My Millwork Outlet Christmas Wishlist

Like most people who work in retail, I have a long list of things I would love to have from the store where I work. Every day I get to hear about all the different ways our customers are remodeling and improving their homes and it makes me think about all the projects I hope to get to one day. I know I am not the only person who has taken a walk around the Millwork Outlet and added to my personal wishlist. The problem is that the Millwork Outlet is often times the last place people think to go to buy a Christmas gift. However, every year I get a few customers who are brave enough to go out on a limb, skip the busy malls and give a gift that keeps on giving for years and years. 

Last year I had a guy bring in his mother-in-law and pick out a new front door for his wife. We prehung the door, installed the door knob and called a super secret number when it was ready to make sure it was a surprise. He hid it in his shed complete with a bow until Christmas morning. When he returned to purchase his back door a few months later he told us how excited his wife was on Christmas morning and how beautiful the new door looks.

I also had a older gentleman who had been in a few times with his grandson who had recently purchased his first home. He bought him a $100 gift certificate because he knew he needed a new front door and figured the $100 would go further at the Millwork Outlet than it would at the Home Depot. If there is someone on your list who is looking for new doors, windows, moulding or reclaim materials we would really appreciate it if you would consider shopping at the Millwork Outlet this holiday season. 

Below I have included my own Millwork Outlet Christmas Wishlist. Now I just need to figure out how to get my husband to check it out :) 

Venise's Millwork Outlet Christmas List 

  • A new custom raw edge maple slab coffee table
  • A new door knob for my front door 
  • A new 10 lite hemlock exterior door with hinge match
  • A reclaim crown shelf 
  • Quarter round moulding installed around my baseboard 
  • New shaker style cabinet doors for my kitchen 
  • Reclaim wood to be used as chair rail in my dining room 
  • Custom built reclaim wood picnic table for my back yard 
  • PVC brickmold for my entry door


How to Hang Inset Doors

How to Hang Inset Doors

Install butt hinges perfectly and establish consistent, slender margins.

By Tim Johnson

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Nothing signals skillful craftsmanship like an inset door with elegant hinges and eye-pleasing margins. This challenging job leaves no room for error: Uneven surfaces and unsightly gaps will tell the tale if the hinges, door and frame don’t fit precisely. Like mastering hand-cut dovetails, successfully hanging inset doors on mortised butt hinges is a woodworking milestone. 

I’ll show you a three-step method for installing inset doors that produces great results every time. First, you match the door to the opening. Then you rout mortises for the hinges. And finally, you create uniform, attractive margins between the door and frame. Of course, you can skip the mortising step altogether by choosing different hinges (see “No-Mortise Hinge Options, below”).

To complete the job, you’ll need a couple simple jigs, a mortising bit, and a laminate trimmer. A laminate trimmer is a compact router that’s a really handy addition to any woodworking shop. (If you don’t own a laminate trimmer, this is a great excuse to buy one.) 

Round out your door-installing arsenal with a pair of secret weapons—a plastic laminate sample swiped from the home center and a double-bearing flush-trim router bit. This great new bit should be a fixture in every woodworking shop.

Choose hinges

Your first task is to choose between extruded (also referred to as drawn or cast) or stamped hinges (see photos, above). Extruded hinges are machined and drilled, so there’s virtually no play between the knuckles or around the hinge pin. Stamped hinges are made from thinner stock. Their leaves are bent to form the knuckles that surround the pin. Extruded hinges will last longer, because their knuckles have more bearing surface.

I often use stamped hinges because they cost about one-third as much as extruded hinges and they’re available at most hardware stores. They work fine in most situations. Examine stamped hinges carefully before buying. If you notice large gaps between the knuckles and vertical play between the two hinge leaves, keep looking. Be aware that some stamped hinges are brass plated rather than solid brass. Hinges with loose pins make it easy to remove and reinstall the door, but they aren’t widely available.

Click any image to view a larger version.

6. Rout mortises in the door stile. Locate the mortise at least one hinge length from the top. Because of its small size, a laminate trimmer works great for this delicate job.

8. Rout mortises in the face-frame stiles using the mortising jig. You’ll need a laminate trimmer for this job, because the mortises are so close to the corner. 

10. Rout the door to final length. Use a fence and a flush-trim bit with top- and bottom-mounted bearings to avoid blowing out the back edge. First, rout halfway using the top bearing.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker May 2006, issue #121.

May 2006, issue #121

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