I recently built 4, 5 piece doors 16" wide by 60" tall with 4 1/2" stiles and rails out of Sapele. I Pre-milled all the pieces and then stickered them for a week before milling them to final dimension. I didn't check but I'm sure they were flat when I built them. When I went to instal them they had all warped so badly I couldn't use them. They are bifold doors mounted with butt hinges so not much room for adjustment. I've never had much trouble with doors warping but I am very careful if they are large and always pre-mill and sticker the stock for a week. I'm concerned that if I build them again the same thing will happen and I'm thinking of building them with a stave core and then edging them and glueing a 1/8" face veneer on. Any thoughts?
If you don't have a full understanding of what went wrong the first time, there is no guarantee that building another set will improve things.
Doors of any size must have joinery that is extremely square and coplanar with all the parts. You can have very nice, perfectly straight parts, solid or stave core, but when put together the door will rock on the bench like a potato chip.
The larger the door, the more effect these problems have, and the more likely they will cause problems. I would review all your joinery and question where the first doors went wrong. If the rails and stiles are twisted and 'warped', then that is the problem - bad wood. If they are still flat ans straight, then it is the joints.
It is Quarter Sawn. I cut the doors apart and all the stiles are now twisted. They weren't when I built the doors. I have built many large doors and now and then one moves a bit but I have never had them move like this. My lumber supplier suggested I build them again but cut them out of boards only a little wider than the finished size. We checked the moisture content and it was 6%.
Wood moves in response to changes in moisture content. So....that explains it, somehow.
If you know how to make doors, then the joinery is not the problem. If the stiles are twisted once free from the assembly, then that is the problem. But exactly how that happened is the question. Again, until you have some idea as to how that can happen, you could face it all over again if you rebuild. Even stiles made of stave built construction will not be immune if change in MC is the risk.
Andrew, I find that slightly bowed door stiles can normally be used, if carefully positioned, but twisted ones cannot, [unless perhaps slightly twisted if it can be paired to one which mirrors it]. You will probably know most of this, but something following might be informational: Firstly your timber needs to be of consistent moisture content throughout, which is unlikely if you have just purchased the timber, it is likely to be different in the centre than at the outsides, which can result in the wood bowing as soon as a plank is put over an over-hand planer, and then maybe bowing again in the opposite direction [possibly cancelling out the previous effect] when thicknessing the other side, so to avoid this, best let the wood acclimatise in your workshop at least a week, preferably a few weeks for m.c. to even out before planing it. Don't leave planks on the floor to pick up moisture from the ground. If you are forced to use it straight away try to take off an even amount from both sides, [although that is not possible with bowed planks]. If starting from sawn timber much thicker than the final thickness, as you have done, it is good to plane over-size, leave in stick a few days before finishing to required thickness. When you have planed to thickness, leave it a couple of days, again if you can, in stick or on edge so air accesses both sides, then match tall stiles in such a way that the worst bows happen at the hinged edge, so the centre hinge flattens the stile. Match remaining stiles to each other for grain match if not painted, and so that most importantly, the stiles which meet in the middle of the opening, line up with each other, so bows match, making sure that any bulge is outward, so doors close fully at top and bottom. This way, slightly bowed stiles can be used, but twisted ones must be discarded. Number the stiles on the fronts with pencil so you keep the sequence. The gluing up of the doors is important. I like to use good quality T-Bar cramps which deflect less than sash cramps. If the doors are thin, twist the cramps so that the pressure exerted by the threaded cramp head is exactly in line with the centre of the door stiles. It is important that you look carefully along the front of the cramped up door while the door is in cramp to check it is not being glued up in winding, the door must be completely flat as the glue is drying, other than that caused by bows which you have already made allowance for. When the doors are all glued up, you can make a final check, putting the sets of four doors to make the bifold pairs next to each other on a large bench or the floor to ensure that they meet each other well and that the outer hinged stiles are parallel. The important thing I am trying to say is pair and mirror irregularities to achieve compatability to minimise wastage because a few bowed stiles are inevitable with tall doors.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.