This is a continuation of the "Sagging Garage Door" saga from 06-17-12.
What with the Big Heat, etc, it's not practical to repair the door.
Have been to Lowes, Restore, etc. Can't find suitable replacement.
How difficult is it to "build" a door? 32 x 80 x 1.25"?
I look at the rail and stile construction and think "A Mess Of 2x8's, Some
Plywood (for panels) And A Table Saw". Of course, it's more difficult than
I don't need anything particular fancy, just secure and reliable/durable.
Anybody built one? Can anybody help with little details? Simple mortise
and tenon? Which (exterior) glue? Fasteners???
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
A local door installer will have the connections to get a new wooden
section if that's all you need. Post a pic, and I'll identify it and
source a replacement out of Houston. Local is better though, if you are
in Houston you're in luck - I know a great installer.
If you find where door companies drop their "dead doors" in the back,
you may find a old section in near perfect shape in the dumpster. They
won't mind if you take it, they have to pay to dispose of them.
Or ask one of the guys to save you a decent section from a job, and let
him install it for $75 or so. Chances are good he has some in his
backyard for that exact purpose.
Don't mess with springs or a cable under load if you don't know what
you're doing - they can maim and kill you.
I wonder how many other posters are replying thinking
he's talking about a panel from an overhead garage door,
as opposed to the garage entry door. I just can't see
building one when it's a std size door where a pre-hung
can be had for $100. Even if I could buy a door minus
frame that might work, I would replace the whole thing,
especially given that the prior door was "sagging".
With a pre-hung it goes in and you don't have all the
alignment, fitting issues to deal with.
On 7/11/2012 1:09 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
OP is probably a lot like I am--he'll spend inordinate amount of time to
save something old just on the general principle of the thing... :)
I don't see building a whole new door as permanent solution here,
either; the door in the pictures posted didn't really look to be in
_that_ bad of shape; it's a little effort to refurbish one but nothing
of great complexity, just a little patience and care in dissasembling
w/o destroying... :)
As noted elsewhere, I've done any number of these over the years from
the garages and shops here on the farm to some gorgeous antebellum 40x96
entry doors in old restoration work in Lynchburg, VA. Those, of course,
and many of the other entry and general interior and exterior doors and
windows were well worth considerable effort given their age and general
architectural significance for the restorations underway.
Knox Rail Salvage in downtown Knoxville, TN, generally would have
several hundred doors from recent trashed rentals hollow-cores w/ knoced
thru holes in a face to salvaged exterior double entries from rework
mansions being retrofitted. Somewhere in there would always be half a
dozen or more of just what OP needs in good shape for probably $25 or
I think I mentioned in the previous thread of picking up a pair of slab
walnut 7- or 8-ft office doors for a pittance because were intended for
a business remodel but one had received a large scratch on one face so
they tossed the both and ordered new for the job...I had intention of
desk and/or table tops but they're still in the barn...another oak slab
from the same clutch is the top for the office desk here, though.
Yeah, I've built them that big. Flush doors. My methodology...
1. Rip 3/4" thick x 1 1/2 wide strips off a 2x4 or your choice of wood.
2. Lay them out on a flat surface butting and gluing the rails to the
stiles. Clamp in position after assuring they are square.
3. Drill through stiles from outside into top & bottom rails and glue in 2 -
1/4", 5/16" or 3/8" dowels at each corner. For a door of that size I'd
probably also use a wider - 2" to 3" - center stile butted to top & bottom
4. Glue and dowel in internal rails. At least two. Wider than the
perimeter pieces is a plus though not much of one. If you use a center
stile, offset the internal rails so you can drill into their ends through
all the stiles.
5. After the glue dries, you have a frame of the correct size. A rather
delicate frame but a flat one. Next step is to glue 1/4" plywood on both
sides to all rails and stiles; once that is done the door will be strong and
rigid. Try to get plywood that lies flat as possible. To glue to internal
rails/stile you will have to weight and/or nail.
For the perimeter rails and stiles, you can use clamps but you need a lot.
You can make a bunch inexpensively by getting 10' lengths of 2" or 2 1/2"
PVC, sawing it into rings about an inch in width and then making a saw kerf
through one side of the width. What you wind up with are a bunch of "C"
shaped spring clamps. They aren't very strong but are more than adequate
for gluing on the ply. Especially if you use them 3-4" apart. The greater
in diameter the original PVC pipe, the weaker the clamps; greater width of
the rings gives greater pressure.
The ply will have a tendency to slide so unless you have nailed it, take
care in getting one side even to but a bit wider than the stile; that
enables you to trim off excess ply without cutting into your stiles.
If you can use a thicker door, I would. The one above will be 1.25 (if the
ply is exact or if you have adjusted rail/stile thickness to compensate) but
there isn't very much wood for hinge screws. You can get more wood by using
thicker rails/stiles and thinner ply...HD/Lowes carry "door skins" that are
1/8". That is plenty thick enough as the only thing the ply is actually
doing is holding the frame together and square. With either 1/8 or 1/4 ply
you will wind up with a light weight door that is strong.
For glue, I would suggest Titebond ll. Titebond lll if you are anal :)
BTW, the same construction works well for cabinet doors and partitions. You
can make them pretty much any thickness from 3/4" up (using 1/2" thick
rails/stiles and 1/8 ply or hardboard).
If you can't fix your door - and you were given instructions here -
why would you even think of making a door?
Doors are sold all over, cheap.
You want to make some windows and cabinets too?
Different story, different tools, and different discussion.
I've done some woodworking, with fairly expensive saws/routers/dadoes.
Wouldn't even think about making a garage entry door.
They're cheap as hell to buy.
And if I did want to make one, I'd study the "art" of door-making
first. Doubt you'll find many door-makers here.
But it's worth talking about. And that's my 2 cents.
+1 to that. And 32 x 80 is a standard size that's readily
availalbe. I think he's likely trying to fit just the door
itself into the existing frame, instead of just getting a pre-hung and
changing the whole thing. I would just change the whole thing, even
if there were no other issues. In his case, the door is sagging, so
to not change the frame would be a big mistake.
Probably time to call a pro.
I thought about repairing the side door into my garage, mainly because
the wooden threshold was looking pretty bad. The closer I looked at
what needed to be done, the more evident it was that replacing it all
with a pre-hung door was the best idea.
The short block wall on both sides of the original jamb was
deteriorating. In addition, trying to get the sill out and replace it
without removing the entire jamb anyway would have been very
difficult. It was much easier to just rip it out, repair the block,
add some more support in the threshold area and drop a pre-hung door
in the RO.
That's hard to conceive there's nowhere in any place of any size at all
that doesn't have a "veritable plethora" of salvage building
materials...where are you located?
As far as slab construction others have mentioned it's not particularly
difficult (but then again, I don't see rebuilding what you have as
particularly difficult, either). If the problem perceived is one of the
opening being open while the weather's hot, as noted before a very
temporary piece of ply and a couple of tubafor's can close up the hole
while you're working on the door...
Actually, if you have "the right stuff" even panel doors aren't terribly
complex. Typically full-size doors use full-length or at least long
tenons instead of the "stub" tenons common on raised panel doors of
kitchen cabinets and the ilk. This means one needs an undercut pattern
bit to make the coping cut to match the stile cut. These cutter sets
are much harder to come by than the kitchen cabinet type. OTOH, it is
possible to either use loose tenons or just dowels...
But, there are a few manufacturers who have started recently--I like to
think my complaining has had some effect in this trend altho I don't
know it other than I did have several conversations w/ Lonnie Bird when
he was hawking for CMT about the lack and they introduced a set shortly
after. Other manufacturers have followed suit so apparently they're
selling enough of 'em to keep going... :)
Here's link to one of my favorite suppliers...Amana Tool--not cheap but
_very_ good. For a "one off" CMT, Whiteside or if you can find it in
some of the imports will last that long...
For your case you would use the 'screen door' set w/ slightly thicker
What have you available to work with???
Also note as somebody else has the caveats about material--plain-sawn
construction tubaX material isn't going to be very stable in all
likelihood. If you can find and select material, Doug fir kiln dried
and selected to be near to quarter sawn would be a good choice. There's
almost no clear white pine on the retail market any longer; it all goes
directly to the window/door manufacturers straight from the mill or for
export--I tried to by some stock for new windows for the barn a couple
years ago and finally just gave it up as impossible for less than full
bundle quantities at higher than hardwood prices... :(
6023 S. Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63111
accepts and sell architectural salvage, used lumber, used doors,
used brick, asphalt kettles, and various building materials
Surprised I couldn't find much else online...there's _got_ to be
somewhere w/ a whole pile of used doors to go through...
Can't spin a set of these except in large table-mounted router,
unfortunately, sorry...but, you're perfect excuse to upgrade! :)
I'm still of the mind to suggest keep looking for more recycle places or
just keep checking the stock at places you've tried or just bite the
bullet and rebuild the one you have.
I really think you'll find it less daunting in practice than the
trepidation before beginning. And, just think, once you've started then
you _have_ to finish! :)
80x32 is a standard size. Besides saying that he can't
find a "suitable" replacement he hasn't made clear what
the exact fitment issue is. I think it's that he's refusing
to use a pre-hung door because for some reason he
thinks replacing the door and the frame is a big deal,
expensive and harder than constructing a door.
So, I suspect he's trying to find a door, minus the frame
that will exactly fit what he has there now. And that
isn't likely to be solved by a trip to the salvage yard
or anyplace else. Even if he finds something, I
think he's underestimating what it takes to then
get it to work.
Also, the other point I've been trying to get across
is that he had a problem with the old door "sagging".
What are the chances that the existing frame is
perfectly square? Replace the whole thing with a
pre-hung door for $100 and it's a sure solution,
less work than making and hanging just a door,
and drama free.
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