Workshop (Garage) Door Build

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CrazyArsedMonkey

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16 Oct 2023
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Norfolk, UK
Good evening folks!

Looking for some wisdom please - purely to prevent me wasting time and wood.

Looking to build some sturdy garage doors to replace a horrible draughty metal 'up n over' door.

Sketches are:

1705697856000.png
1705697905200.png


Looking to use Redwood due to the rot resistance, cost effectivness and stability to shrinkage in our wonderful changeable climate.

For a sense of scale, the opening is 322 x 222Cm. The framing at top and sides is 10Cm deep by 6Cm wide, Door frame is 6Cm deep by 10Cm wide at bottom and sides and 6Cm deep and 15Cm at top and bottom.

I plan to fill the voids at the back with insulation and cover with OSB to give me a rustic feel inside the workshop. I want to make them as airtight as possible, so the doors sit in a 5mm recess when seated in the frame. I might try and do something fancy with inlaid brush type excluders, but will see how the project is going.

The doors will be painted with a decent outdoor finish for cosmetic / longevity. I will put a slight round on the door frames, and a slight chamfer on the infil planks (not drawn due to complexity).

Please let me know what i am missing / planning on doing wrong!
 
Also - it looks like you are doing a combi design style, a rail and style (frame and panel) with a brace ?
Careful consideration should be given in the design phase to allowing movement for the (presumably) t&g panelling. Each board would be allowed some expansion and contraction gappage of its own.. if machining your own this should be easy enough.
I always sit my panelling into a groove or rebate, depending on design, and apply a small bead of exterior or glazing silicon. It’s not enough to arrest the movement, but provide seating and more air tightness.
I’ve seen YouTube videos of seemingly generally skilled carpenters gluing all the t&g together on the tongues, then blaming the softwood for moving, so be selective on whose advice you follow !
The size of those doors are saying through wedged mortice and tenons all the way re rail and style joining.
I would also consider making the doors shorter than needed, so they don’t soak up standing water, and fitting an angled kickplate jobbie (sorry don’t remember the correct terminology) that drops down lower on the front. The hope being that this would rot, and could be replaced, rather than the door.
If you are looking for paint advice - something that will prevent rot/decay first.
- with softwood I would always at least double seal all knots with knotting solution.
- research your brand. I used to use Zinsser but have been getting poor results recently, so I’m back with tikkurilla and it has always been excellent for me. Water based is easier to apply (in my opinion) but not as enduring, and tends not to cover the dreaded softwood knot bleed through or pinking nearly as well.
- use a stain blocking primer
- plan for 3 thin topcoats
- I would probably also consider painting in the summer. When the timber is at its shrinkiest. You could find with painting in winter, that the paint cracks on the tongues or exposes unpainted timber as the boards naturally shrink across their width towards summer.. although some would say spring or autumn as it’s a middle ground..

Basically all this to say, good luck and my advice to you would be don’t take any shortcuts, the thing that would make these ferociously expensive is because to do it properly will take ages, and a pro can’t compromise on quality because it leads to poor results..
 
Oops forgot to add - I would make the stiles wider to allow for extra ridgidity, and stronger m&ts
 
Good advice above. I will add that I think the braces are a bit shallow angled,a single brace at a steeper angle will hold it square better.
 
Bloomin' awesome - thanks for all the advice!

@Jameshow - Sorry i am being dim, not quite understanding your comment about the bracing/ply. I can use ply, no problem, but i would like to understand why. I can see that i am making a cold bridge - in exactly the same way as i am with the rails and styles, but this was unavoidable as it is all structural. Is your suggestion based on the fact that the ply would give rigidity, in much the same way as a semi-monocoque aircraft structure? Point taken about a bigger reveal - i like the rubber seal idea - will implement it!

@Doug71 - Understood about the bottom rail, i will be honest, i hadn't considered the water trap implications 🤦‍♂️ Great tip - thank you!..

@Samkilby - The panelling does have me concerned for exactly the reasons you mention (expansion/contraction affecting finish). I haven't quite decided on how the planks will interface, i haven't found a satisfactory solution yet. You may be onto something with machining my own. I will give this further consideration and do some more research. It is details like this that benefit so much from other's experience and wisdom! I wasn't going to do mortice and wedge, i was going to do mortice and pin/s - do you recommend against this? Noted about the very technically named 'Angled Kickplate Jobbie' (especially amusing to an immature Scot like me :ROFLMAO:) - i will add it to the design! Thanks for the finishing advice - being a softwood, i did wonder if Redwood would affect the paint more (sap/tannins). I will make sure i treat the knots (haven't done this before, just saturated with primer). I still use Zinsser, haven't had any issues, but note that there is a decent alternative.

P.S. i presume you mean this type of weged tenon?:

1705739817602.png

This will definately be a spring/summer porject, as the doors will have to sit outside for a while due to workshop space - and the fact that these need to be fitted in 1 day for security purposes.

Thanks for all the tips - please feel free to add others, i want these doors to still be serviceable in 40 years time!
 
Bloomin' awesome - thanks for all the advice!

@Jameshow - Sorry i am being dim, not quite understanding your comment about the bracing/ply. I can use ply, no problem, but i would like to understand why. I can see that i am making a cold bridge - in exactly the same way as i am with the rails and styles, but this was unavoidable as it is all structural. Is your suggestion based on the fact that the ply would give rigidity, in much the same way as a semi-monocoque aircraft structure? Point taken about a bigger reveal - i like the rubber seal idea - will implement it!

@Doug71 - Understood about the bottom rail, i will be honest, i hadn't considered the water trap implications 🤦‍♂️ Great tip - thank you!..

@Samkilby - The panelling does have me concerned for exactly the reasons you mention (expansion/contraction affecting finish). I haven't quite decided on how the planks will interface, i haven't found a satisfactory solution yet. You may be onto something with machining my own. I will give this further consideration and do some more research. It is details like this that benefit so much from other's experience and wisdom! I wasn't going to do mortice and wedge, i was going to do mortice and pin/s - do you recommend against this? Noted about the very technically named 'Angled Kickplate Jobbie' (especially amusing to an immature Scot like me :ROFLMAO:) - i will add it to the design! Thanks for the finishing advice - being a softwood, i did wonder if Redwood would affect the paint more (sap/tannins). I will make sure i treat the knots (haven't done this before, just saturated with primer). I still use Zinsser, haven't had any issues, but note that there is a decent alternative.

P.S. i presume you mean this type of weged tenon?:

View attachment 174112
This will definately be a spring/summer porject, as the doors will have to sit outside for a while due to workshop space - and the fact that these need to be fitted in 1 day for security purposes.

Thanks for all the tips - please feel free to add others, i want these doors to still be serviceable in 40 years time!

I would recommend t and g, but you could also do loose tongues or “splines”.. either way I reckon you want something proper to register the faces, as they will swell and buckle and twist without. On something like your design it’s an important consideration.

Have a look at this link -

https://www.ruby-group.co.uk/produc...bcNtorYVaN-GDEw8e4wc3Sjns2jWoYdMaAraXEALw_wcB
I would probably recess the boarding into a groove on the frame as the above link. For my money that would turn it into a proper frame and panel design, and give firm registry for all the boards. If you are thinking to rebate into the frame for your current design to flush the face of the boards, how would you attach the boards ? The rebates would have to be quite deep to allow for a fixing, and any fixing would arrest movement, so you are pretty much stuck with individual boards (and t&g or similar). and a rebate would have to be as accurate as if you just made it a groove.
You could also over deep the grooves ( research seasonal movement of the timber you use to calc, then make it 50% more), and make it a proper, glued together boarded up panel if you fancied, and bang a bit of glue in the groove top and bottom, middle only.. I’m sure with some decent waterproof glue and maybe a few biscuits (or not) to board up the panel it would be grand, and you could bevel the edges pre glue up.
Re tenons - either was it’s good. If “pegging” (hehe) the tenonswith dowel - look into drawbore. Can be easily achieved and marked out with Brad point drill bits of differing sizes. Great solution as will hold the door together if the glue fails, as would the wedged through tenon.
The reason that pegging is sometimes avoided is because they can start poking or popping out over time. Either movement, glue failure or expansion may eventually un flush the front face of the dowel, which on a painted surface will look naff.
But it’s no biggie !

Also re timber. If you are buying par to your sizes from a local builders merchants, even if it’s sold as “joinery grade” ya da ya da, it often won’t be machined well enough for a project like this. If you are designing around off the peg sizes then.. good luck ! And often it will be mildly moister then they say it is, because they will be machining it from larger sawn billets. The case of the original billet might measure ok on a cheap moisture meter, but we are exposing the core which may be damper.
So I would recommend either buying sawn billets and asking a local joinery firm to machine up ( try and negotiate something rather than give loads of money)
Or, letting the builders merchants or sawmill know your exacting expectations before they quote, and instead of delivery tell them you want to come and inspect the product on their premesis, then have it delivered if necessary after it passes qc..
and ! Only order it to arrive just before you can crack on with it in earnest.

Yeah - in my humble opinion it’s all about resolving all the design elements before making, it makes it significantly less stress. And my advice above is based on me messing it up, so you don’t have to !
 
Regards the need for braces, they are to prevent the door coming out of square when you hang it. If you screw/fix a sheet of OSB on the back it will do the same job, hence you’d not need the braces.
 
@Fitzroy - Usual faces :p Ok, thanks for confirming that, was the only logical explanation I could think of - so getting rid of as many heat bridges as possible, got it! Thanks buddy.

@Samkilby - As an alternative, and to also utilise your suggestion regarding wider stiles, bit leftfield, but how about I use a bit of 18mm marine ply and router decorative vertical lines, creating a faux T&G effect, but eliminating joins and taking advantage of a very stable product? Once painted, I don't think you would ever know. I would have to add on ~75mm to each stile, but if the proportions look odd, I could always 'lose some' in the frame. This has the added advantage of providing sag resistance as explained by Jameshow and Fitz - I could mirror on the inside as well, filling the void with PIR insulation.

P.S. I have PT etc, so can buy slightly oversize and fettle. putting together a big order just now to take advantage of delivery, so wood will have plenty of time to acclimatise.
 
@Fitzroy - Usual faces :p Ok, thanks for confirming that, was the only logical explanation I could think of - so getting rid of as many heat bridges as possible, got it! Thanks buddy.

@Samkilby - As an alternative, and to also utilise your suggestion regarding wider stiles, bit leftfield, but how about I use a bit of 18mm marine ply and router decorative vertical lines, creating a faux T&G effect, but eliminating joins and taking advantage of a very stable product? Once painted, I don't think you would ever know. I would have to add on ~75mm to each stile, but if the proportions look odd, I could always 'lose some' in the frame. This has the added advantage of providing sag resistance as explained by Jameshow and Fitz - I could mirror on the inside as well, filling the void with PIR insulation.

P.S. I have PT etc, so can buy slightly oversize and fettle. putting together a big order just now to take advantage of delivery, so wood will have plenty of time to acclimatise.
Yes great shout re routed panel. I’ve done similar before, albeit either indoors (pretty common with poplar ply and poplar frame kitchens for example) or outdoors with tricoya (basically underwater rated mdf..) which if good for this kind of thing but ferociously expensive then, so now worse.
I would have think your suggestion of 18mm marine would be perfect ! Not worth skimping imho. And if poss, get your hands on the product before buying.. cheap Far Eastern (not really cheap, but cheapest available now) generally has paper thin top veneers that breakout as soon as you look at them.
Re stile sizing that’s up to you really, I would say the ply would very happily sit in a 12mm deep groove. If you make the stile width something divisible across the panel, easily bang the routed detail on to match.
 
For a workshop door I would just make a structural frame from 4" x 2" timber, screwed together with structural screws, you could 1/2 lap the corners, fill with insulation, and as has been suggested, fix either 9 or 11/12mm OSB/ply to both faces and simply either clad over the outside face, or as you suggest router grooves in the sheet of ply to mimic t&G.

You would be as well to add some blocking as well in the door frame structure to be able to fix some cranked gate type hinges and to accommodate a good lock solution.

You could also put a lipping around the edge of the door frame to tidy it up,

With regards the frame you could just make a new lining wide enough to fix the hinge pin plates, and use plant on stops with a draft seal grooved/machined in them.

No real joinery needed! and very quick to make.
 
Would cement board like fermacell give a smooth / nice enough appearance after the routing treatment? Cheaper and longer lasting than marine ply.
 
Would cement board like fermacell give a smooth / nice enough appearance after the routing treatment? Cheaper and longer lasting than marine ply.
Ay, caramba - thinking outside the box! How brittle/structurally sound is Fermacell? I can imagine it being ok in compression but poor in tension - but i have no experience to base that on, it might have reinforcing fibres in it 🤔

@HOJ - thanks for the suggestion buddy! I will see how much time i have at the time - if possible, i would like to attempt a 'properrr job'.
 
I made these a couple of houses ago in 1997 I think. The frame and doors spanning approximately 2.3m width and height were out of unsorted joinery softwood machined to a finish size of about 55mm. M&T joints to all cross rails, but not through or wedged. I had a centre rail behind the T&G panel, that was in fact a sheet of MR mdf that I v grooved.
IMG_0138-1600.jpg

I soaked everything in green Cuprinol, applied knotting as needed and applied aluminium primer. Final coat was water based Dulux Weathershield Aquatec. The doors faced west so caught the weather and I used to wash down and apply one fresh top coat every three years.
We sold the house in 2017 and they still looked in excellent condition.

Colin
 
I made these a couple of houses ago in 1997 I think. The frame and doors spanning approximately 2.3m width and height were out of unsorted joinery softwood machined to a finish size of about 55mm. M&T joints to all cross rails, but not through or wedged. I had a centre rail behind the T&G panel, that was in fact a sheet of MR mdf that I v grooved.
View attachment 174126
I soaked everything in green Cuprinol, applied knotting as needed and applied aluminium primer. Final coat was water based Dulux Weathershield Aquatec. The doors faced west so caught the weather and I used to wash down and apply one fresh top coat every three years.
We sold the house in 2017 and they still looked in excellent condition.

Colin
Lovely job Colin! My doors will be West facing too, though will be reasonably sheltered as house takes the brunt.

Well that is all decided then, concept complete. I just need to re-draw to take into account the improvements suggested above and get my wood ordered!

Thanks to all for your time, patience and brain power 😁
 
@Fitzroy - Usual faces :p Ok, thanks for confirming that, was the only logical explanation I could think of - so getting rid of as many heat bridges as possible, got it! Thanks buddy.

@Samkilby - As an alternative, and to also utilise your suggestion regarding wider stiles, bit leftfield, but how about I use a bit of 18mm marine ply and router decorative vertical lines, creating a faux T&G effect, but eliminating joins and taking advantage of a very stable product? Once painted, I don't think you would ever know. I would have to add on ~75mm to each stile, but if the proportions look odd, I could always 'lose some' in the frame. This has the added advantage of providing sag resistance as explained by Jameshow and Fitz - I could mirror on the inside as well, filling the void with PIR insulation.

P.S. I have PT etc, so can buy slightly oversize and fettle. putting together a big order just now to take advantage of delivery, so wood will have plenty of time to acclimatise.
Or just paint on thin black lines and it will look like t+gv from 20ft!!
 
Ay, caramba - thinking outside the box! How brittle/structurally sound is Fermacell? I can imagine it being ok in compression but poor in tension - but i have no experience to base that on, it might have reinforcing fibres in it 🤔

@HOJ - thanks for the suggestion buddy! I will see how much time i have at the time - if possible, i would like to attempt a 'properrr job'.
It's fine as sheathing for a building. A door is pretty similar other than the dynamic loading.
 
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