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By jpor4180
So I'm looking to make a side hinged garage door. Due to the slope of my drive, it is going to be tight, but if I build a slightly thicker frame this should be possible.

Mum has to sign off on this one! The design she likes is found here: ... edar/g/230

The principal demands of this garage door are security and durability (by durable I mean to be used daily). My current door is a gliderol and I'm not remotely happy with it. It could be peeled open with a recip saw in a matter of seconds. The door will be used in conjunction with a garage door defender, and probably two locks and a slide across bolt from the back for when I'm away.

The appearance of the wood itself isn't a concern as it is to be painted black. I

The dimensions of the opening are 2285mm wide and 2135mm high.

What I'm struggling to rationalise is:
Is Cedar the best wood (strength, stability, cost)?
What thickness should I be aiming for on the styles and rails?
What thickness should I be aiming for on the raised panels (before routing the profile)
I'd ideally be looking for a hinge that has some fine adjustment, just because this design of door, as far as I can tell would be vulnerable to sagging. I quite like a Soss hinge for appearance of the closed door and it strikes me as a secure option. Is this a valid assumption? Is there a better suited hinge for this purpose that isn't large from the outside?
If anyone here has made a few similar doors, I'd love a rough cost estimate on materials based on what you think is suitable as I'm a bit lost on that front right now (plus minus £50 or so).
I see this as a 2.5/3 day project. Does this seem likely?

Thank you in advance!
By Doug71
No replies so I will have a try.

I have made a couple of greenhouses etc out of cedar but never a large pair of doors. It is very durable but also light and quite soft, also expensive.

I think the best wood for something like this is Accoya, it is durable and stable but again expensive.

I am about to be making a similar pair of doors about the same size out of softwood for a barn conversion, planning on finishing them 57mm thick. They have double glazing in the top and boarded bottom.

Regards hinges the large strap ones are traditional on garage doors. The ones I am making will be on the bearing type butt hinge, 4 down each side. If the doors are well made sagging shouldn't be a problem :wink:

By jpor4180
Hi Doug thanks for the reply - I was starting to feel like I'd said something offensive as nobody wanted to touch it!

I'd seen accoya but I've ruled it out on price. At present I'm torn between cedar and Douglas fir.

The raised panel door design doesn't lend itself to a diagonal cross bracing, do you think just wedged tenon joinery on stiles and rails will be enough?
By jpor4180
Is that because you prefer it to work or for a stable final product?

I recently made a whiskey presentation box with Sapele and even on something as small as that I was picking pink dust out of every orifice for the next week! But if you feel it is more stable than douglas fir/cedar I'd certainly consider it?

As for hinges, I was going to go with 4 of these down each door: ... stSize=129

I think I'll aim for about 54mm, does this seem about right? The glass I'm going to use in the top is only single glazed and taken off of a pair of doors I picked up on gumtree yesterday for £10 so should be plenty for that.

I'm going to need to do something of a threshold near the bottom, 2" high or so, but ramped so that I can get my motorbike in and out. This is to compensate for the slope of the drive over the area the doors open in to.

Things that are still giving me a headache as I design this are clearances around the door and for the hinges. I was hoping to buy the wood tomorrow!
By jpor4180
Oh crucially, how should I get the windows in? M&T each part of the lattice into the door frame or prefab a self-contained window lattice and seat it down into the door frame via a housing?

I feel like the latter would be significantly easier, but I'm unsure what the best practice here is!
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By ColeyS1
I use sapele for most external stuff that's gonna be painted. I wouldn't recommend cedar for painting as it's so soft that it wouldn't take much impact to crumble it and ruin any painted finish. It's generally used if you want it to weather naturally to a silvery grey. Douglas fir would be a better choice, sapele is harder again.

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By ColeyS1
jpor4180 wrote:Oh crucially, how should I get the windows in? M&T each part of the lattice into the door frame or prefab a self-contained window lattice and seat it down into the door frame via a housing?

I feel like the latter would be significantly easier, but I'm unsure what the best practice here is!
I'd mortise and tenon each part together. Another thing you may want to consider is whether you groove the panels in or have them fit into a rebate that's held in with beads. Which ever way you choose I'd paint the grooves/rebates and the edges of the panels a few times so it's got some protection. Figuring out some drainage for the bottom of the panels might also be worth thinking about. If water gets in,an easy route out will ensure the panels aren't sat in water rotting away.

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By GarF
We originally specced accoya for our garage doors, but for various reasons ended up using softwood. We ruled out hardwood on grounds of weight (and relative expense) as our doors are pretty big. The windows were made in a single unit for each door with dummy sash bars planted on.

In hindsight I really wish we'd stuck with accoya, as the windows we got at the same time in accoya have held up much better paint-wise. There has been some wood movement, and we recently had the hinges and lock keepers tweaked to restore smooth operation, not an inconsiderable task as it took me and the joiner some serious huffing and puffing to lift them on and off.

This sounds a potentially enormously rewarding project, so good luck.
By jpor4180
I'll price up for Sapele and Douglas Fir and I'll make a decision once I've got that info thanks for the break down

Yeah I was going to have the panels fitting in a housing, I'm actually going to run a housing top to bottom of the stiles, this is for a few reasons. A) it just means I set up the router and make one cut without having to bother with start and stop points B) I can have water drainage if anything gets in top to bottom and C) originally I was going to treat the glass section as a "panel" so that could be slotted in all nice and modular.

Would it be naive of me not to drill drain holes aside from this continuous housing, and to make sure I use an exterior grade silicon product that will take paint round all the windows, panels etc?

I did see Accoya but I simply can't stomach the price of that right now even though I do want to work with it at some point given environmental credentials, stability and hardiness. Hopefully as the market becomes more mature the price will come down. Environmental impact is something I regularly wrestle with given that 90% of what I make is done in MDF!

I can't tell you how helpful this discussion has been, and I feel like I'm on the right track. I want to get the door framed today/tomorrow but it really has been miserable working out in the snow (spent all of yesterday getting my glazing out of the old gumtree doors). To keep a lid on costs I thought I'd just use 4x2 framing timber for this. I was going to start by making sure the legs of the frame are plumb, screwed into the wall, moving on to the head as level, screwed in, then work on the sill. Once that's level, by definition all sides must be square. Then come back, cross brace the whole frame, take it off the wall and lay it down and fit the door on trestles before hanging the whole unit as one. Hopefully my physics degree will come in useful on that one... about time it started paying me back haha

As for costs, it's purely academic now, but I just spent more than I thought I could on hinges and a 5 lever mortice lock direct from Hafele. How much would you typically intend on spending on hardware for a similar door (and where would you go to buy)?

I used to be a painter and decorator to pay for uni, so I guess I'm biased, but I subscribe to the idea that money spent on finish is worth it as it's the first thing you see. I was going to go for F&B Off Black (exterior eggshell). This is partly due to not wanting the neighbours to complaint too. I live on a noddy estate where you have to apply just to change the colour of your door, let alone change your door! I'm not remotely interested in doing that and wouldn't take it down even if they told me to, but I'd rather my neighbours not dob me in all the same because they didn't think it looked nice.

Potentially very rewarding, but also incredibly daunting! This is a long way from mdf shelves and cabinets, I think
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By will1983
When fitting your frame don't forget to make sure that both legs are in the same plane. You can check this by running two string lines diagonally from opposing corners, they should just touch in the centre where they cross, if they don't, adjust one leg until they do..

Also don't forget to place packers around the frame before running your screws in, these will prevent the frame from bowing at the screw locations when tightening them up.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing some progress pictures.
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By ColeyS1
Those hinges would probably cost a premium cause they've got rounded corners designed so they can be fitted straight from a router jig. They've also got the built in security pins which add to the cost. Normally I allow £7 a pair for 4 inch stainless hinges (but buy in large quantities) and around £30 a lock.

Something like this in the frame would give the same level of security, perhaps at a reduced cost. Your hinges do all of it and much neater, hence the price. Ironmongery direct is a good place to buy ironmongery. They usually have discount codes fairly often as well.

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By Doug71
I find these guys good for ironmongery

When it comes to painting your doors a good base to start with is an aluminium primer, especially on something like sapele. Not sure how well the F&B stuff will work with it though as think they are all water based now and the aluminium is spirit based. Sorry if I am just confusing things!

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By ColeyS1
Aluminium primer is my go to primer as well Doug. I've found dulux to be the best stuff after trying several others. Slightly off topic but here's what dulux recommended to go with the ally primer.
I've only used F & B on an interior project and vowed to never use the stuff again.

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By Doug71
Coley, that is what I used on my house and recommend to others. Got it colour matched to some F&B and it worked really well. Think because it is really a stain it seems to kind of wear off instead of peeling so it's really easy to rub down and re coat after a few years, no messing with undercoat etc.