Trying to save money by building replacement garage door with 2x4 frame and
1/4 panels. Door is 8ft wide by 80" tall. No fancy joinery , just plain
butt joints glued and strengthened with nails or screws; My question is
how strong are will these joints be compared to mortise and tenons; Am I
wasting my time or sacrificing safety; Original door is on its last legs ,
but it has lasted probably 20 years with what looks like joinery from a
cabinet door with 1by frame.
The joinery on the doors is very similar to they used for kitchen cabinets -
just thicker stiles and rails.
Not sure why you decided against "fancy joinery," but would suggest that
those who manufacture garage doors that last twenty years would use simple
butt joints if they thought it would work.
Doing it "right" the first time is always the best approach.
Having said that, if you have a table saw and can cut a 3/8" grove in the
edge of a Two by Four, you might want to try building the four main panels
out of 2BY's with 3/8th four ply (exterior grade) for the webs. This would
still require a tendon on each end of the short styles - but would result in
a bullet-proof assembly if you glued all the pieces together. I built a
couple of shed doors this way three years ago or more and they are standing
Which reminds me, I need to paint them about now.
I'm thinking of another method he could use if he decides to forgo the rail
and still bits ~ pocket joinery with a backing of plywood screwed to the
back of the rails and stiles to firm everything up. He wouldn't need the
tenons you mentioned above and it would be easy to build with much less mess
than would result from all that routing.
On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 03:35:42 GMT, "Gooey TARBALLS"
This so true...especially with a garage door. A faulty garage door
could cause some serious injury if not made to exact spec and good
And considering the prices at the "home centers" how much will you
2x4 stock is notoriously poor quality wood. It is not as well dried as
cabinet grade wood and has plenty of knots. This means that it is unusual
for this stuff *not* to warp. The way that pro framers work with the stuff
is that they pop the bands on a skid of 2x6's and use them the same day,
before they begin to dry twist and bow. once a wall is assembled, it tends
to hold itself straight and square
Don't get me wrong, I use 2-by stock all the time in my shop all the time,
but I prefer to use stock that has been lying around for 6 months to get
dry, I use pieces much shorter than 8 feet and then I joint & plane them
down to 1" or 1-1/4.
I can't speak about the safety angle, but I really question the ecomomy, and
I pride myself on being cheap. If you were making a high-end fancy wood door
I think you could save some $$.
Have you considered a steel door?
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth
I priced the lumber and the cost is about even if not a little less to build
it myself. I am going to do the same thing, build my own doors. I am going
to replicate the rail and stile joints however and build a nice panel door.
The frame is 2 x 4 stock resawn and I am using 1/4 inch exterior plywood for
the panels. I am starting with handpicked 2 x 6 pine and resawing it to get
straight boards. The rail and stile joints are done using a 1/2 inch cove
and a 1/2 inch roundover bit in the router table. The slots I will cut with
a dado on the table saw. A little glue and some clamps along with a large
measure of patience should do it. I agree that the easiest way out is to
just get new doors. I've talked to several installers and they can order the
wood like I have but don't like them. Too heavy and not enough profit per
Hate to burst your bubble but you will not have lumber that will stay
straight after you resaw those 2x6's. They're only kiln dried to 20% mc and
when you start resawing, you'll be relieving the stresses in that relatively
wet wood. You will need to hand pick the best, straight grained, knot free
(good luck) lumber you can find and then select the ones that have the end
grain almost perpendicular to the face of the 2x6 - called rift sawn.
Now take it home and sticker them in a dry basement. Keep them off the
floor, keep them evenly spaced so air can flow around all 4 sides and do not
place a fan directly blowing on them but you need some air flow in the area
like a dehumidifier. If you have a moisture meter, they'll be about as dry
as they'll ever be when they reach 12% if you live in a relatively humid
area like the east coast. I have made a number of benches from 2x4's
(primarily hobby/craft benches) using them for the frame. I'd say the
minimum time is about 3 months in a dry basement to get the wood to 12% or
If you purchase the lumber from the borg - plan on lifting and moving about
a ton of lumber to find the 12 plus spares 2x6's you'll need. You won't be
resawing them but finishing down to at least 1" or 1-1/4" thickness so
you'll need more than you originally planned on. My count may be off
slightly but you can add up what you need for the 3, frames sectioned off
into 3or 4 panels per door.
You may want to consider going to a source where you can get some wood that
has been kiln dried down to 8% at least. Purchase some rough sawn poplar or
aspen which has no knots. Rough sawn poplar goes for about $2.50/bd ft for
5/4 stock. (you'll end up with a 1" thickness)
Consider that when you resaw that 2x6 (nominal 1-1/2" thick by 5-1/4" wide)
you'll have lumber less than 3/4" thick after final sizing - not good for a
garage door. Minimum thickness is 1" to 1/-14" as I recall.
An inexpensive wood (pine and ply) door from the borgs is around $320, metal
around $250 and they're engineered to meet specifications. Add up your
lumber, time and accessories and you may want to think about this a bit
more. I doubt you'll save anything. As a minimum - reconsider your joinery
methods as others have mentioned.
If he's really using 2x4's and 1/4" plywood, he could build an 8' x 8'
door for under $100.
Is this going to be a swing-open door that's one solid piece or a
hinged door with, say, 4 segments?
At any rate, I'd go at least a little "fancier" than butt joints. Even
screw-reinforced glued lap joints would be a huge improvement and
they'd still be really quick and easy to do. Butt joints are
notoriously weak because you're gluing to end grain. Screw and nails
loosen up eventually, especially when starting out with fairly wet wood
like framing lumber.
Make sure you paint and caulk everything really well (outside and in)
or else the plywood will warp badly.
Michael Ashby (in
Hki0g.11248$ email@example.com) said:
| Trying to save money by building replacement garage door with 2x4
| frame and 1/4 panels. Door is 8ft wide by 80" tall. No fancy
| joinery , just plain butt joints glued and strengthened with nails
| or screws; My question is how strong are will these joints be
| compared to mortise and tenons; Am I wasting my time or
| sacrificing safety; Original door is on its last legs , but it has
| lasted probably 20 years with what looks like joinery from a
| cabinet door with 1by frame.
Three years ago I built a replacement bottom panel for my (overhead)
garage door using 2x4 and 1/4" plywood. I routed the 2x4 to match the
other panels using MLCS rail & stile bits; and used a pair of 3/8"
dowels at each joint, rather than mortise and tenon.
I sorted through most of a pallet of 2x4 at my local lumberyard to
find good (clear) stock to work with and used ACX plywood for the
panels. I used polyurethane as a primer, then scuffed it with
sandpaper before painting with latex house paint. It still looks new.
I routed a step on the top edge of the panel (to match the panel
above); and used a hand plane to slope the outer part of the top edge
to block wind and drain rain water to the outside.
If you decide to use butt joints, I'd suggest reinforcing the glue
joints with dowels or pocket screws.
You won't be wasting your time if you learn something - and the door
will be as safe as you make it. The 2x4 SPF and plywood don't
represent major investments, so you can rebuild anytime you choose and
apply anything/everything you learned the first time. :-)
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Why do people post this crap? It goes along with "I want to make a
cheap coffee table out of rough knotty spruce 2x4s. All I have is a
hand saw that needs some sharpening, a hammer, and some railroad
spikes. Will it look good with my other furniture?"
Thanks for your replies. I have priced doors- due to the unusual size a
non-insulated metal door is about $500 so economy is definitely a factor.
However, if the time I have spent reading and planning is considered , I
have definitely exceeded the $400 dollars I am saving in cash now.
Hopefully that skill will be recouped in so other project. ( I have less
than $100 invested in lumber); I do have some basic tools( table saw , dado
, router) but limited skill and knowledge. That being said lap joints and
butt joints reinforced with glue or pocket screws are all within my means.
So far, I have cut all my lumber to size, cut slots for the 1/4 ply, and
cut matching steps for the top and bottom edge of each panel. I had planned
to glue, clamp and pocket screw each joint, but have stopped to reconsider.
I did go on kreg's site and read that glued and correctly screwed joints
were stronger than m & t.
Gimmie a few days and I will show you how to do it cheaply and safety.
Save money and learn a hell of a lot from others experiences. The tools
you need: A table saw, router and router table, cheapy rail & stile from Ebay,
six cheapy HF 4' clamps. Materials: 2X4 studs, 2'X3' hardboard from HD and some
hardwares etc. Now, urgently require to repair and clean up a leaking pipe in my
I have just completed a 7'X9' foot garage door. The garage doors consist of four
panels (approx. 20"X9') and I replaced three panels, keeping only the top panel.
Each panel has four 1/4" hardboard panels with 2X4 rail and stile studs. If I
had bought it from garage door suppliers, it would have cost about $125 each In
addition $60 delivery (or about $450). My cost for each panel is less than $20
excluding the stile & rail bits (two router bits $29 from Ebay).
I will post some pics in a few days, if you can wait, giving you helpful hints
and advices how to make the garage door panels. BTW I cut myself twice
(two fingers and a tumb) on the router table, I am just a newbies in
Where do you live?
Home centers sell 7x9 metal doors for less than $200. I know this
because I just replaced a rotted and blistered softwood / hardboard door
with a Wayne Dalton metal door. Total price, including delivery,
_installation_, disposal of the old door, and taxes, was less than $450
via a CT Lowe's.
I have a two 7X9 garage doors, total cost would be $900?
I ruled out Home centers very early on. I checked with Sutherland and locals
garage door suppliers. Each panel cost between $115 and $130 plus $60 delivery
charge. One company insists on installation, further no supplier can guarantee
the same rail & stile design as the house is about 20 years old. If I had bought
two panels, I would need to buy another one, during installation I discovered
the 3rd panel (from the bottom) with 1/2" sagging in the middle, leaving both
sides with 1/2" gaps on each ends as you look at it in the front.
Wondeful experienced, save a bundle for a new Hitachi KM12VC router and
maybe a 3HP table saw? :-)
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