Wooden Exterior Door

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Old 04-06-08, 05:11 PM
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Wooden Exterior Door

Hi -

I want to replace a couple of doors that are part of my basement walkout, but they are kind of short. If I use a wooden door blank, like I would use on an interior job, what would I have to do to prepare the door (seal, prime, etc) so they would last a while? I can't use steel because I need to cut it down to 71-1/2 inches, so even on a 6-panel pine blank I would probably have to take a little off the top as well as a hunk off the bottom, and I don't think that would be a good idea on a steel door.

Or, is it not a good idea to do this with a wooden door? I am replacing two home-made wooden doors that look pretty lousy, but are structurally sound.

Thanks - Dave
 
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Old 04-06-08, 07:18 PM
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Dave: you can do it with a wooden door, but, as you say, prime and paint all surfaces prior to installation to protect it from the elements. You can cut a metal door in like manner, but with metal blades on your circular saw. Lotta sparks and maybe a couple of blades, but it can be done if you want to.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:32 AM
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Also when you cut a lot off of a bottom/top of a door you may end up with some voids where the door is put together. Besides priming/painting these cuts, the voids need to be filled. Caulking will work the best.
 

Last edited by marksr; 04-07-08 at 04:20 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-07-08, 03:35 AM
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Larry

On metal door since they have a stryrofam core, I assume you would need to reinsert the wood on the top or bottom - would you glue that back in?
 
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Old 04-07-08, 04:05 AM
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Yes, you are right, I usually cut a 2x4 down to 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 (if you can't get the original out) which fits fairly well in the void after chipping out a little of the foam. Also forgot to mention, please, please wear eye protection if using the metal cut off blades. Thanks Mark.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 06:10 AM
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The only problem with cutting down a metal door to 71-1/2” is the undercut will encroach on the bottom hinge position (ensure that the hinge position can be moved). Otherwise a steel door is superior, because using a wood door for exterior exposure voids the warrantee. The third choice is an un-machined flush fiberglass door (25 years, up to lifetime warrantees for exterior exposure, against 10~15 years for steel). After trimming the end plugs can be “glassed” together OR sheet metal plugs can be made. Measure the opening width, and inquire about the doors net width before purchase. 5/32 difference is the minimum for a 1-3/4 door.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 06:23 AM
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Thanks

Hi -

Thanks for all the responses. I understand about cutting into the hinge pocket on a metal door if I have to cut away so much. This is why I would probably use a 6-panel solid pine "blank", and cut in my own hinge pockets. Because it's a basement walkout, I probably would go to a store that sells seconds.

The current doors can only be secured from the inside, and what I want is a real, lockable door knob that works with a key, you know? That, and the fact they are home-built and look pretty lousy, are the reasons I want to do this little job.

So now, to prep the wood: is this just a good exterior primer (maybe oil-based?) for a first coat, and 1-2 coat of an exterior latex?

Thanks - Dave
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:47 PM
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Exterior oil base primer is preferred. Either latex or oil will be fine for the top coats. Don't forget to paint the tops and bottoms!
 
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Old 04-08-08, 06:02 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for the information. I'm hoping to get going on this within the next month or so.

Dave
 
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