door frame (for garage door)

I am needing to construct a door frame for a 7'x7' garage door. Any
pointers on how to make the strongest best frame possible?
The timber merchant advised me to use 3"x3" wood and to treat it
myself. He said anything bigger would be too big and heavy. Do you
Is any treatment better than any other?
Another merchant said not to take the frame to ground level so it does
not get damp, but I'm not sure that I can do this; after all, if I
leave a gap, doesn't that give thieves a point to insert a crow bar?
How do I make a suitable mortise? is it time to buy a router? How deep
should the mortise be?
What frame fixings shall I use: are some more secure than others?
Thank you very much.
Reply to
A screwed half lap joint would be easier, and only needs a handsaw. If this is an up and over door, there are probably plenty of places to insert a crowbar. Alternatively, whack a load of grease on the end where it meets the ground. Best to make a 4 sided structure and brace the corners. Something this size will creep out of square if you don't make it rigid. The bottom bit can be a piece of scrap but it keeps everything square while you fix it.
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Stuart Noble
what make of garage door are you fitting,if a torsion spring do not use a half lap joint as they are too weak.a through and through mortice and tenon is normal.
You can buy ready made frames in timber.if installing timber a piece of slate under the frame stops any water
Or if a new door pay a little extra and have a metal frame door comes prefitted and it makes installation much easier.
Reply to
Thank you everyone for your help so far.
I'm a bit confused because I've got one vote for a half lap joint and another against it. Can anyone break the deadlock?
I'm not sure that the existing frame has a mortice. I think it's just two bits of wood screwed together; I think that's known as a full lap? My worry was that this might twist
I have seen these for sale but they cost £80, whereas the wood to make them probably costs a quarter of this.
That was my first choice but they are not available until February.
Reply to
3" x 3" would be Ok but I would tend to use 4" x 2" - presuming that you are using timber doors. If you are using prefabricated up-and-over doors, then you can adjust the frame thickness to accomadate different sized doors and opening.
You can use Vac-Vac treated or tanalised timber for the frame as both can be painted.
Leave a 3/4" gap between the frame and floor - it stops the end grain 'sucking' up rain water.
There is no security risk here.
Don't bother forking out for a router - inmy opinion it is next to useless for a job like this.
I would use a haunched mortise and tenon joint - as opposed to a plain one. See the following tinypic links for an idea of the construction:
Plain M/T -
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M/T -
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Drill and bit of the correct size. A couple of chisels: Hammer: Saw. Set Square. Mortice gauge (optional as this can be set out with a sliding set square). Bench or workmate. A bit of patience.
Simple wall plugs and screws - of the correct size.
Hope this gives you some idea Fred.
Brian G
Reply to
Brian G
This is quite a heavy door to make of wood. Think of your front door - have you ever taken it off and rehung it - and then double it plus as with that size you will need not only a centre brace but cross bracing to that as well to keep it square. If it is indeed an 'up and over', how do know that the springs are strong enough to take a wooden door ?
If you haven't done any major wood work before, this is a bit of an ambitious project to start on. If I was doing this, and I've recently built 4 shed doors, I would go and find a friendly carpenter/joiner/ cabinet maker to give me some advise on timber size, joints, bracing ,etc. even with my level of hands-on experience - and I have routers, bench circular saw, etc.
I need too think how to word this tactfully, but basically the lack of detail and variability of the advise so far given would make me think that those giving advise so far have not undertaken such a task and are trying to be helpful. Anyone who had built such a structure, or anything near it, would know exactly the suitable timber sizes, etc.
So my advise - go and get some from a professional.
Rob Rob
There are other forums where there are specialist areas to ask such questions -, and the woodworking section of
Reply to
On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 18:35:06 -0000, "Brian G" wrote:
I called a couple of local merchants but they could only supply untreated wood.
Thanks for the links.
I think there is some confusion here about what I am trying to do. To clarify I had a metal canopy door which has broken (see my other post). It had been problematic for a while so we decided to replace the whole thing. To clarify it will be an off-the-shelf metal canopy door but it needs a sturdy wooden frame. I think the other reply suggests I am making an up-and-over door, I'm not, it's just the frame that I will be making.
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