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DaleD 03-31-2013 05:56 PM

Need a stable wood for garage doors
1 Attachment(s)
I have a friend who wants me to rebuild a set of old heavy garage doors for him. My question is: what would be a good choice of wood for this project. The doors are frame and panel swinging doors - I'll use the Freud exterior door style/rail router bit set for all the joints. But, I'm concerned that since this is an outdoor application I need a very stable wood. Even though it will be painted the wood will still be exposed to all sorts of weather - particularly changes in humidity. Can you recommend a wood that is likely to stay stay straight and flat in this application.

I've attached a picture of the existing doors.

thanks, dale.

woodnthings 03-31-2013 07:33 PM

I recommend Cypress
I made a pair of barn doors, 7 ft 6" wide by over 11 ft tall. Here's the build thread. Allow for moisture changes in spacing the planks. I use a half lap joint spaced about 3/16" apart so no day light showed in the gaps.


GeorgeC 03-31-2013 08:40 PM

In his "evil machine" thread Bill states he used cypress wood. That is a great wood for that application. It is one of the best at standing up to the weather. I built the framework for my screened patio of cypress. That was 34 years ago and I have only had to repair part of one 4x4 since. No treatment was ever done to the wood. It was and still is natural. It also faces southwest so it get full sun.

One advantage of cypress over another good wood like oak is the weight. Cypress weighs less. If you are going to paint then cypress may soak up more paint.


Tilaran 04-01-2013 08:59 AM

Personally I'd use Bocote but I don't reckon that would be wallet appropriate in the empire.
Up'ar. Cypress or cedar.

Steve Neul 04-01-2013 01:55 PM

If you let it set long enough and dry you can use pressure treated pine. I made a door similar to that for my shop out of treated.

J.C. 04-01-2013 02:42 PM

I haven't tried to use the stuff yet but, Thermo-Treated Wood might be a good option if you can get it in your area.

Pop Pop 04-01-2013 04:14 PM

My shop landlord used thermo modified poplar to side his house. The wood milled very well, doesn't seem to want to warp, and is rot and insect resistant without paint or treatment. I have used some of his scrap to make small items. It cuts cleanly, mills like butter and doesn't seem to have any internal stress. The site linked above is wrong about the odor being that of wood, it smells like a smoke house when you cut it. The odor dissipates after while. The poplar looks like walnut and, in fact, when finished with BLO is hard to tell it from walnut.

jimmomech8 04-01-2013 04:23 PM

Seeing that you are from RI cedar should be easy to come by. Here in Minnesota almost all our outside wood is stained or painted cedar.

Bill White 04-02-2013 11:58 AM

I'm also in the cypress club. Just allow for expansion and contraction.

Cliff 04-02-2013 07:25 PM

white oak, teak, IPE, cedar.

Wema826 04-02-2013 09:03 PM

Mahogany is good for outdoor fixtures, here in TN there are alot of doors and driveway gates made with it. granted its in the Higher end homes in and around Nashville....

Cliff 04-03-2013 10:17 AM

Mahogany is a very good exterior exposure wood. It's a traditional boat building wood for good reason. Hate to have to pay for it though. If I did I'd be loath to use it on a door.

I don't know that all wood that is sold as mahogany is good though. There's a whole flotilla of species, many of which are entirely unrelated, that are sold with the label "mahogany." It is one of the more confusing things in the lumber industry.

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