Cut an Interior Door Out of Wood

What You'll Need
2x6 inch lumber (for door rails)
2x4 inch lumber (for door stiles)
1/2-inch plywood (for door panels)
Table saw
Wood glue

Interior doors provide privacy and a way to close off different areas of your home. A wooden interior door is not as heavy as front and rear entry doors since they do not need to provide the same level of security or protection, and making wood interior doors, in lieu of purchasing a factory pre-made door, can be a good beginning woodworking project.

While this is a beginner's project, it does require you to understand how to make tongue and groove cuts on a table saw.

Step 1: Measure for the Door’s Dimensions

Take measurements from the existing doorway you intend to use to get the final dimensions of your completed project. Rails are the outer, horizontal sides of the door and the connecting vertical pieces are called the stiles. This door will be comprised of 2 2x6 rails, 1 2x4 rail, 3 2x4 stiles and 4 1/2-inch plywood panels (fitted into grooves cut in the rails and stiles), so be sure the measurements of each piece will give you those final dimensions when they're assembled. If you make a mistake, don't worry; some sanding can fix a door that might be a little too big.

Step 2: Make the Rail and Stile Grooves

Set the table saw blade to a height of 1/2 inch. The blade of the table saw should be lined up with the center of the rail and stile pieces. This cut will make the groove for your plywood panels.

Run the rails and stiles through end-to-end and then reverse in order to center the notch. You may need to make several passes to ensure that your 1/2 inch panels fit into the groove snugly and do not come loose or wobble (otherwise it will rattle every single time a person knocks on the door). Repeat this process for all of the 2x6 and 2x4 pieces.

Step 3: Cut the Tongues

The tongue is a piece of overhang that is inserted into a slot cut into the wood which allows the rails and stiles to be joined together.

Cut your tongues by setting a miter gauge against the table saw rail and nibbling away about 1/2 inch on both sides at the end of all three rails. This will leave a little cutout that to be inserted into the grooves.

Step 4: Assembling the Door

With all of the cuts made, place a small amount of wood glue on the tongue of the rails and into the grooves of the rails, stiles and panels. Carefully fit the plywood panels into the grooves and enclose them, as if you are creating a panel box. When complete you should have a pattern of 4 panels enclosed by the rails and stiles. Use clamps to hold the door together and allow the glue to dry.