The New Shop – Doors and Windows

With the roof (seemingly) fixed for leaks, the interior dried out, and things in general looking good, it was time to turn my attention to other details. The first order of business was to make a door so that security could be addressed. Plus, I didn’t care to come in one day and find a family of raccoons.

I don’t know if these doors will stick around for a long time, but I did need something now. It’s possible I make something a bit more fancy with windows down the road when my tools are fully accessible. But for now, something simple would work. I made a frame for the doors out of dimensional lumber. I used 2x4s all around except for the mating area, where I used 2x6s. This is for the locking mechanism to have enough wood to sit into securely. The frames went together with 10×50 sipo Dominos, with screws to act as a temporary clamp.

With the frame done, it was time to start thinking about a cover, and how that would interact with the rest of the exterior. I had thought about plywood T1-11, but at the last moment went with a composite panel with a redwood texture. It has a fiber back, which is claimed to not need paint, but I painted the bottom of it anyway. I may continue to do the same for all the lower level panels, just for extra protection from rain splash.

For this stage of the project, I just needed two panels. I decided to put the edge of the panels on the door edges, so the remainder of the panel would go up on the wall above and beside each door. The trick would be to get everything lined up. I cut the first panel a bit oversize for the door, which you may see in the pictures. This is the right door, which will be the seldom used door just like it is in my current shop. This will be the door I open only if I need to bring something large into the shop, or cut something wide or long on the table saw. Since I cut it large, I had to flush trim it up on the door. I used the under shiplap edge at the outer door edge, thinking that the opposite panel would overlay it and provide a bit of a stop.

When the panel was attached to the door (with some excess galvanized 10D nails), I installed the door temporarily to get an idea of where the panel needed to be placed on the wall. I installed it with standard framing nails via the gun, and had to flush trim it at the top of the door frame. I think I got it within an eight of an inch, just enough to notice, but there will be trim installed on both the door and above the frame, so it should be fine.

Here is a detail shot of the hinges.

They are advertised as a security hinge, not being able to be backed out. With my need for the doors to be outswing, this is important. I had originally wanted to just buy French doors with windows, but buying outswing is usually a special order and quite a bit more expensive. For the life of me I could not find reasonably priced solid double exterior doors either. Oh well, these doors are quite a bit less expensive, and they aren’t meant to be permanent.

I used the track saw on the other panel, which went considerably smoother and produced a better result. I was worried about the wear on the blade, which was really unfounded. I got a nice overlap above the door, which I hope to replicate on the door itself. With the doors mounted, it was time to work on security. I had wanted a regular lock and key from the beginning, so I bought a cheap set with a installation kit. It didn’t go that well, but the handle and lock did eventually get installed. I had to route out some on the back side to account for the door thickness, which I thought I had did well until nothing lined up properly. Then I made a mess of it, but oh well. Again, the door doesn’t line up 100% with the panel above, but the trim should disguise that well.

And proving that the shop is indeed pretty bang on level, the doors don’t do a damn thing when I open them. They stay exactly at the angle I choose. This is a huge improvement over what I have now.

I was able to buy all three windows on Saturday, along with a upper door lock and I set about installing them in the afternoon. All three windows went pretty much the same. I drilled a large enough hole at all four corners to get the reciprocating saw blade started, and cut out the rough opening. I cleaned up the cut with my handheld router and flush trim bit. This made a huge mess all over myself, and thankfully I had the foresight to equip the hearing protection, dust mask and safety glasses. Next time, I’ll have to add a hat. Maybe a smock, too.

With the rough opening ready, it was time to flash. I used the Zip tape per instructions, overlapping the tape at the lower edges and corners of the opening. The windows got a line of caulk around three sides (omitting the bottom for drainage), and it got set in the rough opening. I figured out that the windows needed to be raised up a bit, so I used a 1/2″ piece of ply as a spacer and manually set the horizontal spacing. Once set, I nailed the fins. Then more zip tape over the sides and top to complete the window. Something may leak, but it won’t be these windows. I now have three fully functional windows, one of which will house the air conditioner most of the time.


With the windows installed, it was time to work on the doors again. First step was to install a lock at the top of the right door. With my layout, the left door will again be the main point of entry, so the right door needs a solid stop and lock to rest against. I used a slide bolt entry guard that slides up into the header to keep the door from going anywhere. I drilled out a small hole where it attaches to allow it to slide up into the header more. On Sunday, I bought another one and installed it on the floor. I had to do this to get the door stable enough to completely install the door handle and deadbolt.

Getting the deadbolt and latch to seat in the right door was a fairly simple process made a bit more difficult due to some design choices. Since my door material overlaps a bit on the outside, I had to finesse the latch receiver with a hammer to get it to seat properly. Otherwise, some work with the drill and the chisel got the plates installed, and now I have a very secure new workshop. The doors are now complete minus the trim work. The windows are complete minus the interior trim and some foam. One window doesn’t really want to stay open, but thankfully that is the air conditioner window.


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