new wooden door step - fixing and finishing

Hi all I'm considering having a go at replacing the wooden door step to our back door. The original is loose and rotting.
I'm sure some of this will be clearer when I remove the (metal) door frame - how is such a step fixed? Vertical frame fixings?
Also, any suggestions for treating/finishing such an item, subject to heavy use, to prevent future rot? I was wondering about treating it wilth liberal amounts of Teak Oil or similar...
Thanks Jon N
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jkn wrote:

Might not be fixed at all.

Get a galvanised weather bar, rather than plastic, which can break. I'd use linseed oil on it (I assume it's a hardwood sill). It should have a drip machined under it, near the lip. Whether it's best to lay DPM under or not depends on circumstances.
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wrote:

It's a really bad idea to cover a wooden step with a metal bar. Apart from looking really awful, it is virtually impossible to prevent ingress of water underneath it and subsequent rotting.
A properly made wooden doorstep in a quality hardwood doesn't need anything added apart from a simple seal, (correctly positioned to avoid trapping water) to draughtproof it.
--

.andy


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Andy Hall wrote:

Whath *are* you on about. "Cover a wooden step with a metal bar"? Sounds demented.
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wrote:

You said it. Galvanised weather bar.
Or did you mean something else?
It isn't necessary to have any metal components on a door step if it's rebated, and for many hardwoods a bad idea for staining reasons.
--

.andy


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Andy Hall wrote:

What's galvanised weather bar, then, eh, TP?
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wrote:

I'd always understood weather bars to be a flat piece of metal attached to the top surface of the step, and that's what I was commenting on.
Did you mean a strip that is typically set into a groove in the top surface of a (flat) step? I've always seen that called a draught strip or weather strip, so apologies if this is what you meant.
Even so, I am dubious about even a galvanised strip in contact or embedded in a hardwood step - I think that rebating and a seal is a better bet.
--

.andy


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jkn wrote:

Amd use hardwood...
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Given most back doors would have this step exposed to the elements I'd be inclined to use oak, if it must be wood. All the common woods you'll get from a builder's yard type place *will* rot - no matter how you protect them. Have you considered casting in situ a concrete one then tiling it?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Keruing is the norm I think. Most decent timber merchants will have it.
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Is that the red hardwood stuff Travis Perkins etc use for ready machined door and window sills?
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*A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

I've only seen it as a doorstep profile (ex 6" x 2" ish). Not the most attractive timber, so unsuitable for much else I would have thought.
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There are a variety of different possibilities from special fixings to mortices to.......
It's probably easiest to simply replicate the shape.
If you retain the original, a joinery place ought to be able to reproduce it reasonably easily. Unless it's a very unusual shape, it should be possible to do so with standard workshop machinery such as a table saw and spindle moulder using standard tools. Since you probably don't precisely need to match given radii on profiles etc but only the angular edges to fit the door and frame, it shouldn't be too difficult.
For something solid that will last well, use a good quality hardwood. Oak is a good choice, but any fixings to it should not be steel. The reason is that oak, along with a number of other hardwoods, contains tannins which will react with the steel and give black staining.

You could oil it. I have an oak front door and door step under a porch. They are not exposed to driving rain but do get quite heavy sunlight since the door faces more or less south.
In any case, I wouldn't just oil an exterior door step - water will tend to mark it and not really protect it all that well if you have driving rain. I tend to oil my door about twice a year which works well, but it never really gets wet.
For the step I used Rustins Flexterior.
This really is an excellent exterior wood treating product.
It is quite UV resistant so lasts quite well - I last did my step three summers ago and will probably do it this year. It's microporous which means that it will allow seasonal change in moisture content in the wood while being waterproof. It's flexible and won't crack as the wood expands and contracts
Most heavy exterior varnishes are gloss, and I hate gloss on hardwoods because it makes them look like plastic. However, this one is satin and therefore leaves a quite natural looking appearance. If you use the clear, the wood doesn't darken at all very much so if you want a darker colour, it needs to be stained first.
http://www.rustins.co.uk/ext_coat.html#fl_ext
I'm very picky about woodfinishes and generally have found most to fall short of the maker's claims. This one is really good, though, and I would definitely recommend it.

--

.andy


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Hi all Thanks for the various comments. A few things:
- The door which this is for is an aluminium one with a thin Alu frame which it fits into. This includes an Alu base. So the comment about not fastening to metal is well taken. I shall investigate further.
- I rang my local timber merchant of preference (Stamco) and they said they had such steps (6" x 2") in stock in 'Hardwood'. Their quoted price is 8/metre which seems terribly cheap to me, so it way well be the wood mentioned. I shall maybe go and have a look.
- Ideally I'd love to get a nice piece of oak and get it cut/moulded to size. I don't have power tools for this but if I were to sharpen my plane properly... I could probably make a scratch plane for the 'drip' cut on the underside... and yes I do have an idea of how hard oak is to work (memories of my Woodwork 'O' level coming back to me...
- Thank for the recommendation of Flexterior, I shall definitely give that a go.
I've also remembered that we have a local wood recycling plant ... I will go and see if they have any nice lumps of hardwood I can use.
Cheers Jon N
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