cherry hardwood door

Hi all. I originally posted this to another group and was advised to post here also. So I'm thinking of buying a big 2" thick slab of kiln dried american cherry. I will cut it up and make a front door for the house but this door would be fully exposed to the elements here in the UK.
Can you recommend/suggest extra treatments to ensure it will not warp or fall apart?
Thank you.
Arthur
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Arthur - I will assume that you know what you are doing in the shop to make your own door, or you wouldn't be buying slab wood to make one. The art of making a door in the shop using standard tools would be difficult to cover here on the ng.
I do a lot of door replacements and refinishing. So I will tell you what I think as a finisher of the doors I install and refinish. I am also thinking that you probably want some kind of clear finish as opposed to paint, otherwise you should paint and be done with finishing.
In your area (thinking specifically about weather conditions) you might want to go to a company that specializes in door replacement and ask them what they use.
In a nutshell, our biggest threat here in the Southern part of the country is UV exposure. It dries out and cooks the wood and makes the wood shrink and shed the finish. So you need to protect the wood from UV to begin with, seal it against moisture, but have a finish that soft enough to expand and contract with the wood movement but again, hard enough to be abrasion resistant.
Tall order. You should get a ton of opinions on this one.
The doors that seem to last the longest are the ones that are stained with a pigment stain (even a light coat) and then finished with a good UV resistant finish. In an interesting discussion with one of the door vendors (Thermatru) their research proved this to be so. Apparently the pigmented stain will to some extent as as a sublock to the grain. Makes sense to me.
I would only use a renewable finish such as some of the newer exterior rated conversion lacquers that you can renew without stripping. If I were you, I would renew the finish on the outside and edges every five - seven years or so, and the inside as needed. Following that, your door should last just about forever and look great. I know many of the doors I refinish haven't had a lick of finish put on them in ten or more years, but they do look like crap and the wood is starting to suffer.
The best advice on a new door finishing procedure would be to seal the top and the bottom. I see more warped doors that have bare edges than you could imagine. Finishing these edges is something that everyone knows about, but few get to see how important it is do it.
Good luck.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks, Robert. I am more wary of rain than sun in my case. But am planning to put a shallow canopy above the door to protect against most of it.
Arthur
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Finish the door with a spar varnish. Re-finish every few years. Visit a marine\boat building supply house and you can get the real stuff. UV protection additives are also a worthwhile component so if they have a version with those, it is worth the extra. Even minimal sun exposer, say filtered through fog, can still be very damaging over time.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 06 Jun 2007 04:47:28 -0700, Arthur 51

Expect your door will cup and warp, and possibly split without proper protection. Sunlight is very harsh on wood, and cherry is especially sensitive. A painted door of some other wood (white oak, teak, chestnut, etc) will hold up much better to UV and handling of moisture issues. The cherry will make a better table, chest, or cabinet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.