

How about some hardwood that you can stress after you make it.
Or about some Oak siding that's ruff to start with.
Or
Stress it with a power steel brush,this will pull the grain out and make it ruff.

Many ways to stress wood to get the look you want ,burn it torch, power belt sand it, power wash it, sand blast it, take a chain to it beat the hell out of it, etc.

Have a good one
Bj :)
 

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I think it is time to stop trying to re-engineer the wheel. If you buy whichever hardwood is cheapest in your location and seal it with a good spar varnish it should last many years. If you want overkill then use epoxy paint. Either way will work fine.
 
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