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Timber Recomendtion for Doors on Barn Restoration

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Potheen

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I wonder if I could ask your advice, I have my workshop up and running and am looking to restore/rebuild a number of external large ledge and brace doors on a number of Victorian farm buildings. I have no problem with the manufacture but rather with my timber choices. My first batch of Douglas fir have expanded and now are a gentle barrel shape and sealed in their frame, my most recent made of some kind of redwood has grown by abut an inch over the last 3 months and is positively drum like.

I wonder if you would be kind enough to recommend a timber/approach and/or even a supplier in South Lincs. Should I perhaps use reclaimed timber. I now appreciate that expansion gaps in the planking is a good idea but what about timber choice

All suggestions gratefully received

Thanks

Potheen
 

9fingers

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I wonder if you need to look at the design that you are using?
The door width should be stabilised by the ledges and the boards allowed to move.

Bob
 

Potheen

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Hi Bob

Thanks for your reply

I take it you are saying leave room for expansion and don't use glue, which I have taken on board; should I assume all timbers are going to expand or would some choices be more stable than others. I note the original 200 year old doors seem to be one hell of a lot more stable than my 2011 versions, is this just how things are?

Cheers

Potheen
 

9fingers

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Older timber certainly seems to move less but it still moves a bit during the yearly cycle.
If you cut deep tongue and grooves on the vertical boards (apart from the outside edges) there will be no visible gaps throughout the year.
Depending on the time of year when you build the door, you can decide how deep to fit the tongue groove boards.
Attach the boards to the ledges and brace(s) in the centre of each board.

Bob
 

dickm

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Choice of timber will depend crucially on what you are prepared to spend! Oak would be fantastic, but probably overkill and expensive. Larch/western red cedar are reasonably durable, and a bit cheaper. Most working farm barn doors would originally have been painted with lead based paint :( , so less durable and cheaper softwoods would be OK even with less toxic modern paint.
But whatever you use, follow Bob's advice - any outdoor timber, even when painted, will expand during wetter periods and shrink in dry ones, especially across the grain; your design just has to allow for this.
 
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