French Parlor Doors, Part 2

Adding Sidelites

Using the door measurements, I was able to figure out where the two vertical studs need to be to install the doors once the satellites are built. I measured the doors, added 1/8″ for each of the hinged sides and another 1/8″ for the gap between the doors so they will open and close independently of each other. I also cut into the top and bottom of each side another piece of wood 16 3/16″ long. Measuring again from corner to corner on both diagonals, I am within 1/16″ of perfection, so I’ ready to move on!


Here is what the glazing strips look like that I need to match for the sidelites. It looks like a basic router bit that I probably have. Aaaaaaand…bingo! I have it. That’s great because router bits aren’t known to be particularly cheap. I love it when I have stuff.


I’m going to use this old piece of 2×4 that I have from another project laying around to start the first unit. Nothing fancy. Yet.


The first thing to do here is to get the measurements of the door glazing strips. They are 1 1/16″ x 3/4″ before they are routed. Easy enough, so I ripped several of this size through my table saw.


Next on the to-do list is to get these things routed out and stuck together.  Let’s just start with the routing part first though. I included this photo to show how the outer edge of the bearing on the router bit lines up with my fence almost perfectly.  This is important so that each of the pieces will have the same pattern cut in.  I would also suggest cutting all of them at the same time so that you don’t have to try to duplicate the exactness of your setup later on.


After zinging them all through the router, this is what I have now. In this photo, I have just routed the one side.  I will, of course, have both sides routed on each stick.


L’il ol’ impatient me.  I just have to see how things are going to look before they come to fruition. I set them all down on my lovely, clean garage floor to get the visual.  Sometimes you just need some motivation to continue, y’know?


So how do you get the clean connection when you have a routed edge? You flip it over and route the ends of the other side with the same bit. Magic, right?  Who would have known.

I have used wood glue and finish nails (very carefully) to attach the frames together to specification of the doors.  They match! After checking that they line up just right with the doors, I painted the back sides that will touch the glass so I don’t have to worry about that later on.


Here is the first one installed!  I’m getting much more excited about this project as I keep seeing meaningful visual progress! What you are seeing here is the first window frame with a 3/8″ strip frame around it. I secured them together with wood glue and finishing nails, then used glue and finish nails to attach it into the sidelite frame. I had to add the smaller frame around the window panes because they need to be the same size as the door, but that left a small gap that needed to be filled.


Once that all happened, I used a piece of milled-to-spec 2×4 to fill in the gap at the top, and a piece of milled-to-spec 2×6 to fill in the gap at the bottom. Lookin’ good so far!

As a side note, I had to figure out where the door would hang to make sure that all of the window panes lined up once the doors were installed.  This is a very important step, because if I’m off at all, it will be painfully obvious forever.


I dry-fitted the other side of the glass panes in, and it fits very snugly and perfectly! Now I am adding the paint to the areas where the glass will be so that I don’t have to tape everything off later, which would be ridiculously laborious and boring. Always paint first if you can and save yourself many bad feelings and expletives.


Here is the other side.  The process was the same, so I won’t bore with details.


Now for the glass…let’s hope I don’t lose a finger about it. Using a basic $2 glass cutter, I cut out the glass pieces I need. I am using a clear silicone adhesive to attach the glass to the back side of the panes. I also used thumb tacks to keep them in place while the silicone hardens and cures.


Now that the silicone has got a good formation, I can put in the other side of the pane! I wiggled it into place, snug up against the glass, and put four very tiny but long screws into it, going sideways into the outer frame.  I have a 2-year-old. This is most likely going to need new glass at some point in our lives, and I really want it to be simple when that needs to happen.


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