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DIY interior doors???

Discussion in 'Recording' started by somexone75, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    I know that the more mass the better and I need to eliminate air gaps as well as possible, but I am drawing a blank for the design... Design ides that have been tried and true anybody?
  2. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I've got two ways that have worked successfully in my studio:

    1. I was fortunate to pick up two complete sets of Steel doors & jambs for just $5/set. These doors are constructed of a dense styrofoam core sandwiched between two layers of steel. I slapped one layer of drywall on each side. I also cut open a window space, added two glass panels (one a double pane unit) with air space between them.

    2. I purchased a new solid-core door and treated it the same way.

    The challenge in adding the layers of drywall are dressing the exposed edges. I used metal "J" molding made for this purpose on all the exposed straight edges. Around the holes for the knob and deadbolt I cut an open-ended ring from a cardboard mailing tube and glued it into place.

    BTW, I couldn't find any latch sets made to fit a door this thick, so my holes in the drywall were big enough that the latch flange could be assembled all the way against the original door surface as it was intended to be.
    Take care in planning... your drywall will need to be held back from the edges of the door on the side where the door meets the jamb when closed.

    Hope this helps!

  3. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    That's not a bad idea, but I'm looking for a total DIY door; something I can build from the ground up.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Do you have Rod Gervais' Book? It would be money well spent.
  5. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    No I don't. College student...

    I was hoping you guys could show me what seems to work best for your experience for full on DIY...
  6. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    So, you want to start from scratch because... ???

    But, given that, what part are you having a problem with?

    You create a slab 6'8" high by whatever your door width is.

    You go buy some jamb stock from the lumber yard and install a jamb.

    You reinforce the door with drywall.

    How can we help you?

  7. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    From my experience, 9 times out of 10 you will be better off making and designing your own part for a given custom built application; unless you are going to pay through the roof for the products engineering; pre-fab or custom.

    That's given... If you refer back to my initial post I was asking specifically for "design ideas that have been tried and true" As I stated I was asking about design ideas for a strictly homemade DIY interior isolation door.

    Think about it, you can make a slab out of anything. I am just looking for what composition, by experience, works best for a true DIY isolation door.

    (Not tryin' to sound angry or aggressive. I know I could have worded it better in a spot or two, but ya... I just don't see how y'all missed that.)
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I understand, but it will probably save you money real quick if you're building anything studio related. I'm not just promoting a good book, I'm trying to save you money in the end. A proper DIY door isn't cheap, so how many mis-steps will eat up that $26 you think you saved? And if you're seriously on a Ramen noodle budget, you should probably hold off on attempting this until you've got a little cash saved up.

    Anyway, check out this link for some detailed discussion.

    Good luck!
  9. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    I'll take your word that it'd be worth the buy.... Thanks for your help. (Hope Sam Ash will have a copy tomorrow for their huge sale)
  10. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    DIY doors are a LOT trickier than you can imagine... as is with most everything studio DIY, conventional wisdom does NOT always actually work that well.

    Thick is not the best answer... MASS is... as the OP originally stated.

    I used a minimum of two sheets of 1/16" lead, on two doors, and 3 sheets on the other two. Sheet lead is the most mass for the size you can get. Sheet lead is NOT cheap, nor is it easy to handle. But it IS the most mass for the buck.

    If you decide to make windows in your doors, you need to have the same (or slightly greater) mass as the rest of the door. In my case, the glass was two panes of 3/4" laminated glass, in each door.

    Your doors, as a complete assembly, should have a greater mass than your walls... primarily as you will not get as great of a seal as the rest of the wall. So, wherever air goes, so goes sound.

    Hinges that can carry that mass are imperative! If you use a hinge that can't carry the weight, your door can eventually come down. Not only is that a huge financial issue, it's also a huge liability risk... if you can imagine a 250-300 lb door falling on someone.

    Using extruded door seals is also highly recommended. You can use K-Type trunk rubber in combination with the extrusions, and increase your odds of sealing the air gap... but once again, good stuff ain't cheap and cheap stuff ain't always good.

    Rod's Super Door is, IMHO, as good as it gets.

    When you get your copy of the book, you should really spend a lot of time pouring over the whole book and not just with the section on doors.
  11. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    I knew the door was gonna be heavy and think and massive (3" or so) in order to have the largest resistance to sound, but thanks for your honest opinion and tips from experience.

    Yep, I know that cheap ain't always good, but I have the mentality of "if there's a will there's a way". I try to run through about every physically possible (and some very unlikely) situations to imagine (with a realistic / pessimistic perspective; while doing the research on the real-life experience) how things would perform...

    Long story short, cheap ain't always good, but there is a middle man out there; it just takes extensive research and planning (or engineering if you will)...
  12. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I plan on reinventing the wheel to avoid middlemen and produce a less expensive product. The problem with some things DIY is experience, and that even though the labor may be inexpensive other things may not be like materials, like failure to achieve good results on the first attempt and so on. Of course if this is being done in the pride of self construction arena costs be damned great then go for it. Quality doors are not a simple build to begin with, this is further complicated to a huge degree by adding the amount of mass Madmax (or R Gervais) is suggesting. Adding double or triple the weight originally engineered places a great deal of stress on jamb construction and hinges.
  13. somexone75

    somexone75 Active Member

    Yep with the added mass it is a given that there will be added stress on the support members of the door. I'd love to finalize a perfect DIY design with a perfect design in the end, but I know that it can take a lot of money and time to reach perfect end result. I'd love perfect, but since I'm not in a profit based situation in a large scale building I'll be happy to settle for second best.
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