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Step 22 – Finishing Touches & Door Handle

We have a few more bits and bobs left to do to make the doors look good (and function well). Firstly lets tidy up the glass retainers so that those ugly screw holes are covered up. As you may be aware we need the glass retainers screwed, rather than glued on, because if either of the triple glazed sealed units fail or are accidentally damaged, it will need replacing, without us wanting to tear our nice doors apart.  But we can still disguise the screw holes with wooden plugs.  These can easily be drilled out and replaced in the event that we need to undo the retainers (though it would take time).

I took quite some time selecting off cuts of oak that matched best the colour and grain pattern of the specific retainer I was plugging.  Plug cutting seems quite a demanding activity, I wouldn’t bother trying to cut them without a pillar drill.

Finishing Up

As we may will need to remove the plugs should the unthinkable happen and the glass need replacing, it is best not to use any glue on them.  That’s fine, instead, the taper of the plugs and the tight fit achieved with a few gentle taps of a mallet will keep them in place.  Once there we cut off the excess with a flush cut saw and sand them over to get a fine smooth finish.

Finishing Up

If you get a good match you can hardly see them, like the ones on the top retainer here.

Finishing Up

Once they are all done, nice and tidy (that takes a while) the corners can be chamfered over like this.  I think this is quite a nice touch, and can be done with some careful router action, using a 45 degree chamfer bit. Of course you could also opt for curved or whatever style you fancy.

Finishing Up

With luck the inside glass retainers blend in and look to be a fixed part of the door…

Finishing Up

Now for the door handle.  I wanted to spend some time making this, as it will be that daily point of kinaesthetic contact with the door.  I selected what I thought was a particularly dense and pleasing block of oak and drew a profile on two faces of it.  These were then cut out on the bandsaw using a thin blade.

Finishing Up

Here are some other things I contemplated for the door handle.  The paper you can see has a rubbing of the door’s lock and spindle hole so I can make a base plate for the handle.

Finishing Up

Below is what I ended up with.  The shape was arrived at mostly by happy accident, with me shaving bits off, considering it and shaving some more.  I used a scrap of teak to make the base plate, as I thought the colour contrasted nicely. This base plate houses a little ball bearing that keeps the spindle located properly.

The door handle spindle I had to cut down from some square steel stock – no door hardware suppliers had any long enough for these super wide doors.  I drilled and tapped a thread in it to hold the oak handle securely on.

I am still thinking of somehow putting a piece of white quartz or something in hole at the end.  I guess I would have to glue two or more halves together, once I had got them in there.

Finishing Up

For the outside, I thought I would experiment with some white stone.  After a period of time of looking out for a pleasing door handle shaped rock, I found this one (below). As you can see, it has been drilled with a diamond bit and a stainless steel spindle has been epoxied into the hole. Here the epoxy (JB Weld) is curing, the tape keeps it in place, and the clamp is just there to hold it upright.

With that fitted the door is pretty much finished.  It looks quite interesting from outside, and feels pleasing to the hand – going in and out of the door is still strangely enjoyable.

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Responses to 22 – Finishing Touches & Door Handle

  1. sam c

    The quality of your workmanship is excellent .
    I like the use of finger joints coinciding with the width of the laminations . The security glazing strip , glazing packers and ventilated rebate should ensure a long lasting unit . Has any one asked you “can I have one of those ?”

  2. Bongo

    Thanks for the kind words. A few of our friends who have seen it say they want some, but don’t own their own houses…
    So still waiting on that commission ;)

  3. Matthew

    You mentioned putting quartz in the end of the door handle. I remember reading a instructable on something like that. Maybe that could open up a new avenue of thought.

  4. Bongo

    Hey Matthew. Good tip. Will come in handy for a future project. Thanks!

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