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Forum topic by luthierwnc posted 12-21-2014 09:24 PM 1177 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1238 days


12-21-2014 09:24 PM

Hi All,

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.

Thanks, sh


29 replies so far

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Rick Bailey

247 posts in 824 days


#1 posted 12-21-2014 09:47 PM

How about a solid surface material?
My be a little pricy.

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1238 days


#2 posted 12-21-2014 09:59 PM

Right now I’m look for raw material—hopefully names and brands. I’ll probably get enough to make one and see how it holds up to kitty stresses.

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Rick Bailey

247 posts in 824 days


#3 posted 12-21-2014 10:10 PM


How about a solid surface material?
May be a little pricy.
Edit: miss spelling
- Rick Bailey

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

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Rick Bailey

247 posts in 824 days


#4 posted 12-21-2014 10:11 PM

Check with the counter top guys, ask for some sink cutouts.

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

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crank49

3981 posts in 2433 days


#5 posted 12-21-2014 10:28 PM

Why not just buy a commercial kennel cab replacement door.
Here is a link to one supplier.
http://www.kvsupply.com/kennel-cab-replacement-door
Looks like they sell for less than $6.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1771 days


#6 posted 12-21-2014 10:33 PM

Deleted

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1771 days


#7 posted 12-21-2014 10:35 PM

Deleted

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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stan3443

283 posts in 1737 days


#8 posted 12-21-2014 11:58 PM

azak is a pvc based board and plywood they make a special glue its a little hard to track down.

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

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AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1719 days


#9 posted 12-22-2014 12:11 AM

I agree with Rick. I think Corian, or similar, would work just fine. It works with wood tools and should stand up to whatever cleaning compounds you use. You might be able to get cutoffs reasonably. HTH

-- Art

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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1238 days


#10 posted 12-22-2014 01:58 AM

I don’t think I made my case. I’m talking about 30 doors that measure about 4’ by 2 1/2’ made of 3/4” thick material that will be on the order of 3” wide on the rails and 4” on the stiles. Think of a large kitchen cabinet door without the center panel—three hinges per door. They have to take considerable racking force, be opened half a dozen times per day, be cat claw, bite and piss resistant and disinfected with live steam at about 270 degrees Fahrenheit.

A little wire door won’t get it. What I’m looking for is wood that isn’t made out of wood. Any kind of particleboard interior doesn’t work because it can’t be sealed. I’ve tried the PVC trim available at home improvement stores but it is too soft and pits or discolors permanently fairly quickly. Cleaning water, bleach and steam will peel-up anything attached to a wooden substrate in a matter of weeks.

I’d be glad to keep these but since I have to strip them (getting the wire off will be a bear) and put in all new hardware, I thought I’d see if making new ones would save me time in the long run. That’s when I thought of the fake-wood decking material if I could get it in the right sizes. I’ve got a complete shop with power tools and a good dust collection system. Jigged-up correctly, I can knock them out pretty quickly. Not only would the material have to be tough but I’d need an adhesive that is just as durable. A tall order but certainly worth asking.

I hope you’ll keep those ideas coming, thanks, sh

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firefighterontheside

13459 posts in 1318 days


#11 posted 12-22-2014 02:03 AM

PVC from lowes or such. They have many sizes available in common 3/4 board sizes. These can be milled very easily and glued together with PVC cement just like for PVC pipe.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Rick Bailey

247 posts in 824 days


#12 posted 12-22-2014 02:35 AM

Well that’s why I said solid surface.

You can sub it out to a counter top shop, some that I work with have a CNC.

Have them rout the doors with a center check rail and put as many hinges as needed to hold the weight.

As far as a wire mesh it would have to be epoxied in, but even stainless over time won’t hold up to cat spray.

Most solid surface that I have worked with is only 1/2” thick, but with that said you can still use a euro hinge
with a spacer that Blum has.

I just think that using stuff like Trex would be a bear to keep flat.

But I could be wrong ;-).

Let us know what you decide and how it comes out.
I always wanting to learn new things.

Best,

Rick

-- I'll bulid your dream,you tear it down.

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firefighterontheside

13459 posts in 1318 days


#13 posted 12-22-2014 02:54 AM

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luthierwnc

115 posts in 1238 days


#14 posted 12-22-2014 02:57 AM

Bill M: That is the exact stuff I mentioned above. I use it a lot for trim that can’t be reached by felines. A cat sharpening its claws will shred the stuff in a day. When they barf on it, the stain never leaves.

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firefighterontheside

13459 posts in 1318 days


#15 posted 12-22-2014 03:12 AM

Ah, well I guess it won’t work then.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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