Oak ledge and brace doors - t&g needed?

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Rob_H

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I’m making a number of the above oak doors for our cottage. I’m building up my workshop again having sold everything off and still need to get a table saw and router table although I do have a Festool tracksaw and also a plane r thicknesser. As I need to crack on with the first one before I get some more machinery, what would be the likely the consequences of not using t&g joints for the boards? Would it likely affect stability much?
 

Rob_H

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Actually should have said just ledges no braces on these. My error.
 

Jacob

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Actually should have said just ledges no braces on these. My error.
Heavy oak door would tend to sag without braces. Might help if one or more of the ledges was very wide, say 12", as this would triangulate things a bit.
Have a look at some old doors.
 
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.... what would be the likely the consequences of not using t&g joints for the boards? Would it likely affect stability much?
If you mean just attaching the boards to the ledges in the same fashion but with no T&G then gaps appearing between the boards if they shrink, or the boards cupping if the expand.

If you tried to glue the boards together before construction instead of T&G'ing them (into a single panel), then you'd have issues with the whole panel expanding instead.

The T&G is there to allow some expansion/contraction of the boards over time without affecting the look or fit of the door.
 

Doug71

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I have made some in the past using a loose tongue (loose in one side anyway) instead of T & G boards.

You would need a router and slotting cutter really, guess it would be possible with the track saw (especially if you have a fence for it) but router would be easiest.
 

Phill05

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Would not advise only ledges they will sag without the braces.
Wide ledges in place of braces would add to the weight and still sag over time.
 

niall Y

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No need for T&G as you can rebate the boards to give a lapped joint. Four ledges and no braces , gives a perfectly serviceable door. In fact it's the common design in some parts of the country.
 

Rob_H

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Yes we have a couple of 17th and 18th c doors with no braces and they’ve done ok. I made oak doors with just ledges about 18 years ago and so far no sagging but did use t&g joints (which shouldn’t impact on sagging).
 

undergroundhunter

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I do think the thought that without braces a door will sag is a very modern one, a big stable door would probably sag without being braced but a 3' door will be fine. I've seen some very old ledged doors that are fine 100 or so years later.

There are a few ways you could go about it, just butt the boards but you will end up with gaps, a false tongue but you would need a router, or shiplap which you can cut with a tracksaw. If you don't want to buy a router then I'd go with shiplap. Whichever way you go I wouldn't make the ledges wider than the boards you're using, as has been said it will add weight but more importantly it won't look right.

Matt
 

Rob_H

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I do think the thought that without braces a door will sag is a very modern one, a big stable door would probably sag without being braced but a 3' door will be fine. I've seen some very old ledged doors that are fine 100 or so years later.

There are a few ways you could go about it, just butt the boards but you will end up with gaps, a false tongue but you would need a router, or shiplap which you can cut with a tracksaw. If you don't want to buy a router then I'd go with shiplap. Whichever way you go I wouldn't make the ledges wider than the boards you're using, as has been said it will add weight but more importantly it won't look right.

Matt
Thanks, yes have routers, Much appreciated, have most things now except table saw, router table and surface planer. Just taking me time to build back up.
 

Hornbeam

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Dont forget that you have to allow for expansion and contraction, so I would leave at least 1mm between boards. Without some form of tongue/ overlap arrangement this could close completely is the humidity increases or the gap could increase to 2 or 3mm
I am just making 3 such doors for a friend to match some she already has. No braces but ledges are pegged and screwed
 

TRITON

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Heavy oak door would tend to sag without braces. Might help if one or more of the ledges was very wide, say 12", as this would triangulate things a bit.
Have a look at some old doors.
Cellar door I made for my parents house 20 years ago I put 2 braces into the built- upper and lower. In that time the door hasn't sagged at all.
It's the only way to do it.
 

Doug71

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I know it's not the done thing but I generally put a small dab of glue right in the middle of where the boards and ledges cross, holds things together, stops the sagging but still lets everything move, that's the theory anyway!
 

undergroundhunter

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Dont forget that you have to allow for expansion and contraction, so I would leave at least 1mm between boards. Without some form of tongue/ overlap arrangement this could close completely is the humidity increases or the gap could increase to 2 or 3mm
I am just making 3 such doors for a friend to match some she already has. No braces but ledges are pegged and screwed
Interesting in the book on door and window making published by lost art press (it's a reprint of an old book) it specifically says to clamp all the boards tightly before nailing on the ledges, I assume this is because the nails would give enough to allow for movement, it also says to make sure you clench the nails tightly, maybe different rules apply if using screws.

Matt
 

Doug71

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Interesting in the book on door and window making published by lost art press (it's a reprint of an old book) it specifically says to clamp all the boards tightly before nailing on the ledges, I assume this is because the nails would give enough to allow for movement, it also says to make sure you clench the nails tightly, maybe different rules apply if using screws.

Matt

On an internal door I generally fit the boards tight together as normally they will shrink but on an external door or gate I would leave a gap as the boards are going to expand.

Back in the day I used to make doors with clenched nails, it's traditional and works but doesn't look great!
 

Hornbeam

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It does depend upon how dry your timber is and how dry the house is. The doors I am doing are a bathroom and walk in wardrobe accessed off the bathroom so I am allowing a bit both ways
 

Seascaper

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I can recommend the new Trend CRT MK3 router table which is a joy to use. With this table it was an easy process to tongue and groove some 25mm iroko boards recently. I have also bought a portable Bosch GTS 10J table saw, this saves a lot of room as it is a pleasure to put away and take out, it is amazing how everything fits away under the table when you are not using it. The reviews you see of this stuff are questionable. When I moved I had to get rid of a lot of kit but have slowly replaced with better stuff. I would tongue and groove the oak boards because of movement, if you don’t bother to do this you may find yourself having to fill the gaps. If they are going to be painted this won’t be much of a problem, you could fill the gaps with a good flexible linseed oil putty.
 
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