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Help with external door/gate

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Ed Turtle

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Hi, bit of a novice here with a limited selection of tools, but trying to learn and progress.

Basically I need a side gate for my house, which will be attached to the house on one side and then latch to a post on a half wall on the other side. I have made a few braced and battened doors which I am confident with, but this time I want to try and make a framed ledged door (maybe braced too if I need to - when do you need the diagonal braces?)

I can appreciate that this is probably more complicated than a ledged braced door, but in the future I will be wanting to replace other doors which I will want to be framed ledged doors, so I will be using this as a bit of a learning experience and for practice.

So, I'm not particularly confident with the door, or the frame. I am using reclaimed 4x2 rebated door lining for the frame, but I don't want a square frame really, as the rain could sit on the top, or I could plane the top edge to have a curve on top, would this be enough, or would I be better making a pointed arch? What joints would I use for the frame, I wont be using glue as its outside, but I think I will be painting it and the door. Would a screwed half lap joint be OK?

With the door I was going to use 4x2 pse for the top and sides, then 4x1 pse for the ledges in the middle and bottom. I have heard you shouldn't have a ledge on the bottom as its a rain trap, but if there's not a ledge there, how would you attach the battens? Do you just have the bottom ledge say 6 inches up from the bottom? I was thinking of using 4x1 but not tongue and groove, I was going to half lap them along the edge, so they are free to move but not have gaps. Would this work, or should I just get t&g? Finally, what method is best for making the frame, I've never done any mortice and tenon joints, but as I say I need to learn. Is this OK to use on an outside door? Not using any glue again, is this the best joint or should I screw a half lap or something else?

Is this going to work as a practice run for me, or should I just stick to a ledged braced gate?

Any other advice? I cant find much information about making my own doors!

Thanks, sorry for the long post!
 

That would work

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Hi
I (and most on here I think) would use through wedged mortise and tenons for rails. Glue is fine so long as it's external grade! I'm guessing that you intend to lay the boards straight on the face of the frame as opposed to fitting to inside the frame? That is the simplest way and yes rebates along the board edges are fine to allow for movement.
A rather more elegant way is to have the boards inside the top rail and the stiles. If you do this, make the middle and bottom rails with barefaced tenons to allow the boards to sit flush inside the stiles and also provide a good run off for water. On the inside, put a bevel on the top edge of the midle and bottom rails. The top rail has a conventional two shouldered m&t and the ends of the boards fit into a groove (boards are tongued) as they do along the stiles length. They would be nailed through the front into the middle and bottom rail. You can plant a beveled cap along the top. As for braces, if you do a good m&t frame they're not really necessary. This might seem like more work than you were thinking but ultimately more satisfying.
 

MikeG.

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That would work":cd7lbqbc said:
........ As for braces, if you do a good m&t frame they're not really necessary.......
More than they, they actually form a trap for moisture, directing water down their slope and into the junction between stile, brace and ledge.
 

deema

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Most of its been covered.
A better gate has the boards sat into a rebate all around the door as already stated. The boards should be tongue a grooved, with an odd number of boards, the middle board having a groove on both sides. The top is toe nailed to the top rail, and traditionally just one nail in the centre of each board for each rail. The board edges are normally V profiled, on V grooved, as well as the edge of the rebate. This allows you to provide a little gap between each board and the styles to allow for expansion. If you don’t and it expands it will push your door apart!

Braces are a really good idea, especially on heavily used gates. The ends of the braces are set back at least 50mm or 2” from the styles on the rails. The top of the rails along their entire edge are chamfered good at least 9 degrees. The braces are made to sit into pockets cut into the rails; glued and nailed / screwed.

The bottom rail is left around 2” or 50mm from the bottom of the gate to allow you to trim the bottom to the profile of the ground your fitting it to. Normally all paths will have a fall away from the house.

Paint all edges (except the tenons) that you can’t paint when assembled before assembly with one coat of undercoat. This includes the tongue and grooves. Don’t try to add any extra coats as it probably won’t go together.

Tenons should not only be wedged but also pegged. A 12mm draw peg works well not only for assembly but also to keep the gate together should the glue fail. However, I normally add the peg after it’s all glued up as I can clamp them easier.

I like curved top rails to both add interest and also to ensure all water is shed.
 

MikeG.

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deema":2uq2snkz said:
.....traditionally just one nail in the centre of each board for each rail....
I'm not saying this is wrong, but if you nail close to one edge of each board (1 nail) then both edges of the boards are restrained from cupping whilst still allowing shrinkage/ expansion.

........Paint all edges (except the tenons) that you can’t paint when assembled before assembly with one coat of undercoat........
Bedec MSP, not oil based paints. You'll thank me forever. :D
 

deema

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You would normally check the growth rings in the boards, and place them so that the board cups towards the rail (Centre of the tree outwards), hence the centre of the board is at the point of maximum flex away from the rail which is why you would use one nail per rail in the centre.
 

AJB Temple

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I tend to use braces a) if the gate is especially wide and heavy or b) I want it to look chunky. Over the years I have ended up sticking entirely to well dried, good quality hardwood (eg Iroko) for gates, as it looks good oiled, responds well to pressure washing and re-oiling as needed, and lasts a long time.

Fully agree that a curved or arched top looks good.

A final point - when I have made gates, I quite often wish I had made them higher. So think carefully about dimensions.
 

thetyreman

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out of interest I have always wondered why tongue and groove is used instead of shiplap?
 

Jacob

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Trevanion":3lw1ty4e said:
toolsntat":3lw1ty4e said:
One nail! ?
Some do one nail,

Most do two nails,

Some psycopaths do three nails :shock:
I do 3 nails. Over length, bang them through, punch them in, clench the other side. It's traditional.
 

Jacob

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MikeG.":3w2a0slr said:
.....
Bedec MSP, not oil based paints. You'll thank me forever. :D
Linseed oil based paints. Outlast anything else. Google "Allback" paint. It's pricy but very economical in use and very long shelf life - years in fact, though it will need a good stir if left too long.
Avoid water based, quick drying etc.
 

thetyreman

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Jacob":3cyxfbxf said:
Trevanion":3cyxfbxf said:
toolsntat":3cyxfbxf said:
One nail! ?
Some do one nail,

Most do two nails,

Some psycopaths do three nails :shock:
I do 3 nails. Over length, bang them through, punch them in, clench the other side. It's traditional.
do you use clasp nails or regular round ones?
 

Jacob

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thetyreman":1h7f6y47 said:
Jacob":1h7f6y47 said:
Trevanion":1h7f6y47 said:
..

Some do one nail,

Most do two nails,

Some psycopaths do three nails :shock:
I do 3 nails. Over length, bang them through, punch them in, clench the other side. It's traditional.
do you use clasp nails or regular round ones?
Ovals.
 

Ed Turtle

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I was hoping to rebate the boards into the door. With that in mind, what do you think of the dimensions of wood I'm planning to use? I know it wont be exactly 4x2 or 4x1 as its planed, but will pse 4x2/4x1 work ok for me? Using 4x2 for the stiles and top rail, and 4x1 for the middle and bottom rails and the boards (only half lap joints as I only have a rebate plane - no capability to do t&g).

Also, not sure how I would do the bare faced tenons for the middle and bottom rails? Would the boards be attached to these rails?

Thanks for the suggestions about the paint, I wasn't going to use water based anyway!

Sounds silly probably, but which way would you use the oval nails, i.e. thick dimension vertically or horizontally?

Thanks for all the assistance, once I start I'll put some pictures up.
 

RogerS

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Jacob":xtaven5x said:
MikeG.":xtaven5x said:
.....
Bedec MSP, not oil based paints. You'll thank me forever. :D
Linseed oil based paints. Outlast anything else. Google "Allback" paint. It's pricy but very economical in use and very long shelf life - years in fact, though it will need a good stir if left too long.
Avoid water based, quick drying etc.

TBH I've tried linseed oil paint and still waiting for some of it to dry ....OK..I jest but it can take a very very long time to dry and, no, I did NOT paint it on thick.

The trouble with linseed oil paint is that you have to be very very careful not to drop any on a non-porous surface. Because it won't dry. Then when you pick up said item, you unbeknownst transfer wet linseed oil paint to the next non-porous surface from whence you then transfer it to the next .....you get my drift.
 

MikeG.

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Ed Turtle":92knai2y said:
......Thanks for the suggestions about the paint, I wasn't going to use water based anyway! .........
But you should. Bedec is water-based, microporous and flexible, and will last longer than any other sort of paint you could put on external joinery. And when you come to re-painting, there's no stripping, no, undercoating.....just clean up and re-coat. Beware of the temperature range on the specifications if you are planning on applying it in the winter, though.
 

Jonathan S

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+1 for water based paint!
I use Renner, its guaranteed for 10 years, my present home has windows I made 14 years ago and painted with Renner.....there still no break down of the paint.

Do what Mike says and use Bedec!!

Sent from my SM-J530F using Tapatalk
 

That would work

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Re your question about the nails...the oval shape of the nail follows the grain, the idea being that they are less likely to split the wood.
BTW if you do have a problem with wood splitting near its end, stand the nail on its head on a firm surface and give the point a few taps with a hammer so as to flatten the point. Then the nail will tend to cut through rather than pushing the timber apart.
 

Jacob

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Jonathan S":cfafff81 said:
+1 for water based paint!
I use Renner, its guaranteed for 10 years, my present home has windows I made 14 years ago and painted with Renner.....there still no break down of the paint.

Do what Mike says and use Bedec!!

Sent from my SM-J530F using Tapatalk
OK I take your word for it, but my experience and a lot of other peoples seems to be that modern paints fail within a few years, sometimes disastrously with water trapped and causing rot behind the otherwise perfect surface film. Hence the wide use of preservatives.
Linseed oil paints don't deteriorate in the same way. I have some windows painted 11 years ago which are now in need of a top up next spring, but the wood should be in perfect nick, though preservative free.
 

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