Can you retofit an interior door for glass?


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Old 03-31-08, 04:33 PM
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Can you retofit an interior door for glass?

I would like to put frosted glass panes into ugly interior mahogany slab doors. Can I take these doors off, and take them to a glass guy to have the glass installed? (I'm hoping to have the doors easier to re-install after the glass is in.)
Has any one ever heard of this?
Thanks in advance,
Freeland
 
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Old 03-31-08, 05:11 PM
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Hi, that sounds like an interesting project...

Do the doors have panels, set within stiles, or just one smooth slab? Solid mahogany or hollow core? Will you need to route an edge to accept the glass, or inset blocking?

I probably would not have to ask so many questions if you could please post a picture or a link to a picture of your doors.

If you have a Google account, upload to Picasa, or you could use photobucket. Provide the link, or insert the photo in your reply.

Connie
 
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Old 03-31-08, 05:18 PM
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I've put glass in a flat slab luan interior door before. The opening needs to be framed out both under the luan and of course the opening.
 
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Old 03-31-08, 05:28 PM
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I guess these are hollow core & flat. Right?

Yeah that's do-able.

But no, the glass guy can't just saw out a hole and pop glass in. There's carpentry first, and third, with glass guy only seen at the counter when you buy your glass cut to order. A wood frame must be made to dress up the edges of the hole and secure the glass. That I'm explaining this suggests you will need to find someone with the tools and knowhow.
 
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Old 03-31-08, 07:48 PM
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About the doors........

They are hollow core, no patterning of any type. Absolutely flat. I want to paint them out after the glass is inserted. I realize I would need the glass set it, I guess my question concerns the integrity of a hollow core (cheap) interior door. Could it stand the weight?
My problem is that this house is on an Island.......and there are no tradespeople there. My only hope is to take the doors off, into a truck and into town 'two ferries' I could buy new doors, but then, I would have to haul a carpenter over all these ferries to install them. (and needless to say, that is a very expensive proposition!)
That's why I am trying to retrofit these doors, so that I can re-install them myself.
You gotta love life on an Island.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Freeland
Two ferries... You gotta love life on an Island.
I envy you.

*Fills glass with icy fresh mountain tapwater, drinks*

Damn, I still envy you.

Originally Posted by Freeland
the integrity of a hollow core (cheap) interior door. Could it stand the weight?
Yes, no problem.

I think what you could do is have somebody make the frames, and you pick those up, even disassembled. So you cut rough holes in the doors, with jigsaw, keyhole saw, or even knife, and glue those parts in, including the glass. No special tools required on your end.

The carpenter will need to know each door's exact thickness (like to the 1/32") and the window "rough opening" width x height, also how far to overlap that rough edge. And of course the style, like is this to be stained or decorative in any way. I think your best bet for the actual panes is to order those after the frames are made (pick up at glass shop in town), because they should be a very close fit.

Glass about 3/16" thick is right. It won't break if you rap on it.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 03:48 AM
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How big is the glass you intend to use? Plexiglass might be lighter alternative.

A hollow core door only has a wood frame around the perimeter. There is stiff cardboard that zig zags thru out the middle to support the rest. What you do is cut your rough opening, remove the cardboard as needed, insert framing to support the window frame [glue and staple/nail] and then build what you need to hold the glass and dress it up.

Mortising for hinges isn't all that complicated. You can buy a set up to use with a router that will cleanly cut the mortise. Or what I do is use an utility knife to cut the area [outline] to be removed and then use a sharp chisel. Carefull measurement of the old hing placement will assure that the new doors will install with little or no problem.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 06:37 AM
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Mark is sorta on the right track. Everyone has danced around the obvious.

The glass should be safety glass (or plastic) because it's in the traffic pattern and it's subject to human impact. Imagine ridding two ferries while bleeding profusely or being sued by a once good friend.

The first consideration is weight transfer between the door and frame though the hinges and the pull out resistance of the screws (not whether or not you can fit a glass pane within the door). If the hinge jamb or style is made of MDF or the screws are not all-thread this project is destine for failure. Changing the hinges from plain bearing to ball bearing hinges will be a likely upgrade if glazing is added. Increasing the hinge height to gain another screw and more metal in surface contact may be in order also.

Door skins made of plywood or hardboard will hold some additional weight. Door skins of molded paper will not. If you're thinking a fully glazed door, glazed with glass, forget it. The width of the glass should be ten inches less (five on either side) than the width of the door. If the styles and rails are finger jointed wood; the jambs are wood; the skins are plywood or hardboard; the glass is safety glass, and are reasonably sized you're set to go.

Every part (except maybe the glass) required for this project is obtainable off the web, and can be delivered via US mail. Every operation, including setting the glass is doable with an ordinary skill level.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 06:02 PM
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Hi, I have installed louves in hollow core doors, cut the hole the louver and frame go on the door like a sandwich. Takes about an hour. I have also installed lites (windows) in doors mostly comerical but same installation. The lites are pricy check the internet or when you get off the island check out a door and window place they may have some thing you like.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 06-13-08, 05:16 PM
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westnlas

Everything that has been advised sounds pretty right to me. I wondered though if it might not be easier and more economical to buy doors with the glass already installed. Most doors today are pre-hung, so you would need to match the swing so the bevel is correct. Minor adjustments can be made for the butts either on the door or the jamb itself with a sharp chisel. Hanging a door today is really easy. For years and years, butt placement has been standardized by the use of jigs. The old door and a new one might match closer than you would expect.
 
 

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