New Studio Door #1

For the past several years, at least since I had a wood/coal stove and propane wall furnace installed to heat my workspace, I’ve been “making do” with a low rent version of doors in my shop.  These were nothing more than frames with a double layer of polyethylene stapled to them, and they worked surprisingly well.  But. the time had come for me to make something a bit more proper for the entryways to the heated space.

My starting point was a large piece of insulated glass from a former co-worker’s greenhouse; he’d had this panel replaced with a door so of course he thought of me when it came to dispose of the surplus.  I’ve been keeping this piece in my inventory for almost twenty years, waiting for exactly this moment.

Building a door around this panel was a snap.  I used clear 2x construction stock, joined with mortise-and-tenon throughout.  I must say that one of my indispensable machines is the bench-top mortiser.  I think if push came to shove it would be my next-to-last discarded machine, just below my band saw.  Given the unit’s ability to function as a drill press it is a near-perfect twofer.

I sawed and chopped all the mortises and glued them together into the frame around the glass panel.  At the bottom of the door I had a small-ish void into which I placed some 1-1/2″ foil faced panel insulation, again from my stash of recycled inventory.  I faced both sides of the void with some 1/4″ bog-box luan plywood, glued and nailed in place.

Using the same hinges as those on the poly/frame door I got the new door installed almost effortlessly.  Once in place I outfitted the opening with snug weatherstripping and held it closed with a pair of cabinet door catches.  I have not yet decided how to outfit the locking mechanism yet, but with these catches and some surface mounted pulls it works just fine.

And may I say that the unit is much tighter than the predecessor, keeping the cold out and the warm in.  Also, the clarity of the door panel is taking some getting used to.  Even when closed, out of the corner of my eye my initial impulse is to turn and walk over there and close it.

One door down.