How to Make a Door Stop Wedge

A homemade door stop wedge is a quick and easy way to hold doors open for cool summer breezes, alleviate foot traffic congestion in busy rooms, or just add a different touch to a living space. All you'll need is a small block of wood (a 6-inch length of 2-by-4 stud works perfectly), a saw, sandpaper (preferably medium grit, P60 or P80, but nearly any type will suffice), and paint or stain if you want to give it a more professional finish.

The idea of the wedge springs from what is known as "simple mechanics:" you are essentially translating the lateral force that compels the door to close into vertical force, which "wedges" the door open. The physics may sound complicated, but making one is a breeze!

The first step is to cut your piece of wood diagonally along the widest side of the 2-by-4, to form the wedge shape. Whether using a power tool or a handsaw, take care that the wood is tightly secured to a bench or other work surface, as shifting or slipping can be dangerous during the cutting process, particularly with smaller pieces of wood. Once you have your wedge shape, the next step is sanding down all of the edges and sides--particularly the edge you created with your fresh cut. Make sure all the corners are rounded down to avoid splinters in hands or scuffs on the floor. 

If you're not looking for a decorative finish, you're all done! However, to give your wedge a touch of polish, you can paint or stain your wedge after sanding. Just make sure to allow the stain or paint to dry, following the instructions from the manufacturer, to avoid smudges on your floor or door.