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Forum topic by richgreer posted 07-09-2011 03:53 PM 1217 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3043 days

07-09-2011 03:53 PM

All the woodwork in our house is cherry (cabinets, crown molding, doors, etc.). There is one exception – the front door is white oak. The reason is obvious. The outside of the front door is exposed to weather and cherry does not hold up well to weather.

I’m considering making a door that is white oak on the outside and cherry on the inside. I would do this by gluing up rails, stiles and panels with oak and cherry. I’ve never seen this or heard of it being done, but it seems doable.

There is a lot of experience and wisdom on this board. Has anyone ever heard of this and/or seen one? Does anyone have any thoughts on potential problems with this approach (other than it will be a lot of work)?

Thanks in advance for the excellent advice I know I will get.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

8 replies so far

View sras's profile


4791 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 07-09-2011 04:06 PM

Hi Rich,

I have seen a magazine article (but I can’t remember where) that use two layers of wood for the panels of an exterior door.
One thing I remember from that article is that the inner and outer panel were not glued together. That way the outer panel could respond to moisture changes from the outside and the inner panel would be independent.
I have no idea if it is an effective solution, but it sounds good.
We make things out of contrasting woods all the time, so I would think the rails and stiles could be made form oak/cherry and work out fine.

Sounds like it would be a beautiful door!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Les 's profile


201 posts in 2659 days

#2 posted 07-09-2011 04:10 PM


It sounds like a great project and I started thinking about how to do it as soon as I saw it. The only problem I can see right might, I say might be the two woods movement. Temperatures will be quite different on each side. Check out this link and see what you think. Good luck with it, keep us informed.


-- Stay busy....Stay young

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 07-09-2011 04:21 PM

My theory (and I could be wrong) is that the movement of oak and cherry are not much different and if I align the grain so that it is consistent across the glue line a glued up board would act like a single board.

I’d probably use quarter sawn oak to reduce movement and minimize the chances for cupping or warping.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#4 posted 07-09-2011 04:28 PM

Rich, Rhett has posted an exterior door that he built with cherry and walnut. You might want to drop him a pm and see if he had any issues with his door.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3039 days

#5 posted 07-09-2011 04:30 PM

I’m sure as long as the panels are floating (sorry if that is stating the obvious) there won’t be a problem cherry & oak will expand & contract at different rates due to density. the thing I would recommend is to make up each face of the panel ,mould the bevels on each outer face then don’t completely glue the faces just run a centre line of glue this will alloweach wood type to come & go the outer edges will be trapped it the rebate behind the moulded bead. It does work well I did once try gluing a two faced panel & one side expanded more & split the other
Good luck

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3862 days

#6 posted 07-09-2011 04:31 PM

Seen it done many times, just glue the byjeshus out of the two doors when laminating together….....actually makes for a very solid door and it resists warpage/twisting compared to a single door

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Mario's profile


171 posts in 3365 days

#7 posted 07-09-2011 04:31 PM

Try using 1/4 in cherry veneer on the back and build the rest of the door from quatersawn white oak. The veneer will minimize expansion and contraction differences and will ride along with the oak movement a lot easier.

View sras's profile


4791 posts in 3098 days

#8 posted 07-09-2011 04:58 PM

Found the article I was thinking of – it’s from Woodsmith Issue #94. Looks like a good design.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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