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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this forum and am glad to now be a part of what seems like a knowledgeable friendly community. I have a question about a method I used to make my front door. The reason I am asking is that I was approached by someone to make a door for them and if I’m going to make it again I need to see that what I did is okay to do again.

That being said…

I had some left over solid hard wood flooring (bamboo) and I happened to need a new front door so I thought about it for a while and decided that to come up with the proper thickness for the door I needed I would need to have a layer of the wood flooring, then a layer of 1/4” ply (marine grade) and then another layer of the wood flooring. I cut the ply to the proper size which was 1/4” in from where the bamboo would be so there would be a gap all around the outsides of the door 1/4” thick. I planned to fill that with more bamboo almost like a plug. I layer the flooring to one of the sides just like you would if you were laying it on the floor. Then I layer it on the other side. One side ran vertically and the other horizontally. I also left a space where the long vertical window would go. I layer the window in place before adding the second layer of the bamboo on the other side. I used polyurethane coats (4) as a seal on all sides and framed in the window.
The main question is: Is that okay to do? Will it warp or be more prone to being effected by moisture? I don’t plan to use bamboo again. It’s a hard wood but it’s fibrous so it can’t take a hit from something heavy like an oak or hickory could. I haven’t had any problems with warping or water problems at all and the door has been in for almost a year. It looks pretty good and I’m happy with it but again I wouldn’t feel right about charging someone for a door that I don’t know to be a sound and quality door. The method I used appeals to the person who wants the door so this is why I’m not just going out and learning how to build one in the traditional way.
I very much appreciate any advice that you all can provide. I look forward to hearing about it. Please don’t hold back.

I should say that I installed the flooring in both cases with finishing screws so I wouldn’t be shooting through the wood on the other sides and so it would hold better.
 

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My concern is you have two different sides. One side has the bamboo running horizontally, the other side it's vertical. When the wood moves it expands across the width, but the opposite won't allow that. If the door hasn't warped YET, then that is surprising.

Bamboo is not a wood, but a grass, if I remember correctly. See this article on it and also the "construction use": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo

I don't know if that's why you were successful on the first door, but if you change to a hardwood the movement concern may be amplified. Typically, you don't want wood running in opposite direction on the same panel. I made a door using 2 X 8's running verticall only, with 1/4" Oak plywood faces on both sides, but the wood was very dry and had been stored inside for a few years. So far, there is no movement or warping, exposed to both heat and cold on opposite sides.

I agree it would not be proper to charge for something that may not retain it's condition as new, and may warp overtime. Your success the first time may have been a fluke or it may have been because the bamboo has unique properties....I donno? You have a conundrum here.... :blink:
 
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It won't work. Gluing the flooring to plywood won't allow for wood movement and the individual boards will develops gaps between or split. It would have been better to glue the flooring together and put it in a frame free floating so it can be allowed to shrink. Then because you have the flooring running different directions from one side to the other I think it will cause it to warp.
 

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Make the door of bamboo again. As far as I know, bamboo has very little "movement," if any. And, it sure is tough stuff for being a grass.

George
 

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my only suggestion is to try and stagger the grain more. you have some apparent alighnment of peices beside each other that creates "lines" in the overall appearance. (particularly on the horizontal side just above the window). Otherwise I think its pretty awesome looking, potential warping aside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for your input. I was worried about the puling in different directions. What about if both the sides had vertically running wood? Also what if instead of glueing, I just used the finishing screws? Do you think that's allow enough movement? Also I'm concerned with the polyurethane not being able to stand up to the UV rays. Any suggestions on a coating that would be good? Thanks again!
 

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Running the grain vertical would be better however the door still will bend and warp. You would be better using glue to laminate the door than using screws. Putting screws in it will encourage the flooring to split. You will still have problems with shrinkage. The exterior side of the door will likely shrink in hot weather causing the door to bow inwards and in rainy weather that side will swell up causing it to bow outwards. There no finish you can put over the existing finish to protect it from sun. It would involve stripping the polyurethane off and finishing it back with a marine grade spar varnish. The best is Epifanes. Personally I would use it like it is until that finish begins to fail and then refinish the door and go with the spar varnish.
 
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