Making an external door

I'm making a "strong" but cosmetically acceptable (I hope) external door out of a fire door blank and a sheet of mahogany faced 18mm ply.
I intend to cut out 4 rectangular holes in the ply so when it goes onto the firedoor blank, the whole thing looks like a decent external panelled door once I put some mouldings round the inside edges / lips of the "panels" and surround the outside edges of the door with 1/2" thick mahogany (framing/sealing it).
It's a strength/cost/cosmetic compromise! I got all of the wood for 60.
Obviously I'll seal/protect it all heavily and use good woodglue /clamps to mate the ply & doorblank surfaces.
My main question is, in addition to the glue, will I also have to pin or screw the ply to the door to prevent shrinkage/warping at different rates?
I'm happy to screw it, but how will I best cover the screw holes up - will plugs be obvious? I intend to stain / varnish.
Thanks in advance Paul
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Hi Paul,
If it is a solid construct fire door, why are you lining it with ply ? Wouldn't it be easier to just put the beads around the face in a panel shape ? If it is a real fire door and is lined with 18 mm ply, won't it will be to heavy for the hinges ?
Is it a wood effect finish or an actual wooden surface ?
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It is do'able Paul, but the door itself, if it is a real fire door, will be strong enough to handle a car hitting it if the hinges and standards take the strain.
By putting bead flat around the existing surface, it will actually give the effect of the centre panels being recessed, an optical illusion I think they call it, especially if the surrounding doors have the same pattern.
Like this effect:
http://tinyurl.com/hx7l
If you look closely, you'll see that the bead work is actually laid on top of a flat surface, but because of the effect of the bead, it actually looks as though the centre panels are sunken.
Worth a try with bead you already have. You'll be cutting it to shape anyway, so there is nothing stopping you placing it temporarily on the door to see what it looks like without the outer ply.
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Is the bead the approx 6" wide planks?
If I went ahead with my original plan, do you have a view on whether screws will be needed and if so, how best to camoflage the the holes?
Thanks again Paul
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The beading is the moulded decorative wood you are thinking of putting around the inside of the plywood. If you can get some bead that matches the stuff on the existing doors, then place it on the surface of your door blank, it should give the effect of being just like the other doors and you shouldn't need to put anything else on the door.
To fit the beading you'll only need to squirt some wood glue over the back of the bead and use a few panel pin nails to hold it in place until the glue cures off. You may only need the panel pins hammered in to grip until the glue sets, and then you could pull them back out so no nails will show at all.
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BigWallop wrote in message ...

plus you're not creating a whole series of edges and ledges for water to soak into.
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cheers Paul
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Interesting pic... but Bigwallop my friend, let me take you aside and explain thats really not where youre meant to put the doors, honestly. And I thought fitting a loo to a door was strange...
Regards, NT :)
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ROFL !!! It sort of brings to life any knock, knock jokes when you have a door in the middle of the living room floor. :-))
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:)
Regards, NT
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look, but I have seen some pretty good mock ups that don't go that far.
I think you can get a good look by routing a channel in the outer sheet of ply to sit some understated mouldings in. The outer could be screwed to the block blank only in the routed recesses and heads then covered with the moulding. I'd use glue between the skins too.
Using an understated moulding, more like an inlay, looks like making a statement rather making than a bad copy. Mouldings pinned on top do look naff.
This is a planned project of mine, so I have looked at quite a few doors :-)
HTH
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Paul J S Green wrote in message ...etc
I'd be very worried about warping of a thick ply face on a fire door, even with a glued and screwed construction. I put in a new claimed hardwood, but actually balsa wood front door 4 days ago and it has already warped by about 3mm.( I lied, 5mm) I think that the suggestion to surface bead the face of the existing door might be safest. Most fire doors I believe are internal use specified and may not like humidity changes. If you decide to go ahead, I would screw through the whole door from the inside with some "pretty" screws, or, lose the heads in brown screw covers. It requires careful selection of the screw length to not penetrate the front of the ply and an accurate pilot hole will be required. Feasible, but not easy. I don't think I would glue the ply in place, a bit of movement might be a good thing. It's easy to add the glue afterwards if it seems necessary. Regards Capitol
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I do plan to seal/varnish heavily - do you think this will provide a level of protection from warping, etc?
I've got another blank as an outside door - it's been on for a couple of months now. It did "move" a little over the first week or two and i needed to adjust the strike plate, but it's settled now! I had ronsealed the outside face, but not the inside.
I thought about screwing from the inside and carefully countersinking and plugging the holes with plugs made from offcuts of mahogany.
thanks paul
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Meant to put on original post; my "fire door" says "Lightweight Firecheck Doorblanks" on it.
Thanks Paul
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I'm sure you know these are interior doors that will *need* the protection of your ply - I usually use 12mm WBP - and, if in an exposed location, edging strip round the whole door.
And the advice to use lay-on bead is spot-on. If you expose the original door ply, it won't last a year in most locations.
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roger
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