Easy ways to make your exterior doors more secure

Home security is a major concern for many of our customers looking for new doors and windows. Statistics of home burglaries suggest that the most common point of entry is doors. Obviously, making sure your door locks are in working order and are utilized is one of the most important steps in keeping your home safe from intruders. In addition to locking your doors, we often suggest our customers consider adding the following upgrades to help keep your family and belongings safe. 
1. Switch your door to an outswing door 
Outswing doors should all be prehung with security hinges to prevent unwelcome guests from removing the hinge pin from the outside. When hung with an non-removable pin hinge outswing doors create a more secure door. Outswing door thresholds (pictured left) have a hard stop on the inside that the door shuts against. Since the easiest way to breach a door is by kicking it in, the solid stop on the threshold makes the door significantly more difficult to kick in thus forcing them to either pry the door open (which is also easier if the door swings in) or yank them open, which would be difficult if relying on pure manpower.

2. Install a Security Plate 
I security plate like the one shown reinforces the jamb so the jamb doesn't easily splinter and break. The security latch is installed between the jamb and the 2x4 or 2x6 frame. Make sure to use extra long screws when installing the latch plate and security plate so that they tie the jamb and 2x4 or 2x6 together creating a more solid framework. The $10 investment could be well worth the money spent should a thief attempt to break in. 

3. Choose a door with strategically placed glass
Glass doors can be aesthetically pleasing letting natural light into your home, however, they may not be the safest doors available. For home owners who are concerned with door security I usually recommend a door without glass or a door with glass that is placed high enough so that if it is broken, the deadbolt and lock are not reachable. Craftsman style doors are my favorite choice because they are stylish yet practical in terms of home security. 
4. Install Deadbolts 
This one is easy! Never buy an exterior door without a deadbolt. Deadbolts are longer and stronger so they are far better than the standard locks. Many homeowners insurance policies now require that all exterior doors are equipped with deadbolts so make sure you have one. At the Millwork Outlet we are in the business of making sure our customer's homes are safe and beautiful so our door shop NEVER charges for a double bore!


John Sindelar’s Tool Museum is Packing Up

John Sindelar’s Tool Museum is Packing Up

John Sindelar’s Michigan tool museum will close its doors in a couple weeks when Sindelar moves his woodworking business about five miles down the road. Sindelar is one of the most public tool collectors I’ve ever met, and he opens his amazing collection in Edwardsburg, Mich., to anyone who asks nicely. He also opens it Continue reading»

Small End-table with Decorative Inlay

My youngest son (Brian) likes making intricate furniture as much, if not more than, the larger projects we do. He recently created an end table w/ a small inlay for us and we took a few pics of the various stages of production. This work is historically referred to as marquetry.
Like all design work, it starts with a drawing

then he created his bird from 1/8th inch maple
then he used the bird cut out to mark exactly the size and shape of the area to be removed on the table top
the router is used to create the inset area
he made the bird’s beak from a naturally red-colored wood called Paduak
inlay prior to finish coat
here is a detail of the drawer within the skirt
hand-rubbed oil finished with a urethane top coat
I began to think of how great one of these inlays would look as a small ‘signature’ on one of the doors or drawer fronts in a kitchen or entertainment unit. A rosette made from a contrasting wood could also make a piece richer
this is a pair of doors I made many years ago for a client using what is known as marquetry inlay banding.
It seems that the possibilities for cabinet and furniture makers are endless

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.


& Spline Paneled Door">Slot & Spline Paneled Door

Slot & Spline Paneled Door

Hands down, the easiest way to make a frame-and-panel door.

By Tom Caspar

Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from

A good-looking frame-and-panel door is really quite easy to make, if you keep it simple. The doors in this cabinet are held together by splines made from 1/4-in. plywood. The panels are 1/4-in. plywood, too. The splines and panel fit into the same size slots in the stiles and rails.

All you need to make a slot-and-spline style door is a router table and a 1/8-in. slotting cutter (see photo, right). Plywood is usually undersized, so a 1/4-in. cutter would be too big. Instead, you’ll make two slightly overlapping passes using the 1/8-in. cutter. That way, you can adjust the slot’s width to perfectly fit your plywood, whatever its actual thickness.  

Click any image to view a larger version.

A 1/8-in. slotting cutter is the only bit you need to make this door. 

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker March 2006, issue #120.

Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from


A Thoroughly Modern Kitchen

They were an older couple and made an apartment from the top floor of her daughter’s home. They took the largest room upstairs, turned half into a living room and the other half for the kitchen. This enabled me to stand in living room and capture a good shot of the whole kitchen. Few projects are like that and it’s one of the reasons I have this photo displayed on the gallery of our website.
They had thought long and hard about how they wanted it laid out and he, having been an engineer, drew the floor plan. They also said it was to be very modern and blond in color. I’d love to take sole credit for the design of this beauty but, I’m happy having gotten the job amongst three bids (and simply helping with it’s design).
Here is the room all prepped before installation…

before cabinetsAs all the cabs had toe-kicks, we built our bases (2X4′s), leveled them and began placing each cab in place.

first cabinets inMy son, Brian, working on the island (notice the quarter-round glass shelves on left)

modern kitchen island being installedNotice the roof pitch (ceiling slant) that required we make cabs with slanted tops to which the crown molding had to be wrapped at an angle. The ‘crown’ was simply ‘one by’ material so we increased the height of the piece on the face compared to the side runs. My elder son (Russell) is contemplating something in the background.

modern cabs with a slantHere is the first picture after completion. You’ll notice the island’s counter made of contrasting strips of hardwood. You can see the stove top’s highly stylized vent hood. It was important to get a beauty because it was so prominent.island counter top of different woodsHere is a shot of the island from behind. We maintained a continuous veneer for the doors and drawer fronts in a clear finished maple. All were mounted over-lay with long, thin chrome pulls.

modern kitchen islandHere you can see the left side of the kitchen and the effect of the glass shelves (which are on the right side as well).

stylish modern kitchenThe cabinets on the far right and left are open shelved from behind, though you can barely see it (opposite the fridge). The coffee maker, toaster, can opener, etc. are there for easy access. This frees up counter space and keeps the kitchen looking clean and orderly. Our client is in the background. ( I interrupted her making dinner when I stopped by to photograph)ultra modern kitchen islandThis makes a handsome master shot. The track lighting is very cool looking and if I’d had a slightly wider lens, I could have shown the glass shelves on the right and left sides. Maybe I’ll go back and photograph the kitchen again some day. Might even make a nice, short film for the video page on our site.

kitchen of the futureRussell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.