Is my method sound?

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Forum topic by pa7rick posted 01-12-2015 03:39 AM 1390 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1436 days

01-12-2015 03:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question door waterproof bamboo oak hickory tips woodworking wood flooring installation

I am new to this forum and am glad to now be a part of what seems like a knowledgeable friendly community. I have a question about a method I used to make my front door. The reason I am asking is that I was approached by someone to make a door for them and if I’m going to make it again I need to see that what I did is okay to do again.
That being said…

I had some left over solid hard wood flooring (bamboo) and I happened to need a new front door so I thought about it for a while and decided that to come up with the proper thickness for the door I needed I would need to have a layer of the wood flooring, then a layer of 1/4” ply (marine grade) and then another layer of the wood flooring. I cut the ply to the proper size which was 1/4” in from where the bamboo would be so there would be a gap all around the outsides of the door 1/4” thick. I planned to fill that with more bamboo almost like a plug. I layer the flooring to one of the sides just like you would if you were laying it on the floor. Then I layer it on the other side. One side ran vertically and the other horizontally. I also left a space where the long vertical window would go. I layer the window in place before adding the second layer of the bamboo on the other side. I used polyurethane coats (4) as a seal on all sides and framed in the window.

The main question is: Is that okay to do? Will it warp or be more prone to being effected by moisture? I don’t plan to use bamboo again. It’s a hard wood but it’s fibrous so it can’t take a hit from something heavy like an oak or hickory could. I haven’t had any problems with warping or water problems at all and the door has been in for almost a year. It looks pretty good and I’m happy with it but again I wouldn’t feel right about charging someone for a door that I don’t know to be a sound and quality door. The method I used appeals to the person who wants the door so this is why I’m not just going out and learning how to build one in the traditional way.

I very much appreciate any advice that you all can provide. I look forward to hearing about it. Please don’t hold back.

I should say that I installed the flooring in both cases with finishing screws so I wouldn’t be shooting through the wood on the other sides and so it would hold better.

-- patrick

9 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile


2895 posts in 2229 days

#1 posted 01-12-2015 04:33 AM

Though I can’t help you with your question, I just want to say that is a very nice looking door.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View pa7rick's profile


2 posts in 1436 days

#2 posted 01-12-2015 04:52 AM

Hey! Thanks a lot!

-- patrick

View SuperCubber's profile


1043 posts in 2488 days

#3 posted 01-12-2015 05:28 AM

I agree! I love that door!

I’m no door expert, but I would have no hesitation building a door according to the process you used.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4809 posts in 2513 days

#4 posted 01-12-2015 09:42 AM

Not a expert, bamboo is not wood it’s a grass. From what I read bamboo expands and and contracts in both length and width.

Usually in woodwork you don’t attach something the moves to something that doesn’t move unless you provides an attachment that allow movement.

You should probably do some research before committing to this project.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2718 days

#5 posted 01-12-2015 01:37 PM

After reading the first link that AlaskaGuy posted, you would think that the door would have almost pulled apart, what with the inside probably being in a 30-45% humidity and room temp situation, and the outside side seeing what ever rain, snow, sun, whatever and being ambient outdoor temps.

But you say yours has been up for a year with no problems. So either your bamboo is definitely the stranded woven model mentioned that is more stable, or your plywood inner core is working its buns off keeping that door stable – or that the bamboo shrinking and expanding issue is more of an issue on a long run, like a floor, and not so much on a 36” run, or an 84” run, like a door. I’m guessing that your run is short enough that you have no worries. And you have a year old door with four seasons under its belt to back you up.
Take a real close look at the door that exists. Is there any movement apparent at all, including warp? If not, you are probably good to go.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View bondogaposis's profile


5094 posts in 2555 days

#6 posted 01-12-2015 02:20 PM

To be honest your method is not sound. It violates just about everything known about wood movement. However I am not familiar with bamboo flooring, perhaps it has been stabilized in some way and that is why you door has held together. A year is not that long of a test. How often do expect to replace a door? I would say a door should last at least 10 years. Time will tell.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Hammerthumb's profile


2907 posts in 2179 days

#7 posted 01-13-2015 12:19 AM

That is not stranded bamboo which is made similar to OSB, but what they call horizontal grain. You can tell from the approximate 1/2” “knuckles” in the grain. Horizontal grain bamboo has 3 layers with the top and bottom layers running one direction and the middle layer running 90deg form the other layers. Just like plywood.

My first impression is that this would not work, but it is possible that you might have lucked out with the fact that it is the horizontal grain bamboo. Vertical grained bamboo has only one layer and is made of wickets that are 3/16” x 5/8” stacked like a butcher block. That would surely have been and issue had you used it.

Although your door seems to have worked, I would recommend that if you make another, make sure you follow what you have done on the first one, making sure the exposure side of the door has the grain running in the same direction your door does.

I myself would not attempt a door made in this fashion. As Bondo says, a year might not be enough of a test. Also, be aware of the exposure direction the door might sit at. Yours might be protected from the elements more than your clients.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4809 posts in 2513 days

#8 posted 01-13-2015 01:54 AM

View runswithscissors's profile


2895 posts in 2229 days

#9 posted 01-13-2015 02:41 AM

Perhaps with a hollow core construction you might mitigate some of the mentioned issues?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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