How to Build a Solid Wood Door

We research in-depth and provide unbiased reviews and recommendations on the best products. We strive to give you the most accurate information. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

There are several basic steps in building a solid wood door. You will learn about the Frame and panel, Joinery, Lockset, and Finishing. The first step is to measure the size of the doorway and measure the width of the wood boards accordingly. Next, cut the boards to equal widths. Make sure to rip them on the long sides to avoid thin oddballs on the edges. Once the boards are cut, use a framing square to lay out the vertical measurements of each board. Screw or nail vertical and horizontal battens to each horizontal board.

Frame and panel of a solid wood door

A solid wood door requires two types of joinery, the frame and the panel. For the frame, a mortise-and-tenon joint is used. This joint is interlocked to create a greater surface area. The tenons are sized to fit into the mortises and should have shoulders that engage tightly with the mortised stock. Mortise-and-tenon joints are the strongest form of joinery. Other methods of frame joinery include bridle joints, loose tenons, and bridle joints.

For a solid panel, make sure the panel fits snugly between the rails and stiles. You should leave some space between the two so that the wood can expand or contract. A proper fit should prevent the panel from pulling itself away from the rails or muscles of the frame. A solid panel should also have enough flex to open and close. Fortunately, most solid wood doors are sturdy and will last for decades.

To pinning a solid wood door, use brads driven through the frame members. Make sure to check the panel’s centering before driving the brad. If the panel is not centered correctly, it may expand and contract. Alternatively, a single brad should be driven through both the top and bottom of the panel. This will allow the panel to expand and contract as needed. And make sure to check for gaps around the panel before proceeding to glue.

When selecting a solid wood door, consider how it fits into the overall design of your home. Solid wood doors are secure and sturdy, and they have the qualities of excellent internal doors. Unlike a hollow wooden door, solid wood doors resist humidity changes and provide excellent thermal and acoustic insulation. As a result, they add value to your home and will increase its resale value.

In addition to the stiles and panels, solid wood doors also use mullions to separate the door rails. They usually have a center rail, which is a horizontal piece between the two stiles. Center rails are normally straight and have rail sticking machined along the top and bottom edges. They are also used for the bulkhead of the door, a structure that divides the panel.


When building a solid wood door, you will want to use the correct joinery. The first step is to cut your frame to fit. This is important to make sure that you have square corners and a flat top. You can also use a straightedge to ensure that the pieces line up correctly. The next step is to apply glue to the frame. Use a glue that has a high enough viscosity to cover the joints and the dowels.

Next, you’ll need to determine the size of the panels. Lay the other components on the floor and measure the space between them. Add one inch to the width and height of the panel. This way, the door will have room to expand and contract during the seasons. It is best to make the panels slightly larger than needed. Then, you can fit the panels to the frame. Don’t forget to use clamps when dry fitting the components.

Read More:   Table Saw Vs Miter Saw

Once you have decided on the design and the material for your door, you’ll need to create the joinery for it. Make sure to use the proper tooling for the job. Use cope and stick bit sets for 1 3/4-inch stock. You can also purchase a Wolfcraft biscuit attachment. Doubled #20 biscuit sets are perfect for making cabinet door joints. In addition, you’ll need to use cope and stick moulding.

Once you’ve selected the materials, you’ll need to start building the frame. This is the main step in building a solid wood door. When building a solid wood door, you should choose the right joinery for the job. There are many different types of joinery, but the key is to choose one that’s right for you. When building a solid wood door, it’s important to make sure you choose one that will stand up to the test of time and weather.

To build a solid wood door, start by measuring the width of the opening on your door frame. Make sure to measure each panel at least 1 inch wider than the opening on the frame. Then, measure the height, making sure to add 1/2 inch for clearance on the bottom. This will allow for easy installation of the door. Once the panel is complete, you can use a planer to bring the piece to the final thickness you want.


Installing a lockset on a solid wood door requires that you first drill two holes for the latch and the deadbolt. Each hole should be one-third to one-half inch in diameter. The cross bore is a small hole along the edge of the door frame that is one-inch in diameter. Exterior doors typically have a backset of 2-3/8 inches, while interior doors typically have a backset of 1-1/2 to two inches.

A mortise lock installed on a solid wood door may be electrified to prevent tampering. These locks are often electrified and run through the door’s frame to prevent unauthorized access. These locks may be magnetic or electrified and may also feature surface-mounted vertical rods to provide added security. If you choose electrified panic hardware, it can be applied using concealed or surface-mounted vertical rods.

When choosing a lockset, make sure you choose one that will fit securely and easily. For example, a spring-loaded pin may be easier to remove than a deadbolt. For added security, select a locking system that’s tested against drilling and picking. Make sure the cylinder you choose has been tested for strength against both drilling and picking. Also look for a lock that’s kitemarked for three stars and PAS24-approved handles.

The security of a door’s lock is a critical factor in deciding how much security you need. Using a mortise lock on a solid wood door can provide adequate security for your home, but you should also consider the condition of the door’s frame. If the door isn’t in great condition and has no decorative panels, then it’s unlikely to provide adequate security. If it’s rotten or damaged, you should consider replacing the door and locks as soon as possible.

Changing the locks on solid wood doors requires a professional locksmith’s services. A locksmith can install interior and exterior doors, repair existing doors, and replace damaged doors. He or she can also install keyed entrance locksets and door sidelights, as well as provide lock repair services for exterior doors. So, if you’re looking to change the locks on your doors, don’t hesitate to contact a locksmith today.

Read More:   How to Make a Dough Bowl

Finishing a solid wood door

If you’re interested in refinishing a solid wood door, there are many methods to choose from. From polyurethane to painting, you’ll find that there are many options. Wooden doors are durable, but they can suffer from dings and dents. Here’s how to give them a fresh finish. Read on to learn more. To start, prepare the door. First, remove any existing finish or paint. You may also want to replace the door entirely.

Next, apply a finish that will protect the wood from moisture. Unfinished doors may absorb moisture, dry out, or bow. They may also shrink with climate changes. To protect your door from the elements, apply a finish with adequate overhang. A gallon-sized bag is a convenient storage solution for staining wood doors. Make sure to allow several days for the stain to dry and give it a once-over.

If you plan to stain the door, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Before applying the stain, sand the wood door. If there are any visible cracks, use a mallet to align the pieces. Apply wood filler with a smooth-edged tool or directly from the tube. After a few hours, sand the door to a smooth finish. Once the door has completely dried, apply a coat of stain or wood conditioner to the edges and sides of the door.

Oil-based finishes are natural ways to seal wood. Although they darken the color of the wood, they are easy to touch up. They also come in tints. A penetrating finish seals the wood cells and prevents decay. Make sure to choose a finish with anti-UV protection, mildew resistance, and water repellency. And be sure to choose one that is easy to apply, as some require several coats.

When finishing a solid wood door, consider the wood beneath the clear finish. Certain woods are more stable than others, so they will hold up better to humidity and other factors. Alder is an example of a stable wood. Its light color and characteristic open-pored grain make it difficult to stain evenly. But this is not to say that alder won’t hold up in harsh conditions. If you’re looking for a rustic door with an aged appearance, consider alder.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.