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I've got a 26.5"x79" rough opening for a storage space under my staircase. I'd like to install a double door where each door is about a foot wide an hinges out. A ball latch in the top casing could keep them in place when closed.

My preference is to match the Victorian aesthetic of the rest of the house so I was thinking about taking an old solid interior door that's about 24"x80" that has stiles etc (don't know all the correct terms) and rip it in half then cut the top and/or bottom to dimension.

My question is, would the door fall apart if I did this because the glued joints would be compromised? enter image description here

Edit: Added photo of example door and dimensions above.

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can you show a pic of door you want to cut up and dimensions of door and R/O of opening you want to fill? –  shirlock homes Jan 29 '11 at 17:31
    
Done. Please see above. –  jlpp Jan 30 '11 at 13:55
    
One other thing to consider: insulation. Generally, insulated doors are used, so you may need to come up with a creative way to insulate the old-school door. Maybe rigid foam glued to the back of the door, plus weatherstripping around the edges. Won't be aesthetically pleasing, but you'll only see it when you open the door (or, if you open inward, only from the attic side). –  richardtallent Aug 24 '11 at 4:56
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It might work - however the problem would be where the centre uprights join the horizontal sections.

This piece of ascii art might help:

||========||
||   ||   ||
||   ||   ||
||   ||   ||
||========||
||   ||   ||
||   ||   ||
||   ||   ||
||========||

Where "||" is the vertical sections and "==" the horizontal.

You'll end up with two sections like this:

||====    ====||
||   |    |   ||
||   |    |   ||
||   |    |   ||
||====    ====||
||   |    |   ||
||   |    |   ||
||   |    |   ||
||====    ====||

As you can see buy cutting up the centre you are cutting through the middle of the joints which will weaken the joints and they could come apart.

These joints are mortice and tenon and you could try strengthening them by putting a dowel through the tenon before cutting:

Strengthen door before cuttting

Drill all the way through, insert the dowel (with glue), plane and sand smooth. If you're painting the doors you won't see the join. To drill the hole straight you could use a portable drill guide or a plunge router.

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Cool idea. I'm curious, though, how can one drill all the way through 80" of door in a straight line? –  Shimon Rura Jan 30 '11 at 18:56
    
@Shimon you need a portable drill guide (or a steady hand!). –  ChrisF Jan 30 '11 at 19:03
    
Thanks. Wouldn't the drilling be through the depth of the door (1.5" or so) not through the height (80")? Would a plunge router work in place of a drill to make the dowel holes? –  jlpp Jan 30 '11 at 19:18
    
@jlpp - yes the holes are drilled through the thickness (depth) of the door and yes a plunge router would also work. –  ChrisF Jan 30 '11 at 19:23
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I would just glue another piece on after you rip it down so that the rails are the same size all around. Since it's a long grain to long grain joint it will be as strong as the wood. Once painted you'll never see it.

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