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Suggestions needed - how to construct this door

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Forum topic by M71 posted 05-16-2015 04:50 AM 1318 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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M71

6 posts in 682 days


05-16-2015 04:50 AM

Hi all,

Could anyone suggest a method of construction for this solid wood door design – I need to make a dozen of them for interior use in genuine Mahogany. Each ‘section’ will be stained a different color.

They will be hinged in a wood frame – door size Height 7’ x Width 2.5’ x Thick 2.4”

Concern is cracking/splitting between rainy season and dry season.

Cheers

https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/nofenam.jpg!

-- AusEco


16 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4035 posts in 1817 days


#1 posted 05-16-2015 01:11 PM

You need not worry about cracking or splitting as the pieces of wood are not confined and can expand or contract at will. The problem will be with the door frame as the door gets wider, probably in summer, it may not fit in the frame and close properly or be too loose in winter. You will have to allow for that. That is one reason why frame and panel doors are almost universal, they don’t change in size w/ the seasons.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 688 days


#2 posted 05-16-2015 03:01 PM

My concern would be weight, you’re going to need to reinforce the frame to the R/O hinge side, use more heavier heavy duty hinges and longer hinge screws.

-- I meant to do that!

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#3 posted 05-16-2015 04:05 PM

+1 what Bondo and Ghidrah said.

The reason the frame-and-panel system was invented was because solid plank doors—like you’re contemplating—don’t work well: they change dimension with the seasons, and so don’t fit well in their frames (at least part of the year) and are more prone to warping.

SOME solid-plank doors have been used successfully. But the greater the seasonal humidity changes in your environment, the greater the likelihood of problems.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1146 days


#4 posted 05-16-2015 05:02 PM

How about a frame core with a thick applied face veneer? The only difficult part I see is allowing for movement of the veneer over the frame which might require something like applied moldings or half lap joints to hide movement. Or a very thin veneer applied to a plywood substrate? That would greatly lighten the pieces up as well and cut down on the cost by using secondary wood for the core.

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

459 posts in 598 days


#5 posted 05-16-2015 06:24 PM



My concern would be weight, you re going to need to reinforce the frame to the R/O hinge side, use more heavier heavy duty hinges and longer hinge screws.

- Ghidrah


Brilliant, would have never thought of that.

-- -

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1827 days


#6 posted 05-16-2015 06:30 PM

That is coyote ugly! I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot Pole…or two five foot Swedes.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#7 posted 05-16-2015 06:53 PM



That is coyote ugly! I wouldn t touch it with a ten foot Pole…or two five foot Swedes.

- Clint Searl

Some guys like fat girls, some like skinny. How would you build those doors Clint?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1775 days


#8 posted 05-16-2015 06:58 PM

This is certainly out of my area of of knowledge. I suggest you do some research on “stave core’’ door construction.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 688 days


#9 posted 05-16-2015 08:38 PM

So that’s what a stave core is, I have 2 in my basement shop leading to the bulkhead. I got them from one of the local intermediate schools back in the early 90s. Originally they were ext. doors, the bottoms were rotting, I contracted to install 2 new metal doors and kept the originals. Those babies weigh a ton, I doubled them up and had to shim and screw the crap out of the jambs to prevent sag.

-- I meant to do that!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#10 posted 05-16-2015 08:51 PM

I agree with this type of door having a lot of weight to it and that some wood movement could be and issue. If you want this design a ply core and veneer might help with both issues,but you will need some solid wood stiles.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View M71's profile

M71

6 posts in 682 days


#11 posted 05-20-2015 10:25 PM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I can see we will need to reinforce the door frames and allow for door movement within the frames during the wet seasons.

After reading up on this over the last few days it appears there are 4 construction methods worth considering::

1. Ladder core with Mahogany veneer ‘planks’ glued to both faces.

2. Individual Stave core planks with T&G or spline joints.

3. One piece engineered wood slab core with veneer pieces glued onto both faces.

4. 3 ply laminated solid wood planks – glued together with T&G or spline joints.

Annual humidity range here is 67% to 81%

Mahogany lumber is at 12% MC

Given real Mahogany’s reputation for stability and minimal movement would the # 4 option be viable or will it move over the years quite a bit like other woods?

-- AusEco

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#12 posted 05-20-2015 10:48 PM

I just ran your numbers (67%-81% RH) through the Shrinkulator and learned that a 36” wide door built from solid genuine mahogany can be expected to expand/contract about 3/16” over the seasons. This is generally more than is desired in a door, but if it is tolerable for you, go for it.

You might consider a pair (or three) cleats to help hold the planks in plane. If you’re building a 3-ply plank, you could put the cleats on the interior—out of sight—and allow a small joint line to show at each vertical joint, thus allowing each plank to expand and contract individually, without changing the overall dimensions of the door.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2325 posts in 1762 days


#13 posted 05-20-2015 11:09 PM

Almost 2 and a half inches thick – WHY? What door is ever that thick, unless it’s for a vault? It sounds like you need to hang a butcher block in a door frame. It might need a couple of steel threaded rods in it. Butcher blocks are usually supported by stringers and legs.

View M71's profile

M71

6 posts in 682 days


#14 posted 05-21-2015 01:50 AM

Yep these will be some heavy solid doors at almost 2 1/2” thick – that’s what the customer has specified and has decided upon. Cheers for the expansion/contraction figure jerryminer this is great info and helps us certainly.

I’m leaning towards the 3 ply laminated solid wood planks option but still concerned about warp and twist. The horizontal cleats built into the laminated planks out of sight must surely help – tight but floating rather than glued would be best I’d think or would you suggest gluing them in place?

Agree a small gap between vertical joint lines can only help overall movement though I doubt the clients will allow this, they prefer a solid sleek look.

It’s my understanding 3 ply laminated planks will be more stable than solid wood planks and seems to be the general consensus though I’ve read some comments saying it makes no difference at all – what is your opinion?

-- AusEco

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 907 days


#15 posted 05-21-2015 06:31 AM

Sometimes it’s our job, as professional woodworkers, to educate the client on the properties inherent in the material. I have steered several clients away from designs that look good on paper but are not likely to perform well in real life.

An engineered slab door with a veneer to suit the client’s desired look would be the best performer here, IMHO. With a solid mahogany edge and a veneered face, the look will be identical, the problems fewer.

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