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I'm looking for preferences and advice on making panel doors.  I plan to make a 3 or 4 panel door using frosted glass.  I can use tongue and groove router bit to create channel for glass inside frame or maybe a dado set, but that may be to big/wide.  Would 3/4 pine be sufficient for panel doors?  My current doors are just under 2 inches thick.  I could glue something together but that doesn't sound right.  Thoughts or suggestions?

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hi Brian I ran across your post asking about panel doors.  From the information you have included in your post it sounds like you are wanting to build some interior passage doors.  Most of them are 1and 3/8 inches thick and exterior doors are between 1 3/4"  to 2 inches thick.   3/4" pine is not thick enough and if it is an interior door then increasing the thickness by 2 x's would work.  If it is for an exterior door then I would look for a different type of wood and keep it around the 2" thick sizes.  Glass is another thing to consider if it is to be made for doors it should be 1/4 thick plate glass and consider using tempered glass to protect against breakage and injury.  As far as the construction of the door to accomodate the glass it will depend on several things as to where are the panels going to be located and how big are the panels. 

If you are going to build home passage doors from pine i would go the the lumber brokers and obtain 2x 6 pine material.  (Actual size is 1 1/2 " thick and 5 1/2 inches wide. I build alot of doors and i am willing to help you.  If you desire attach some type of plan and sizes and I will see what I can do for you in the way of a plan. 

Jay,

 

Thanks for replying.  I'm still interested in doing this project.  I want to replace interior closet doors with 4 or 5 panel smoked glass door.  I've been looking on the 'net for plans but haven't across any yet.  I have a picture or two where I may have to design something myself.  What type of material would you use to build interior doors?  I know pine is soft and may not be suitable as it may easily get dinged with daily wear and tear.  I'd like something light and durable, maybe maple or oak.  If you have any plans to share I appreciate your ideas.  So far I'm still planning the opening (I have to enlarge an existing 28" door opening).  Hopefully, I can get started on this soon.

 

Thanks

Brian, closet doors are interesting to design and build as they can be of either individually hinged and hanging from a frame and fitting for one or two doors, or can be bi-folds  or sliders of which both depend of a tracking system. naturally this also plays into how you are going to build the doors.  Tracks require that they be on the lighter scale of weight where as a hinged door can be heavy.

What wood I would use again will depend on how you want to build them.  The lighter doors will do fine using the soft wood but heavy doors will require a more dense heavier wood such as douglas fir, hemlock, ash, oak, maple birch type woods where they will survive a stressful use.  The glass panels that you are planing on inserting into the doors is what will quickly add the weight as you will need to use plate glass in about the 1/4 inch  thickness to avoid breakage and hazzard of broken glass.

For strength in the jointery I would lean towards the mortise and tennon joints in the heavier door construction and use the rabbit method to insert the glass to allow tthe ability to replace or change the glass panels.

I'm sorry I have no plans for something like this but I can draw up a detail one if you wish to give me some idea of  measurements and let me know how you wish to hang or hinge the door(s) . 

Brian said:

Jay,

 

Thanks for replying.  I'm still interested in doing this project.  I want to replace interior closet doors with 4 or 5 panel smoked glass door.  I've been looking on the 'net for plans but haven't across any yet.  I have a picture or two where I may have to design something myself.  What type of material would you use to build interior doors?  I know pine is soft and may not be suitable as it may easily get dinged with daily wear and tear.  I'd like something light and durable, maybe maple or oak.  If you have any plans to share I appreciate your ideas.  So far I'm still planning the opening (I have to enlarge an existing 28" door opening).  Hopefully, I can get started on this soon.

 

Thanks

I found this picture of closet door that I like.  They seem easy to design and build (hopefully).  These look to be on rails but I would use side hinges where the doors would swing open.

Hi Brian, nice looking doors. Problem with setting the glass in a groove is there is no way to repair/replace a broken pane without cutting the door apart. There are router bit sets just for doing that. If you check here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2pc-1-2-SH-Glass-Door-Ogee-R-S-Router-Bit-Set-/...

 

Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and there are illustrations showing how to use the bit set. You could save some weight and reduce the breakage risk by going with acrylic or polycarbonate instead of glass.

John, you're right.  I never even considered having to replace a glass panel...and I have kids!  Thanks for the advice.
I think you have a great idea. With kids around I would definately suggest 3/16 - 1/4" Lexan. A bit more expensive than glass but no possibility of shards.

Brian said:
John, you're right.  I never even considered having to replace a glass panel...and I have kids!  Thanks for the advice.

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