I started to think about buying the side door and was intrigued by the way I almost unthinkingly chose that path well traveled, which is of course to just to buy one in. Anyway, us DIYers have many good readers for doing it ourselves and mine is manyfold for this door. I could have bought a door for around £70 with free delivery and I have used the supplier before and the quality was very good, but this is a shed. I can make my own in two or three hours knowing the quality is better and I had some studs I could use that were straight and ready for the project already.
My studs are the standard 1 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ and my door height is 6’6″. The mortises took me 20 minutes for each of the wide rails, 10 1/2″ and 7″, and about half that on the top rail. So an hour and 40 minutes chopping did it. The studs were £4.20 each and I used four to make up the laminated wide rails and stiles. £17 for wood and then cladding for the panelling. Offcuts from cladding the sides. I made the door frame from studs too so a doorframe for £10.
Here’s the thing. Doing it yourself is indeed a matter of choice. I will have a door and frame hung and installed for about four hours work and about £25 max. But the decider was not the cost nor was it associated in anything more than the desire to self make. How many of us are self-made men and women is up for dispute. Often it’s the circumstances we face moving through life that defines who we are. As with most people there is something about saving materials and reusing what at one time would have either been definitely up-cycled or despised and thrown in the land fill depending on your character. Yers, I think it a characterful thing not to waste no matter how much you own or earn. But that’s nothing more than my opinion and it’s worth nothing more than that.
The knots in my spruce are extremely hard but I edge planed to edges for jointing and considered using the belt sander for the faces as they will come out better in this case. You might not like to hear that but some woods will do more damage than good. In actuality it could also be a mixture of both. Where the hard knots are, and not all knots are hard, I think it more economical in a range of ways than planing. I am always protective of my hand tools and nowadays I can tell what I want to do more than say 30 years ago.
I may prehang the door into the frame on the workbench, it’s easy enough and I like it that way. The wedged tenons means you can remove the clamps straightaway, trim them of, plane the door edges and get on with fitting and hinging. Then you stand the door in the opening, equal out the margin around the door stile, door head and frame head and fix the frame. You’re done.