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Composite Oak French Doors / Windows: make your own

Let’s embark on some custom home made, triple glazed, external doors/ windows. Here I use oak, but other woods could work just as well (sourcing locally is obviously good, as is wood from sustainably managed woodlands).

We made these French doors to replace the current garage door to the workshop, but you could just as easily modify this how-to, to work for whatever you are planning (assuming you want wooden ones). They are made from an in-house designs, the process and product of which we will share with you as we go along.

The design is such that it is not necessary to own much big woodworking machinery, the idea being that it would be possible to make these doors possessing only fairly simple tools, whilst still producing decent glue joints. By obtaining pre-planed and dimensioned wood from a local sawmill, it is possible to laminate together some fine joinery and make some lovely oak doors.

Making Composite Oak Triple Glazed French Doors

Responses to Composite Oak French Doors / Windows: make your own

  1. Ken Culbertson

    Well, am thinking of rebuilding my sunroom this summer and am using Composite Oak French Doors on the flowering elbow website. But am also thinking about looking into making sliding glass doors since there are 3 of them facing out to the yard. Shoji doors can slide, but am unsure if the weight of the red oak and glass would allow for the doors to slide. So any ideas? I still have several months to make the plans.

  2. Bongo

    Hi Ken,
    I don’t really see any problem with the sliding approach, though obviously there will be new challenges. I take it you are thinking about the ‘concertina’ style folding doors?
    I have always considered these to be very nice, but I expect you will have to research the opening and closing mechanism and weather sealing details quite carefully.

    Depending on how wide you make each segment, that way you may have less leverage on the joints than with conventional swing open joints (but then I suppose you do only get a top and bottom to support each leaf).

    Anyway, big triple glazed opening walls in this style are not uncommon, so I don’t think there are any insurmountable problems with weight.

    You might start with a scan through some of the pertinent patents – like this one ( – to get a feel for how the mechanism will work.

    Let us know how the project progresses.

  3. Ken Culbertson

    Your idea on the concertina type door is interesting and one that I will take into consideradtion. I had been thinking more of the sliding glass patio doors. I’ve started looking into how Shoji doors operate and have e-mailed a couple of guys that handmake these to see if they have any suggestions since the doors would be heavier and thicker then what they make, it is possible that they have made something similar since they custom make them for clients.

    The concertina doors would open up the sunroom twice as much then the sliding patio doors and is worth while looking into.

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