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Repairing warped barn door

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Forum topic by Mark90 posted 12-28-2017 02:39 AM 2435 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark90

17 posts in 299 days


12-28-2017 02:39 AM

Hi all,

I built a 60” x 98” barn door for a customer and have been notified that it has warped. From the photo she sent me it looks as though one corner is about an 3/4” to 1” out of whack.. the bottom left corner bending away from the wall.

It was constructed out of 2×8 doug fir, decorative diagonal brace from one corner to another, with pine t&g in dadoes around the frame.

I know that some type of turnbuckle is what I’m looking for, but you can see that I don’t have much clearance. Can anyone make a suggestion of something low profile and yet strong enough to pull the corner in on this 1 1/2” door?

Edit-

This seems like a decent solution, with large enough screws for the force, but the cable isn’t long enough.

Do you think just buying a long enough cable would suffice? Should I go up in diameter?


29 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3670 days


#1 posted 12-28-2017 02:49 AM

I’d say 3/4” is within acceptable tolerances
considering the size of the door and quality
of material.

That said, since you didn’t manage customer
expectations from the beginning…

I’m aware of turnbuckle kits to remove sag
from gates but I can’t think of a way to
remove “potato chip” from a door with one.

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Mark90

17 posts in 299 days


#2 posted 12-28-2017 02:54 AM

Would the tension not pull it back in, if installed on the back?

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

989 posts in 185 days


#3 posted 12-28-2017 02:56 AM

wondering: how long has it been in the customers home ?
how long was the wood actually “in” your shop.
what were the climatic conditions of your shop when you assembled it.

I am thinking along the lines of temperature and humidity changes between
your shop and the clients home.
a quick fix now may cause more problems later when the wood finally
comes to its acclimated resting place.
if it were me – I would ask the client for patience until you can be assured
that the wood is fully acclimated – then explore your options of correction.

also wondering: what kind of finish did you put on the wood and how many coats ?
and the back side? equal treatment as the front ??

jus my Dos Centavos

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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Mark90

17 posts in 299 days


#4 posted 12-28-2017 03:05 AM

It has been in the client’s home about 2 months. My shop was temp/humidity unregulated, but it was in the fall, so it should have been outside of any extremes. Time the lumber spent in my shop, probably about 3 weeks.

Client’s is a home builder and the house was incomplete, so again unregulated air/temps. Probably drier conditions now than to begin with.

Equal treatment on both sides, 5 coats of GF High Performance.

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Loren

10476 posts in 3670 days


#5 posted 12-28-2017 03:07 AM

I think these are designed to do it.

I’m not sure about the diagonal approach. Perhaps
you are correct.

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Loren

10476 posts in 3670 days


#6 posted 12-28-2017 03:29 AM

I got curious. Perhaps going corner-to-corner
is the wrong approach.

Video shows a way to pull in one corner with
a threaded rod. https://youtu.be/Db5TiyyXeIY

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

989 posts in 185 days


#7 posted 12-28-2017 03:34 AM

I think that when all the votes are in, you will have to bring it back to your shop for corrective action.
I did a quick google search on why doug fir warps, cups, splits, etc. and the general consensus is that
Acclimatization is essential. also alternating the grain pattern. (as with all large wood panels).
a real bummer as I am sure that bad boy is HEAVY !!!
I am just assuming that the door is strictly cosmetic and not an actual working door to another room?
if you can install any of the above mentioned hardware in the back for corrective action, I would do whatever
it took to make it as quick as possible between the clients home and in your shop and back again to prevent
or at least minimize any further issues with acclimation after you take it back. Unless you can do it “on site”. there are more aggressive measures that can be taken such as making deep saw kerfs in the back.
but that is to the extreme end of the spectrum.
heartbreaking I’m sure.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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Mark90

17 posts in 299 days


#8 posted 12-28-2017 04:09 AM

Sadly, “on site” is 3 hours away. I’m going to order the hardware so she can have one of her contractors do the install, and hope that does it.

I built that one and another at the same time, the other is doing just fine. They both are functional and slide in front of a laundry room. At least it’ll never be closed with someone on the inside, so fitting something on the rear face will never actually be seen.

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John Smith

989 posts in 185 days


#9 posted 12-28-2017 04:15 AM

all in all – GREAT JOB in your craftsmanship !!!!!

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117114 posts in 3599 days


#10 posted 12-28-2017 01:57 PM

It’s possible your joinery is not allowing wood movement creating the warp,or you built this with construction grade material that wasn’t dry enough to get a stable product. I think in using turnbuckles and cable or a threaded rod the customers might get their hands or clothes snagged on it.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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a1Jim

117114 posts in 3599 days


#11 posted 12-28-2017 02:09 PM

It might be hard to do given the size of the door but Charles Neil has a trick where you cut a very deep kerf(70% of it’s width) on the edge of the stiles of the door and glue with Urea-formaldehyde and clamp flat until dry. This has worked great for cabinet size doors for me.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2771 posts in 2319 days


#12 posted 12-28-2017 02:09 PM

Now it’s winter and she has the heat cranked. I’d ask if she can live with it until the spring and see what the door does. You may correct something that will correct itself. I also believe that anything you put on the back may damage the drywall when the door is opened.

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jbay

2332 posts in 921 days


#13 posted 12-28-2017 02:25 PM

1 1/2” x 1 1/2” x 1/4” Angle iron down both sides.
or a C-Channel, (if you could find the correct size)
you could put it on all 4 sides to maintain the look like it was planned.

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JBrow

1358 posts in 942 days


#14 posted 12-28-2017 02:55 PM

GuntherBespoke,

I see a number of problems with your (OP) proposed solution. It is difficult to understand how the sliding door would function with a cable and turnbuckle attached on the wall side of the door. It would seem the hardware could scrap the wall as the door is opened and closed. I am also doubtful that enough force can be applied to overcome the bow in the stile and/or rail. Additionally, even if the turnbuckle and cable work, the hardware would be applying a fair amount of force to the entire door and could result in a failure elsewhere. As a customer, I would be unhappy to see an ugly add-on afterthought applied to my custom door. And then to have to install corrective hardware myself would be a put-off plus, if installed incorrectly, it could make matters worse.

Without seeing the door, this suggestion is a guess. From the photo it appears the left stile may have bowed, although the bottom rail may be the problem. If the bottom rail and left stile are replaced, the door may return to true. It would require some time and the finish on the new rail and stile would have to be matched, but in the end I would think that this approach to the repair would enhance your reputation with a customer who is a builder and thus could be the source of additional business.

View clin's profile

clin

849 posts in 1018 days


#15 posted 12-28-2017 07:54 PM

Another vote that apparently using construction grade wood, that hadn’t dried to indoor levels before being built, is the source of the problem.

I like this idea from Loren. Looks to be similar to the tension rod in a guitar neck. But I think jbay’s idea of wrapping with steel channel may be your best bet, but a heavy door would get a lot heavier doing that.

No matter what, that wood wants to move, and anything you do to force it straight runs the risk of creating forces that will cause splits and cracks later. Might be better to suck it up and remake with properly dried wood.


I think these are designed to do it.

I m not sure about the diagonal approach. Perhaps
you are correct.

- Loren


-- Clin

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