Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

What timber for front door?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Geoff_S

Established Member
Joined
12 Sep 2017
Messages
718
Reaction score
35
Location
London
I am going to make a new front door. It will consist of 2 glazed panels on top 2/3rds and 4 raised panels on the bottom. The size is 2.4 x 1.0 metres. The current door is 50mm thick Douglas Fir. But it's over 100 years old and not in good shape.

I am thinking Douglas Fir again because I want a smooth paint finish which I think is easier to achieve on a pine type wood rather than a hardwood.

However, after a chat with someone who knows, they suggested whatever the wood, don't use solid 50mm thick, rather take 25mm thick and glue them together to make the 50mm so as to avoid twist and bowing. That seems to make sense to me.

So, is Douglas Fir OK and is the laminating idea sound?

Cheers
 

sammy.se

Established Member
Joined
3 Aug 2014
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
90
Location
London
Just fyi, a woodworker on YouTube called "New Yorkshire workshop" has videos on building a front door. Might be useful.
He used pitch pine, and laminated the pieces as you mentioned. Finished with linseed oil paint

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,177
Reaction score
674
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Douglas fir will be fine. Good choice. And if the wood is good and straight to start with (choose it really carefully), then you'll be fine making it out of 50mm timber.

Oh, and watch that video Sammy recommends...it's great.
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,775
Reaction score
567
Location
Pembrokeshire
Not a huge fan of Douglas Fir, Not very stable (Perhaps the older slow-grown stuff is better) and takes on mould like no other timber. I've seen work before where the Douglas Fir has taken on mould before it's painted and it bleeds through the microporous paint showing up as black dots on the face. I think it works best with some kind of oil-based paint or finishes rather than anything waterbased and microporous. As I said, it may not be the case with good quality douglas fir but the more recent stuff I've seen on the lorries has been absolutely atrocious. Are you sure the existing door is Douglas Fir and not the more common of the time Pitch Pine?

As Doug said, Accoya is a very good choice but the ever-constant pushing up of the price has made it rather expensive for what is essentially a treated softwood.

I would personally choose either the Accoya, or a hardwood such as Sapele or Utile (Some suggest Iroko but the recent material I've seen is pretty poor with a lot of bad grain). I've never had much of a problem with a 55mm door in completely solid hardwood so long as the grain is well selected and the material is stable. In theory, the lamination should result in a stabler material to make the door from but I've also seen work where somebody's glued pieces together to make up thicker sections and after a few years it isn't pretty when it delaminates. In lamination, sometimes the twists and bows will counteract each other and the material will stay pretty stable, sometimes they will work in unison and create something far worse. I personally wouldn't do it myself.

Smooth painting is far easier to achieve on hardwood, in softwood the softer parts wear away far quicker when sanding and you end up with a wavy finish to the paint.
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
1,676
Reaction score
153
Location
Sussex UK
I agree that the lamination idea is no guarantee of success - I wouldn't bother.

I've recently made some doors with sapele and it's beautiful straightgrained stuff to work with - and I'm delighted with the results - it's the closest thing to mahogany I'll ever buy in its raw state. However, I still have repeated pangs of guilt because I know the timber was cut in the rainforest of the DRC and it seems utterly unlikely to me that this is sustainable in any sense.

For my next (French) doors, I will try Accoya (I gather from their annual report that another Accoya processing facility is soon to come online in Hull, although I think that the US market will attract increasing focus from the producers, who own the IP, so any increase in supply may soon be spoken for, especially when we discover the need to snuggle up to Trump post-Brexit).

I disagree that Accoya is "simply treated softwood" - of course technically that's what it is - but it's radically different in terms of durability and dimensional stability from any 'conventional' kind of treated SW. I've just bought some Tricoya Extreme mdf for use as rain-cladding - and it's amazing stuff - albeit eyewateringly expensive - I will be both surprised (and financially disadvantaged!) if it doesn't outlast me.

That video of the Yorkshire guy making his front door is very good but his use of the spindle moulder with so little guarding makes me wince.

Cheers, W2S
 

Doug71

Established Member
Joined
28 Aug 2016
Messages
1,564
Reaction score
279
Location
Yorkshire
Trevanion":2tu2di10 said:
I would personally choose either the Accoya, or a hardwood such as Sapele or Utile
I was going to suggest Accoya or Sapele but if you are making it all by youself Accoya is much lighter to handle, that is one big door at 2.4m high!

The main problem I have with Sapele is that people won't take my bags of woodshavings for their chickens and rabbits if it contains the dusty brown stuff #-o
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,775
Reaction score
567
Location
Pembrokeshire
Woody2Shoes":3uig89ze said:
I disagree that Accoya is "simply treated softwood" - of course technically that's what it is - but it's radically different in terms of durability and dimensional stability from any 'conventional' kind of treated SW.
I don't disagree with that at all, All I was really trying to say is that they've taken the cheapest material on the market, played around with the mechanics of it and now they're charging more than the cost of prime grade Oak for the stuff which is essentially a treated softwood. It's an excellent material to use but it's seriously expensive for what it is. Especially since the quality has dropped off a cliff recently, had to send a whole batch back to where it came from as the whole pack was filled with splits and shakes throughout and was unusable, you couldn't see too much on the surface but if you cut a bit of the endgrain all you'd see is holes in the end where the cracks were and this was throughout all the length of the timbers, if you planed it up the material was seriously flaky. A1 grade my behind! :lol:

I think the demand is too high and they can't keep up with it so they've got everything on overdrive to push the stuff out, hence the more regular shakey material from being cooked too quickly.
 

deema

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2011
Messages
2,225
Reaction score
54
Location
chester
I like Douglas Fir for windows and doors, takes paint really well and is easy to find in good straight lengths. I never and I mean ever use water based paint on any external wood work. Just my opinion, but I find it all to be rubbish. A good trade oil paint last for years and years, and doesn’t when it’s time to repaint need scraping off. You can sand / burn off oil based paint. Not tried Linseed oil paint, but I’d be happy to try it.

The principles of selecting material (what ever you choose) for a door are the same, if the stuff is in twist, irrespective of how well you straighten it, it will twist again as soon it’s moisture changes....which means throughout the year. Not that big a deal if used to make the panels, but should not be used for the styles and rails. You also want all the stuff to be cut the same for the styles and rails, ie slab, turnip or quarter sawn. If you mix them up, then at the joins you will see a difference in thickness of the two pieces (different cuts) creating a slight ridge / place for water to get into the end grain and cause it to rot out. In a perfect world, the last check would be that the growth rings are a similar distance apart for slab or turnip cut styles and rails (not an issue for true Qtr sawn) It helps to reduce any differences in expansion and contraction.

An extremely well made door, that hasn’t had the wood (stuff) chosen with care will show either twist, or the joints after a year or two will have all cracked and the tell tail staining at the joints highlights that it’s starting to rot. To minimise these issues, as it’s impossible for mass produced doors to have the stuff selected, I believe the practice of laminating has developed to create a far more consistent and stabler product. It’s not however, in my opinion the best solution, only a practice one if you have difficulty finding stuff that’s consistent.

When buying stuff, a good rule is to buy an extra style length. OK, costs a bit more, but, if when making the door you find a piece that suddenly moves a lot after it’s been planned up you have something ready to replace it with. The concept that ‘if it happens’ I will get some more never happens and most people compromise the build and use it! Having it ready stops that urge to get on with what you have.
 

dzj

Established Member
Joined
29 Jan 2013
Messages
1,045
Reaction score
16
Location
Serbia
sammy.se":2jb71ge0 said:
Just fyi, a woodworker on YouTube called "New Yorkshire workshop" has videos on building a front door. Might be useful.
He used pitch pine, and laminated the pieces as you mentioned. Finished with linseed oil paint

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
Yes, this video is OK (you can find shortcomings in anyone's work if you look hard enough).
One thing I would suggest though, is leaving horns on the stiles and cutting to length after the glue has dried.
I must admit, I winced a bit as he was wedging the top rail tenon. :)
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
1,676
Reaction score
153
Location
Sussex UK
Trevanion":10zsrmoj said:
Woody2Shoes":10zsrmoj said:
I disagree that Accoya is "simply treated softwood" - of course technically that's what it is - but it's radically different in terms of durability and dimensional stability from any 'conventional' kind of treated SW.
I don't disagree with that at all, All I was really trying to say is that they've taken the cheapest material on the market, played around with the mechanics of it and now they're charging more than the cost of prime grade Oak for the stuff which is essentially a treated softwood. It's an excellent material to use but it's seriously expensive for what it is. Especially since the quality has dropped off a cliff recently, had to send a whole batch back to where it came from as the whole pack was filled with splits and shakes throughout and was unusable, you couldn't see too much on the surface but if you cut a bit of the endgrain all you'd see is holes in the end where the cracks were and this was throughout all the length of the timbers, if you planed it up the material was seriously flaky. A1 grade my behind! :lol:

I think the demand is too high and they can't keep up with it so they've got everything on overdrive to push the stuff out, hence the more regular shakey material from being cooked too quickly.
I agree with your point about quality - I think that they're finding it increasingly difficult to secure supplies of quality timber as the input to the process. I surmise that this is because the plantations in New Zealand - where I think a lot of this stuff grows - are running out of suitable stuff. The only way to (sustainably) increase stocks of X-year-old timber being to plant more trees and wait for X years! This would also perhaps explain why they're moving towards MDF-type products where the quality of the input material is far less important. I think that Accoya is a brilliant material but they need to be able to apply the process to different (more plentiful) species - it seems they haven't made that work yet, although you'd think tulip poplar might be a good substitute.

I can't understand why the company hasn't scaled up production already (they'd make money hand-over-fist [subject to your point about quality]) - perhaps supply constraints are part of the problem for them.

Cheers, W2S
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,725
Reaction score
254
Location
Derbyshire
If you are painting it you need 'unsorted' grade redwood from a good yard - taken from the 'unsorted' stack as it comes and not selected. If selected the better pieces might already have been taken.
'Unsorted' is top grade - it used to be sorted into 1,2,3,4,5 etc but now 1,2,3, grades are not separated out.
No point or need in using better stuff if it's going to be painted.
if the stuff is in twist, irrespective of how well you straighten it, it will twist again as soon it’s moisture changes.
Not necessarily. If it's in twist it means it's dried out a bit, so unless too twisted to use it could be better than straight freshly sawn stuff.
 

Geoff_S

Established Member
Joined
12 Sep 2017
Messages
718
Reaction score
35
Location
London
Thanks for all of the replies.

I have heard of Accoya but never really paid much attention. However, if nothing else, it looks interesting and all the stuff I read about it makes it look very promising.

But, the price :shock: Never mind, it's just as well it's only a door, so not too much timber.

So, Accoya it is and I may well still laminate it, belt & braces and all that.

Thanks again, this forum is so good for help and information :D
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,725
Reaction score
254
Location
Derbyshire
If you want to know how to make a door then have a look at some old doors. I've never seen a laminated one ever. Why re-invent the wheel?
 

RobinBHM

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2011
Messages
4,281
Reaction score
206
Location
Wst Sussex
Geoff_S":lpan2qal said:
Thanks for all of the replies.

I have heard of Accoya but never really paid much attention. However, if nothing else, it looks interesting and all the stuff I read about it makes it look very promising.

But, the price :shock: Never mind, it's just as well it's only a door, so not too much timber.

So, Accoya it is and I may well still laminate it, belt & braces and all that.

Thanks again, this forum is so good for help and information :D
Accoya is available in both solid and finger jointed laminated. I would choose the solid -there is no stability benefit from laminated.

Also note accoya come in more than one grade from memory A1 is best for joinery, lower grades have knots.

Dont laminate your own timber, -if you want to go down that route in solid, its possible to buy sapele, oak and softwood in engineered laminated

For stability laminated timber is made from 3 lams.

door stiles are available in 63 x 125 or 48 x 120 section
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,775
Reaction score
567
Location
Pembrokeshire
MikeG.":xsinyjbw said:
Why laminate Accoya? Its whole USP is that it is dimensionally stable.
They recommend laminating it if you intend on using a clear finish stain so that you have the clean faced internal timber and not the black streaky marks that are on the surface. Other than that there’s no real point.

Also didn’t everyone here say that laminating is a bad idea anyway?
 

Geoff_S

Established Member
Joined
12 Sep 2017
Messages
718
Reaction score
35
Location
London
Maybe I won't laminate it then, I didn't really won't the extra work anyway :D
 
Top