View Full Version : Questions on French Door
10-08-2007, 04:46 PM
For interior use, 1/8" tempered glass is plenty strong. Anything more is adding weight . . . and not much more.
I'm not entirely clear as to whether you want to make a door with a 'true' divided light with 12 or 15 small lights (panes) of glass, or a door that has a full window with applied mullions.
Assuming individual lights, if you (or someone else) ever need to replace one . . . you'll wish you pinned . . . the screws will be a lot harder to remove, where the pinned in glass stops will pop out with a putty knife.
Not sure on the caulk issue . . . I've only dealt with exterior glazing . . . I'll leave that question to someone that has does them. ;)
10-08-2007, 05:16 PM
I considered a full piece of glass with applied mullions but it seems that all the interior French Door manfacturers have true divided lights (at least as far as I can tell). Perhaps it's something of faux pau in the industry to have applied mullions although I know it's done on divided light cabinet doors all the time.
The thing that concerns me is the strength of the mullions and joinery. Perhaps once everything is fit together with the glass it becomes really rigid.
The few French door manufacturers that did specify the glass specify 1/4" glass - probably not necessary.
I guess the pins are OK but some practice would definitely be in order!
Danford C Jennings
10-08-2007, 06:02 PM
Can't really answer any questions pertaining to Freud since I stay away from their products...But, I have done interior French doors without a shaper using CMT's rail/stile router bits and have used router bits of the desired profiles and a slotter bit for the mullions, not applied btw. I used 1/4" glass with a little over a 1" bevel, very "tradtional, I know...
Any who, weight never concerned me because of the hinges. I also stay away from tempered glass, mainly because it literally explodes when broken. Dabs of silicon caulk eliminate ratteling...
True story, the house I grew up in was the same house my father grew up in. The glass (beveled) panes in the French doors between the living room and dining room were never broken...My opinion would be that those who don't know or have children that don't know how to close doors properly, shouldn't have glass paned doors in the first place. FWIW.
10-08-2007, 06:04 PM
Interior doors are usually 1 3/8" thick. Is there a reason for using 1 3/4"? In either case, for a full divided lite door, if you used one piece glass, you could make a divided frame in one piece and have one applied to each side.
10-08-2007, 06:21 PM
No real reason - most of the French Door manufacturers offer a 1&3/4" option. Also, I have 9' ceiling so the door would be an 8 footer. Finally, there is currently an exisitng knee wall which is framed with 2x6 so it's about 7" wide. If I used that for the jamb I figured I should also scale up the door slightly. Not sure how unusual a 7" wide jamb is.
10-08-2007, 06:43 PM
After reading up on installing slab doors (not pre-hung) it seems to me that the jamb is actually the part that takes the most skill!
I'd much rather use a standard rail&stile bit set. Do you recall if you just set the profile a little "deeper" to get closer to a 3/4" total profile?
In other words I think it would be fine to have the bottom and/or top lead-in to the ogee or bead a little taller.
I looked at CMT rail and stile offerings and they don't seem to have any made for exceptionally thick stock but I guess it doesn't really matter.
10-08-2007, 09:28 PM
As an FYI, I found another link on those Freud bits, and they will do 1-3/8ths inch thickness as well.
Another option if you have a good, powerful, sturdy table is this . . . it's open up a lot more profiles to you, buy letting you use shaper cutters . . . though it has limitations on height.
10-09-2007, 04:45 PM
There was a story told by one of the posters on this thread of someone dying due to the failure of a Freud bit.
There is also the fact that Freud 'discourages' the use of oven cleaner to clean bits and blades as it may 'damage their brazing' that hold the carbide to the steel . . . which doesn't say too much for their quality, since a lot of other companies recommend the use of oven cleaner.
The only Freud item I've ever owned, a 60T thin kerf crosscut blade, is in hindsight, a POS, that I thought was great before I knew better. }>
Some people LOVE their Dado sets . . . they are certainly one thing they do right.
But you know what they say about opinions . . . . ;)
Oh yeah . . . those MLCS sets look nice . . . good to have options on the profile. ;)
06-02-2010, 09:04 AM
I asked in the Home Improvement section about the difficulty of the making interior French doors and the consensus was that it is fairly difficult. However, after doing some research and purchasing a book (Make Your Own Handcrafted Doors and Windows by Birchard, John) it sees like something I might be able to tackle if I take it slow. In the above book, he says that a shaper is essential for any kind of paneled or French door but luckily it seems that some rail and stile bits for doors seem to be just hitting the market (I don't have a shaper). That leads me to my question -
Freud just came out with a interior door bit system (see below, that pic is not on the Freud site). Now, this bit is not designed for doors with lights - it's for paneled doors. All of the major bit manufacturers have divided light bit sets and they often show a picture of a french door along side the bit but if you look closely these will never work on 1&3/4 stock. This is the only true door making bit I could find. I could use a generic rail and stile bit set but the profiles are just too small for this application.
Anyhow, a French door is made like a rail and stile cabinet door except that the rail and stile profile is identical on both the front and rear of the door (one side is applied of course to hold the glass) and the slot for the panel is thinner to hold the glass. So, if we take 1&3/4" and subtract about 1/4" for the glass that leaves 3/4" for the profile on each side. This is why I cannot use generic rail and stile bits or divided light bit sets.
So my plan would be to use this bit set to make a matched rail/stile with 3/4" profile (note that the drawing below has no real dimensions - hopefully they will have more info later) leaving a 1/4" slot for the glass. Of course one of the profiles would be applied but ideally both sides should look identical. As I hinted above, the slot cut by the bit below is much larger than 1/4" but I'm thinking I could adjust the bit slightly to make a deeper profile. Of course the bottom profile is ripped off and a seperate piece of identically profiled stop molding made.
Does this look like a reasonable plan as far as using the router to make a divided light door? I could buy a used shaper but I bet the bit for this costs as much as the shaper.
A couple of other issues were not clearly adressed in the book -
1. I assume that the glass for this application would typically be 1/4" tempered glass, correct?
2. On the intersection of the mullions the author uses a lap joint in one example and later uses the only the matched profile + glue for the joint. He does not clamp the joint but ackowledges that the glue joint is probably not sound but does not have to be. Is the latter acceptable?
3. The author says the glass is always bedded in caulk to prevent rattling. Is the caulk primarily intended to be between the edge of the glass and the glass frame? In other words, if you have 1/4" glass I assume you should design for a 1/4" slot to hold the glass. However the x-y dimensions of the glass should be slightly undersize to allow for expansion/contraction of course. Thus the caulk just prevents the glass from sliding around.
4. The author recommends eustachian pins to hold the applied molding for the glass. I noticed that many commercial French door manufacturers use some type of clamp system so no fasteners are visible. In my case I would think small brass screws would be more reliable and less likely to cause damage when installing.
Sorry about the length of the post but it's usually the simple things that mess me up. Imagine making a door and then watching the glass crack as the humidity goes down.
One thing the author stresses is that stock selection is very critical. I'd like to use mohogany. The main reason I'm doing this is because I also need side lights and those are pretty much custom so the price and delays both beome large.
Here the bit pic -
06-02-2010, 09:04 AM
I accidentally found these MLCS bits. They fit the bill perfectly. Even makes a 1/4" slot (although of course I will actually cut off one profile to make the rabbit for the glass but that's OK).
Why are some people so down on Freud? I think I originally bought Freud because they were listed as best value among high end router bits in one of the magazine tests.
The only criticisms I have is that they perhaps have too many product offerings, i.e. some of their bits are not really pratical IMO.