Doors and doorways are vital architectural elements. They mark boundaries, provide access and security, and keep out the cold winter wind. In warmer weather, screen doors allow ventilation while keeping critters out and pets in. While your doors are doing all this, they also are making a profound statement about your home. Why rely on commercially produced doors for such a critical role when you can build your own? In this workshop we'll design and build both an entry door and a screen door. We'll tackle all aspects of door making, from selecting the right materials to hanging the door on its hinges, from cutting the joints to applying a finish, and everything in between. Bring along your creativity and enthusiasm as we work our way through this collaborative design/build process.

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm


  • Competency Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Course Objectives:

By the end of this class students will have collaborated to design and build an entry door  (and frame) and a screen door. They will be familiar with the materials and hardware used in door construction and (time permitting) will have been through the process of installing a custom door.

Recommended Readings:

Handcrafted Doors and Windows, Amy Rowland, Rodale Press 1982

Build Like a Pro Windows and Doors: Expert Advice from Start to Finish, by Scott McBride, Taunton Press 2002

Cutting Edge Table Saw Tricks by Ken Burton

Woodworking with the Router by Bill Hylton

Woodworking: the Right Technique by Bob Moran


Tools/Materials to Bring

Safety goggles and hearing protection.

Comfortable, closed-toe shoes.

Tape Measure

Cordless drill (if available),

Adjustable square,

Block plane (if available)

Other basic, small hand tools (card scraper, chisels, bevel gauge, etc)


Draft Schedule/Outline:

This workshop includes a whole boatload of great stuff about doormaking, doors, design, and woodworking in general. The basic schedule is something like this:

Show up Sunday evening for a round of introductions, q & a, and other beginning of the class stuff.

Learn about stuff like safety, design, making little pieces of wood out of big ones, putting all those little pieces back together again and making them fit, then finishing them to suit.

Laugh a little

Go home tired, but happy with a new arsenal of skills and the burning ambition to build yourself a new door.


Class Schedule:

Sunday eve:  Orientation, welcome dinner, course overview


Intro to the Shop

Overview of door construction, hardware, and materials

Design, Sketching and Planning

Materials acquisition?

Materials Prep


Door Frames (and weather stripping)


Patternmaking and Shaping






Hanging and Finishing



Glazing, Screening

Installation?? (We'll have to see how things go—there is an awful lot to cover before we get to this point)

Pack Up

Class Evaluations


I conduct all my classes in an informal, but structured manner. Please feel free to ask plenty of questions as we go—I tend to do better when there is a dialog going on, rather than me just standing up front yakking away. Expect some really bad jokes, a lot of laughter, and plenty of time to work. Don’t be hesitant about taking your turn when it comes time to cut something. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to ask for help when there is something you don’t understand or if there is a procedure you’re nervous about.