Re: Engineered Stiles Veneer Failure

07/19/2014


From original questioner:

I would never do an exterior door with 1/16 veneer. Most of the door failures I have seen in the field from other companies are doors with veneer faces. I do not know what glue would be best for this application but probably nothing water based is good for thin veneer.

As many have said there is no cost savings for the small shop to build this way. The motive is to keep things straight. We always used solid stave cores butcher blocked to produce rift and quartered faces with 1/8 to 3/16 faces. See pictures. Ones on left are interior doors. For exterior we usually do a same species core.

This is nothing new. We have doors in our town built this way that are over 100 years old.
The weakness of this type of construction is the exposed glue line on cross rails. It will usually separate a little with exposure to weather. We normally use solid for the cross rails to avoid this. I do know a lot of east coast and other high exposure shops are having good luck with stave core thick veneers glued with epoxy. In dry Colorado we only use epoxy for building skis.

The only failure we had with this was a Sapelle door on a garage. We did the same doors on the house with no issues. The customer was parking her snow covered car with a overhead heater blowing across the car on to the door. Solid rails and panels cracked, And the 4mm thick veneer delaminated in several places. Part of the problem was the oil finish she requested offers no protection and we were not able to caulk the joints like we do with our water base finish. Anyway, we fixed the door and she stopped putting her car in wet.

My preferred method for exterior doors is 3 or 4 layer solid face glued with grain reversal. This way no exposed glue lines are to the weather and you get stability from the laminations. This only works on 2 and thicker doors and is more suitable for the Euro constructed doors we do.

Joe