Building Doors

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  #1  
Old 10-20-14, 07:52 AM
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Building Doors

I am looking to build some interior doors (4 of them). Since they are for my basement, I want them to be as inexpensive as possible.

I am thinking of using 2x3s, joining them square, and then covering with a piece of hardboard. Sort of like a cheap version of a hollow-core luan door.

Will 2x3s warp if used like this?
 
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Old 10-20-14, 07:54 AM
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Interior doors are pretty cheap; is there a reason not to buy pre-hungs?
 
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Old 10-20-14, 07:58 AM
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I'm not sure you can build a door any cheaper than you can buy a luan door slab. If there are any savings they wouldn't be enough to justify your time. I've cut down luan doors to fit mobile home door openings and would replace the wood insert at the bottom with a piece ripped to fit from a 2x
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:17 AM
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I didnt think they were that cheap. I assumed at least 40 bucks a door--160 for four. 2x3s and hardboard I figured would come out more than half that (but I didnt do the math yet)

Although marksr has addressed the size issue. I just figured that if I was going to rip/repair a door, I might as well just build it. But if ripping and replacing the bottom piece will work fine, I guess I can do that.

The third option is style. I planned on ripping some thinner strips of hardboard and gluing around the perimeter of the front to give the appearance of a panel door. I guess I could always just glue right to the luan if this look was required,
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:21 AM
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Not as easy of a task as it may sound. For inexpensive, look for your nearest Habitat Restore. The one near us always has a lot of them, both slabs and pre-hungs, very inexpensive, and many of them in very good shape. You may also want to check your local lumber yard for overstocks, cancelled special orders, etc. One of ours has a "bargain barn" full of things like that.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:23 AM
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I've been thinking of putting new doors on my main floor (currently have 50 year old luan that are starting to crack/peel/look crappy). Maybe I'll go for the new doors and use some of the old ones in the basement. Some of them should be usable, width-wise, for the basement.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:26 AM
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What's not as easy as it sounds? the ripping/repairing the luan, or the building from 2x3 and hardboard?
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:28 AM
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While a little more work you can narrow up a hollow core door. I once bought several slightly damaged luan doors for $5 each. On the 2 that were too wide I cut them to the correct size and glued/stapled in a new style on the hinge side. I didn't bother mortising the hinges on the door I put on my tool room.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:34 AM
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I bought six luan doors on Craigslist a while back to use as shelves (nice deep shelves) These are the shelves I am looking to make doors for now.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:42 AM
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I guess just a blade with a lot of teeth will cut the luan nice? When I cut some for shelves the edges splintered alot. I didnt care because they werent visible.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 08:45 AM
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It's best to use a paneling blade [lots of teeth] also running a strip of masking tape over the proposed cut will help too.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 10:24 AM
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How about a plywood blade?
 
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Old 10-20-14, 10:42 AM
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The biggest thing in my opinion, as far as making them yourself, is having the right work surface, large enough and flat enough to lay out the frame, and configured to accommodate equal clamping pressure when you affix the surfaces to the frame. The only way that I can envision getting a good result is cutting, preferably surface planing, the thickness of all of the frame pieces to the same thickness. Not saying that it can't be done, but a fair amount of work, and, depending on what you already have, the cost of materials, fasteners, clamps, etc., which may or may not add up to "inexpensive" doors. As far as avoiding splintering, another tip is to precut with a sharp knife.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 12:15 PM
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Getting square, clamping and gluing, for plywood I use a Frued LU80R010 10" Plywood Blade but aint cheap, Think around 80$ 3 years ago. Almost use it for everything. Never get a chip in plywood.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 12:52 PM
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Or just use an economy plywood blade and replace after 4-6 cuts. When cutting across the grain in addition to tape score with a utility knife and straight edge before sawing.Keep the kerf in the waste area just below the score. Always use a saw guide clamped to the door. Never force the saw.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 03:17 PM
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Good grade of luan will run $21 per sheet. You'll need two per door. Then 2x3x8's, you'll need 3 per door minimum with center support at $2.15 each. So for each of your doors, I see an investment of about $48 plus tax. Building square doors as Donald mentioned is a task which needs its own workspace, plus clamps, etc. Not to mention punching for door locks and mortising for hinges. Inexpensive luan doors can be purchased as mentioned in the $50 range, prehung.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 04:26 PM
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But you need 1/8" luan and that isn't common. At least not any place I have lived. For an 1-3/8" door styles and rails need to be 1-1/8" thick. Not an off the shelf dimension. You will also have to add a 1-1/8"x3"x 12" lock block. Just Checked HD. $26.38 for a hollow core 30" Luan slab door.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 04:33 PM
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Hi, I checked Home Depot $33.00 for a 30x80 hardboard primed with a lockset bore. If you buy a door and have to cut a lot off say a foot, cut the top not the bottom you don't want the lock set bore a foot closer to the floor. It you build your own don't forget to put in a block for your lockset. Also with your 2x3 frame you are already thicker than the store bought door (1 1/2 vs 1 3/8)
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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