How I Create Art - The Build ProcessWoodworking

Building a Custom Door with Trapezoid Glass Accents

Building a Custom Door with Trapezoid Glass Accents

This project started out being a built in bookshelf, but the client decided to move the bookshelf out away from the wall to create a small room behind it to be used as a meditation and message area when taking a break from work.

rough cutting door parts to sizeAs with most every project, I started out rough cutting the parts to the general size, usually just a little bigger than needed so I can let the wood move before milling and jointing to final thickness and size.

Shop made tapering jigI used my shop made tapering jig to cut the top and bottom rails to start the angle for the trapezoid shaped glass accents.  I have been thinking about getting the micro jig version.  If anybody has one please let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

Once I had the angle figured out and the space divided into three equal parts, I cut the middle rails to fit, using my Incra HD1000.  

Domino XL for large floating tenonsI used the Domino XL with the largest tenons available for the joinery.  I know some purists are going to have a fit because I used a Domino instead of traditional mortise and tenons, but on a project this size where I needed to build the built in bookcase as well. I needed a fast and accurate way to get the job done, and not hold up the rest of the site construction.

Chiseling out the corner on a rabbetI lost some footage and photos of routing out for the glass panels, but basically I used a rabbeting bit from Rockler to create a rabbit for the glass to rest in.  I went back and chiseled out the round corners to match the trapezoid angle.  Then when I install the glass, it will be held in place with glass stop tacked with brad nails.

Cutting a dado on the top of a door jambThe jam is a custom size to fit the structure of the bookcase.  However, I did plan it out to use a 1 3/8” standard thickness door so I could use standard size hinges and templates.

Porter Cable Butt and hinge Mortise I used a porter cable hinge template #59381 to rout out the mortises for the hinges on the jamb and door.  This template worked great to be sure everything lined up.    When I was deciding what jig to use for this project, there was several reviews stating that this jig was not accurate.  However, I found it to be accurate and worked great.  After using the jig, I think those reviews may be based on user error not product quality, as there are some details to pay attention to when using this jig.

Cleaning up the corner of a mortise using a corner chisel The Porter Cable Hinge template came with a corner chisel for square hinges

Porter cable strike plate templateTo rout out for the strike plate and mortise for the door latch I used the Porter cable Strike and latch template #59375.  It was a good thing that this template was plastic, as do to me not paying attention I routed into the plastic on more than one occasion.

Drilling hole for door knob using jigTo drill the hole for the door knob I used the standard hole saw kit which is available just about everywhere.

Shop made jig to hold the door vertical To hold the door on edge, I used a shop made jig comprising of a 2×4 base and plywood triangle supports screwed to the 2×4.  It was surprisingly stable

Wood Slicer resaw bandsaw blade

Stapling the door jamb together Then when I finish the jamb I build it around the door to be sure that the reveal was the same all the way around.

Custom door with trapezoid glass accents in a built in bookshelfAnd finally stained with the customer’s choice of color and installed into the bookshelf.

If you would like to see more completion picture, or order a custom bookshelf or door. Please check out my website for custom built in bookcase with trapezoid door


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I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

Thank you for reading my blog.

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  1. The trapezoid windows make the door far more interesting. I laughed out loud re potential grief for using dominoes. I’m curious as to why two TV screens?

    1. Thanks David, I think the two TV screens is so he can watch the stock market on one and the game on the other.

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