How to SWAT-proof your security door

If your house is a castle, your front door is the portcullis. An article in Survivopedia states that you should build and install your own security door that can withstand violent forces – including a SWAT team.

You will need the following tools and materials to make your own DIY-door:

  • Band saw or table saw
  • Caulk gun
  • Clamps
  • Grit sandpaper from 100-grit to 220-grit
  • Paintbrush or cotton cloth
  • Safety glasses
  • Steel wool
  • Waterproof glue
  • Waterproof silicone caulk
  • Wood molding pieces
  • Wood varnish
  • Cherry, oak, or walnut hardwood that is 18 feet in length and at least 1.5 inches thick (for thick panels) or 0.75 inches thick (for double panels)

A router saw is not required, but it would be nice. (Related: How to make your own DIY washing machine.)

Building the frame of your DIY security door

Put on your safety goggles before starting on the stile pieces that will comprise the outer frame of your door. Use either saw to cut two 84-inch stile pieces.

Next, cut two rails. One should be eight inches wide; it will serve as the bottom rail. The other one is the top rail and should be 3.5 inches in width.

Line up the newly cut stile and rail wood pieces to ensure they fit snugly. You should have a 36 x 80 inch rectangle that fits inside most door openings.

Move to sawing the inner rails with the table saw. Make sure they are 2.5 inches wide. In addition, you will want to cut a pair of vertical mullions with widths of 2.5 inches.

The next step is to glue the joints of the pieces. Place all the mullions and stiles on a flat surface.

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Put each piece together to make sure they fit all around your door. Spread plenty of waterproof glue on each joint.

Use clamps to secure the joints. Make sure they are tight before leaving the glue to dry.

Assembling the parts of your DIY door

Cut the panels according to the spaces between the stiles and rails that they will be filling. Guide your cuts using a table saw fence.

If you went for 1.5-inch thick wood, you can make do with single raised panels. Thinner wood will require pairs of panels.

That optional router saw can see good use here. It can bevel or round the edges of the panels to add finer details.

Remove the clamps that secure the now-dry joints of the door frame. Then attach the panels to the door frame, in between the stiles and the rails. Wood molding pieces are a great help to make it fit.

Moldings also add to the finished look around the panels. Apply a combination of glues and nails to anchor the panels.

Afterward, add waterproof silicone caulking along the inside of the wood molding. This will make the door tougher and improve its insulation against outdoor drafts.

The final phase is to reinforce your door against the elements. A coat of varnish will protect it against warping caused by shifting temperatures.

Sand the surface of your door until it is fine and smooth. Start with 100-grit sandpaper and switch to higher grit until you get to 220-grit.

Mix wood finishing varnish and mineral spirits in a 50:50 ratio. Then apply a coat to the door with a paintbrush or a clean cloth.

Let the first coat dry before repeating the process. Give the door three layers of varnish. Once all coats are dry, run fine steel wool across the surface.

Go with a colored varnish that matches your home. If you want to paint over the door, use a clear varnish instead.

Now you have a door that can protect your home from a SWAT assault while also looking good.

Learn more DIY tips to prepare your home for unexpected events at

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