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The magazine "Fine Homebuilding" has had articles on building custom doors.  It might be worth your while to see if some of those articles are available.   I agree as always with Thomas Powers, use air dried lumber because kiln dried is only dried on the surface, if the wood is thicker than the depth of the drying process then the wood will shrink and warp after assembly.  The general rule of thumb is one year of air drying for every inch of wood thickness. A wheelwright's style of shop will have wood loft(s) for drying and storing of wood.  Once the wood is air dried over time it is then dimensioned and finished.  The boards are arranged so that the direction of the grain alternates from one board to the next, with multiple layers and possibly a plywood interior layer to help reduce distortion.  Gluing up each layer is a whole additional discussion with using splines or biscuits, wood glue, and clamping to hold each layer straight and tight while drying. When gluing up a panel I was taught to use a combination of lengths of angle iron, C clamps and bar or pipe clamps to clamp each panel flat and tight while drying.

 

Below is a photograph of how I glue up panels from separate boards.

 

Gluing up a wood panel requires thoroughly dried, accurately dimensioned lumber with tight joints that are glued in an environment within the temperature and dryness parameters of the glue used..... unless you want the panel/door to come apart.

 

Gluing up layers of panels is another discussion.  :)

 

I also might point out that fastener companies such as fastenal.com carry uncoated square nuts and square headed bolts suitable for reforging.  You might also do a search on articles or examples of decorated nuts and decorated bolt heads.

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The magazine "Fine Homebuilding" has had articles on building custom doors.  It might be worth your while to see if some of those articles are available.   I agree as always with Thomas Powers, use air dried lumber because kiln dried is only dried on the surface, if the wood is thicker than the depth of the drying process then the wood will shrink and warp after assembly.  The general rule of thumb is one year of air drying for every inch of wood thickness. A wheelwright's style of shop will have wood loft(s) for drying and storing of wood.  Once the wood is air dried over time it is then dimensioned and finished.  The boards are arranged so that the direction of the grain alternates from one board to the next, with multiple layers and possibly a plywood interior layer to help reduce distortion.  Gluing up each layer is a whole additional discussion with using splines or biscuits, wood glue, and clamping to hold each layer straight and tight while drying. When gluing up a panel I was taught to use a combination of lengths of angle iron, C clamps and bar or pipe clamps to clamp each panel flat and tight while drying.

 

Below is a photograph of how I glue up panels from separate boards.

 

Gluing up a wood panel requires thoroughly dried, accurately dimensioned lumber with tight joints that are glued in an environment within the temperature and dryness parameters of the glue used..... unless you want the panel/door to come apart.

 

Gluing up layers of panels is another discussion.  :)

 

I also might point out that fastener companies such as fastenal.com carry uncoated square nuts and square headed bolts suitable for reforging.  You might also do a search on articles or examples of decorated nuts and decorated bolt heads.

 

 

Excellent David.. that pic is worth a thousand words because i didn't understand how you were using the angle iron. I've done this carpentry before in woodshop with biscuits. I like the idea of using a plywood behind the boards to keep them oriented. I live in very dry country (high desert) so I don't think there will be warpage from weather. But I'll definitely go with the air dried oak.

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The finish of the door is important in both stabilizing and protecting the wood. Unfortunately it is not practical to soak a large door for several weeks in a 50/50 boiled linseed oil and turpentine mixture, but if it were practical I would soak the door in the mixture for a couple of weeks, and then let it thoroughly dry, and then apply a marine grade, exterior, spar varnish. The 50/50 mixture is an old method of stabilizing wood. By soaking wood in the mixture, it seeps into the cells of the wood.

 

Since that is not practical, I would suggest applying a stain, letting it completely dry, then apply a coat or more of exterior, UV protective, marine grade spar varnish. Unless you wish an antiqued finish, using the same brand of products will reduce the chances of the two products interacting in a funny yet sometimes interestingly antique type blotchy finish.

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/difference-between-spar-varnish-and-regular-varnish/

 

Here are some interesting information as well as two videos on making doors, while not exactly the project that you are making, they can provide some ideas.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/build-wooden-door-zmaz90ndzshe.aspx#axzz2f26uBw5f

 

 

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Whatever you coat the door with, coat all sides (6 total, including edges and top/bottom as well as the 2 faces).  This will help with movement, although nothing with stop the movement completely.  Before starting on the build, look up shrinkage rates for the wood you use and build in a manner to allow for that movement.  Unless it's really humid, and has been for a couple of weeks, if you don't allow for movement, it will move and you won't be able to open the door (experience speaking).  If it's been humid enough for long enough the wood will shrink.

 

On a woodworking forum I read, there has been some discussion about using untinted paint base for a clear exterior finish.  Supposedly it has the greatest UV resistance as well as really good resistance to water movement.  I've never tried it so don't know how well it works.  In woodwork, always test the finish as you'll apply it on a scrap prepared as the project is to know how it'll work.

 

ron

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for being late to the topic, but I just found this thread. 

 

I had an exterior door made in an Old English style for a walk-out basement renovation. As mentioned, the door was made with gaps between the planks to allow for expansion/contraction. If you use square doornail studs, they should be installed with the points in a diamond pattern (not square). Here's a shot of the finished door (after a few years in the weather).

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