|Forum topic by luthierwnc||posted 12-21-2014 09:24 PM||1223 views||0 times favorited||29 replies|
12-21-2014 09:24 PM
I’ve got an unusual problem and thought this might be a good first place to ask. My wife owns a cats-only kennel. The apartments are quite spacious by kitty standards and are constructed of melamine. I built all of it and made it modular so pieces could be replace fairly easily when abused, disinfected or worn.
The doors to the units I made of 4/4 hard maple with bridle joints. There are several sizes but a typical door is 46” high by 32” wide with 3” rails and top and a 4” bottom. I used 35mm Euro hinges and homemade locking knobs. Those have held together very well. We have 30 units all together.
After 15 years, everything else needs to be replaced: hinges, closures, 1/2” PVC-coated field fencing. Using wood for doors is now out of code for kennels but we are grandfathered. The doors have multiple coats of water-based urethane but that gets hard use with bleach and steam cleaning. They need to be refinished as well. Plus, anyone buying the kennel someday would have to replace all of the doors since the grandfathering only applies to owners before the regs changed.
Since I have to replace everything else on doors that don’t have a long-term future, I’m looking at making new ones out of something other than wood. The first thing that came to mind is decking material. That seems to come in a lot of sizes and different composite material. Some have wood in them. Others don’t. I have used planks a couple times for non-deck purposes but haven’t looked at it as a door material before. It seems heavy. I’m also not sure what kind of glue would stick at all—much less as a moving part.
I’m not married to the idea but am casting about for ideas on making basic 1X3 frame cabinet doors out of anything that isn’t wood. If you a: have worked with the material as a wood substitute or b: have a better idea I haven’t even considered, I’d appreciate any comments.