Loft door material

The loft hatch has been enlarged.
The old door was ply with two butt hinges (one each side) screwed in.
The builders suggested the new larger door could be 25mm MDF and bolt through large T hinges. This seems a bit industrial to me.
The original dimensions were about 635mm wide and 750mm long. The door was 18mm ply.
The hole is now 635mm wide and 1200mm long.
Does the team think that a door of 18mm ply with a piano hinge at the end (or perhaps 3 butt hinges) would be O.K.?
The main worry is it tearing itself off the screws when it swings down.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 22/01/2013 17:42, David.WE.Roberts wrote:

Does the door need the strength to carry the weight of a loft ladder? If yes, I think the builders are right. If no, use a piece of 10mm foamed PVC sheet with butt hinges bolted through it. I am not a fan of piano hinge.
Colin Bignell
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On Tue, 22 Jan 2013 17:55:58 +0000, Nightjar wrote:

Door is independent of the loft ladder.
I just Googled for 10mm foamed PVC and it came up as £63 + £12 delivery. This may be a little more than I want to pay!
Will try our local plastic supplier but I think that similar stuff I have looked at costs arm and leg compared to ply.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 22/01/2013 19:09, David.WE.Roberts wrote:

Try a sign maker for offcuts. That is where I used to buy it from.
Colin Bignell
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On 22/01/2013 17:42, David.WE.Roberts wrote:

Blockboard every time. Lighter than the alternatives and takes a 1"x 6 screw into the edges
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On 22/01/2013 19:00, stuart noble wrote:

Haven't seen blockboard for yonks. Assumed they didn't make it anymore.
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David.WE.Roberts wrote:

I solved this problem by replacing the original, heavy wooden loft hatch with a thin clear plastic sheet in a light wooden frame, hinged to swing down like the original hatch. So no more fears of a heavy hatch swinging down and either hitting someone on the head or tearing itself off the hinges. And it enabled the daylight which entered the loft via its windows to filter down onto the landing. When working up in the loft, a heavy 18mm ply cover which completely covers the hatch area can be slid over it to stop anyone or anything falling through.
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On Tue, 22 Jan 2013 20:13:50 +0000, Jim Hawkins wrote:

Thanks - interesting thought.
Perhaps a wooden frame covered in hardboard top and bottom with insulation inside could kill several birds with one stone.
Could be a serious test of my minimalist woodworking skills though :-)
Cheers
Dave R
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On Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:05:00 +0000, David.WE.Roberts wrote:
<snip>

OTOH I could find a bit of Celotex which is the right size, and form a wood frame round that with hardboard top and bottom.
Rigid, light, insulated centre with wood round the outside for hinges and catches.
I will have to dig up at Celotex offcuts.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 23/01/2013 21:07, David.WE.Roberts wrote:

Sounds like a good strategy to me, or 4 or 6 mm ply for the bottom face. Main thing is to have "fit for purpose" screws (and hinges)
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On 23/01/13 21:32, newshound wrote:

But if its a kingspan sheet covered in ply How will the hinges work? Would the edges have to have a slight slope so the hinges will function? Or is there a clever hinge which will lift them out without air seeping through?
[g]
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This is similar to mine - which is basically 2x1 (approx) timber frame, 4mm ply top/bottom, with 50mm celotex inside. The face opposite the hinge side is angled a little to clear the hole on dropping down, and it has two 4" steel hinges. It has brush strips fitted above to reduce air leakage.
It is heavy though, and you do have to be careful when lowering it. The hinges and push/push catch have survived five years of regular use, and still hold it up fine. Use of an infra red thermometer shows that it is quite effective in not losing too much heat.
A planned job for the future is a nylon cord looped up to the rafters and connected to a counterweight to make getting it down easier - I have no problem, but SWMBO finds it a bit heavy.
Charles F
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Hence my suggestion of 2mm mdf. Less likely to buckle than hardboard
and you do have to be careful when lowering it. The

I would still go with blockboard (because it takes the hinge screws well) and fix some insulation to it in a bin liner or something. Mine is held in place by string and drawing pins in the edges of the board
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If you want an insulated door, 100x50 softwood, 2mm mdf for the faces, and fill with 50mm of celotex or rockwool. 3mm gap all round, but a tight fit against the frame to stop airflow. IME life is easier if you make a frame to go round the door and fit the whole thing, rather than frigging about up a ladder trying to get a square door to fit an out of square opening.
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On Thu, 24 Jan 2013 09:28:49 +0000, stuart noble wrote:

I was going to do it like a normal vertical habitation door - gap all round and then a strip of wood all round to butt up to for a draught proof seal.
It must come up lighter than solid 25mm MDF.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 22/01/2013 17:42, David.WE.Roberts wrote:

I recently put one in I used 18mm chipboard, and fitted with cranked hinges, which allow it to fix to back of the door rather than into the edge. I had to edge the inside face to match overall thickness to the hinge .. but worked fine I would never use Piano hinge for this sort of job.
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