Sagging Door (was "How difficult to "build" a Door") III

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For those crazy enought to try to follow the multiple threads:
OP1 - Sagging Garage Door 6-17-12 OP2 - How difficult is it to "build" a door? 7-11-12
In a nutshell, I got a sheet of 1/2" MDF from HD cut to 32x80", attached some blocks for the hinges, installed the old lockset, and viola, I've built a (very crude and temp) door. The garage is at least secure.
The old and offending door is on work-horses in the basement. I am evaluating the potential for rebuilding the door. Methinks it doesn't look so good:
http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p576/Puddin_Man/GarageDoorStileOff07-2012001.jpg
http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p576/Puddin_Man/GarageDoorStileOff07-2012002.jpg
http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p576/Puddin_Man/GarageDoorStileOff07-2012003.jpg
Your candid opinion is solicited (dbp, are you out there?). Near as I can tell, it isn't worth re-building.
Thx, P
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
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On 7/15/2012 3:33 PM, Puddin' Man wrote: ...

Why? Altho the images are too out of focus to really tell terribly much, it doesn't look like the lower rail is particularly in bad shape and the stile looks fine. The dowels clearly are still solid...
Unless that lower rail isn't solid at all, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't clean up and go back together as good as new...
Looks almost identical to the number of panels and lites to one of the garage doors here--they're both salvaged/reused from other applications around the place from when the garage was built (late '40s) so don't actually match each other... :)
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Ditto that. Also, to give it some added strength, he could find as thick of a metal kick plate as he can and install one on either side at the bottom.
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Sorry about pic quality. I do what I can.
I put a caliper on the dowel: .612" which reduces to 153/250 and NOT a common dowel size. The .612 dowel rattles fairly like a pea inna pod in a 5/8" hole.
The wood looks like it has suffered a lot of heat damage. I'm pretty sure that's why it failed in the first place. The dowel crumbled in my hand.
If I can't even put new, tight-fitting dowels in the thing, I don't see how I can rebuild it. Eh?
P
P
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
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On 7/15/2012 5:31 PM, Puddin' Man wrote: ...

Who says the replacement dowels must be identical in dimension to the old? If you can drill a solid hole, fit a dowel to it. Also, there's nothing wrong w/ adding another couple.
Is it solid? The two doors on the garage here are on a west-facing wall w/ no afternoon shade at all in W KS and they've been there for probably 60 years. If there were such a thing as just heat causing wood damage, they would have been prime candidates.
Perhaps it's had some rot for some reason but heat (less than actually burning it, of course) from just sun exposure I don't think is going to be the problem.
I go back to the key question--are the components still solid--will they stand up to the ice pick test? If so it's fine; if the structural condition is one of dry rot or similar and you can easily stick a pick into the wood for a significant distance then yeah, it's past working on or at least may need some new pieces-parts...I remake parts routinely but I have the shaper and other tools need to do so and it's one of those things I like doing besides...but not everybody has such facilities/inclination, granted.
Let's see; were you the one in St Louis? That's too far, unfortunately or might just have a hands-on looksee...if'en you were to dispose of it, the parts would be nice to add to the collection... :)
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Puddin' Man wrote:

http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p576/Puddin_Man/GarageDoorStileOff07-2012001.jpg
http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p576/Puddin_Man/GarageDoorStileOff07-2012002.jpg
http://i1156.photobucket.com/albums/p576/Puddin_Man/GarageDoorStileOff07-2012003.jpg
I don't see why not. It looks like a pretty good door actually, even has grooves in the dowels for glue squeeze out.
Get some epoxy, get some Cab-o-Sil, mix together to consistency of Vaseline, put on dowels and dowel holes, spread along the matching edges of rails and stiles, clamp together, unclamp after 24 hours and you are done. I'd still be tempted to run in some lag bolts though...easier now that you know where the dowels are (avoid them).
BTW, clean up epoxy squeeze out with vinegar.
Also BTW, you will need to do the other side too. Lags at least.
--

dadiOH
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On Sun, 15 Jul 2012 19:35:01 -0400, "somebody" wrote:

Me! :-)

Lost me, there. It's wood joinery: a good, tight fit is essential to structural integrity. No?

Yes.
Well, not -just- the heat. A hard rain, followed by a really hot day plays hell with the wood joints. And it's seen 56+ years of 'em.

Understatement of the century? :-)
The ice pick test is somewhat inconclusive. The pick does -not- go in easily. The wood splits in both directions (with the grain). It's flakier on the rail than on the stile.
The wood in the exposed joint looks very dark and weathered.
The biggest impediment for me is still the dowels. If I can't get good, tight-fitting dowels in the thing, I'm damned if I know how I can properly rebuilt it for the coming years.
Bears mentioning that I tried really hard to get the thing square months ago when I was trying to reinforce it. Put shims under the sagging end (with door hung as original) and tried like hell to get it square. And it wouldn't. I dunno if I can get it square even now.

Don't need a pic. It's just 2x4's, 32" between. RO?

Nor I. They got my mower back around '85. I installed 1/4" plexi.

The stiles are 4" wide, the rails 24". I doubt lag bolts are practical. See note re squaring above.

now I don't see how I can do it.
Many thanks for comments, suggestions, etc.
P
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
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On Sun, 15 Jul 2012 21:32:36 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

That might work. What I've done with weathered windows (never did a door) is soak in with boiled linseed oil until it won't take more, and let that set a week or two. Seems to rejuvenate and add strength to the wood. Without seeing how bad that wood is hard to tell. Wood glue is pretty strong, and since this door will be repainted wiping off excess glue is no problem. The big deal is clamping it all square. Nothing to lose but some glue and time.
--
Vic

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Puddin' Man wrote:

Why do you think lags aren't practical>
Pipe clamps will pull it together. If needed, a long one across a diagonal will square it.
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dadiOH
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What he's saying is you're not limited to only the dowel size there now. There is likely enough room that you could ream the hole out to a slightly larger size that accomodates the proper fit of a new larger diameter dowel.
Or if that isn't possible, I'd consider using a piece of cloth of the right thickness. Saturate it with glue, place it over the end of the dowel and tap it all together.
Also, the point about making sure the door frame is perfectly square is important. You don't want to have a square door that then won't fit because the door frame is out of square.
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On 7/16/2012 7:21 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

I disagree in worrying about that at this point. Repair the door correctly, then either resquare the opening if needed or trim a little if it's just a tiny tad out.
But, the door came from the opening; start w/ the assumption they were matched then deal with it in the manner that will be seen best when rehanging it.
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I would have looked at this issue before removing the door. If the door is out of square a bit in the same direction as the door, then I'd try to determine how much I could return the door to square and still have it likely work. As long as it's visibly not noticeable, that could save him more fitting work later on. And it could also be easier with the door repair as he's expressed doubts about whether he can get the door back to square. It would kind of suck to spend a lot of time getting the door square, only to then have more work to put it back in the opening.
As for re-squaring the opening, he's hell bent on not doing anything with the existing opening, which is not a standard jamb and shim arrangement, but just 2 x 4's. The framing is completely exposed on the inside, no drywall, sheathing, etc, so I agree doing whatever to it should not be a big deal, but it is for Puddin.
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On 7/16/2012 7:56 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

Well he can do that just as well (and probably easier, actually) w/ the door out of the way if that's the way he wants to tackle it. Not _my_ way, but it's his door, I'm just providing advice on how I'd approach it here. :)
If it's to try to determine how far out of square to leave it, just measure the two diagonals of the opening w/ a story stick and transfers that to the door laying on the work surface. Far simpler than trying to do something of the sort in place.
I've not seen or don't recall pictures of the opening; I saw one of the subject door way back when but the question had to do w/ the shape it was in so that's what I concentrated upon...
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On 7/16/2012 9:14 AM, dpb wrote: ...
...

And here's a good spot to add the other reminder to thePudd'n OP I intended--remember that when you're pulling it back to square that the best way to check is to measure the diagonals---when they're equal, it's square...(well, ok, rectangular :) )
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On 7/15/2012 9:39 PM, Puddin' Man wrote:

Well, then you're limiting yourself unnecessarily...

That's what you're going to make when you match a dowel to a hole...and clean up the other surfaces of loose paint, dirt and the oxidized surface layer...

Then that's all the confirmation needed it's doable...
...

Well, these two have seen nearly double that number... :)
...

If the holes have become hogged out because of flexing over the years (and/or the dowels have shrunk as well) to the point the existing dowels are too small the answer is simply -- get new dowels that do fit. You may need to do a combination of sizing a dowel and reboring a hole.
As another poster says, you can try some fillers, but I've had far better luck simply resizing...

I suggest again still against the lag bolt idea; once you go that route it's a downhill spiral on the pieces of the door and you're asking for them to hold into end grain which isn't their strong suit to start with...
As for squaring it up, the other poster is correct in suggesting a long-enough pipe clamp to reach diagonally in the correct direction to pull it back into shape. You'll want to do this dry at least a couple of times before regluing to make sure you know where you're headed before the glue is there to make it a time problem. You also need to work on all the joints that are loose while you have it apart and clean up the paint and dirt, etc., that's in the cracks preventing stuff from going back together.
It'll take some time and mostly patience...don't try to do it all in 15 minutes...
BTW, afaik there is no "waterproof white wood glue" -- this is one application for the otherwise over-hyped "Grizzly" polyurethane glues altho my recommendation would be Titebond III. It's a waterborne glue that doesn't foam and is waterproof against occasional wetting as the application here...
You _CAN_ do this... :)
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All good advice, The main problem will be removing old dowels that resist. I counsel patient twisting, between hammer taps.
--
Vic

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On 7/16/2012 7:43 AM, Vic Smith wrote:

Then drill the remnants out after they've broken off... :)
BTW, the best way to do that is to get a doweling jig and use it as if were drilling new holes. Use a smaller (say 3/8") guide first an test drill to ensure have it centered before committing to the final run.
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On 7/16/2012 7:26 AM, dpb wrote: ...

Well, I guess I should modify that--I believe maybe it's Elmer's that has introduced one relatively recently seems like I now do recall seeing some ads for in Fine Woodworking or somewhere or maybe in the New Product section. I've no experience w/ it; Elmer's in general makes good products so I'll presume this one (again assuming it is it) is, too.
I just know the others _very_ well...and virtually any local building supply or hardware will have Titebond III in stock.
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a.) The opening appears to be square. Can't tell precisely because hinges are necessary to secure garage, but the non-hinged side -is- square, and the door -used- to fit ~ square (before sagging), so I doubt this is an issue.
b.) I'll measure some more, but, if they are all ~ .612, I'll see if I can find a 5/8 (=.625)" dowel and test for fit, drilling as necessary. If that's in the ball park, I guess I'll commit suicide and endeavor to break all joints and clean 'em out, and proceed to see if I can get the damned thing square.
And maybe try Habitat Restore again on the off chance they've got a serviceable 32x80x1.25" door.
I'm old and in poor health. It happens every summer: something tricky breaks and I'm running around like the proverbial headless chicken for 40 days / 40 nites. Izza Super-PITA. :-(
Will report back eventually. Slow work with other commitments afoot.
Thanks, P

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You mention the thickness again, that shouldn't matter as long as you get the hinges mounted so the door fits tightly in the opening. Even 2 inches thick would work if you offset the hinges properly.
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