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I'm interested in your opinion on joinery technic's for the door pictured. It will be in Solid Mahogany (laminated) and for an exterior application. I've yet to come up with a total solution that I'm comfortable with. Note that the rails, stiles and panels are all on the same plane.
I would make the rails solid and groove a 3/4 marine grade plywood and laminate 3/8 on both sides and gorila glue everything well...
This can be done in solid wood if sufficient gaps are allowed between the rails to allow for projected expansion due to humidity.Assuming a 2 1/4" thickness, I would groove the stiles 3/4" thick by 1/2" deep, stub tenon the rails and add substantial inserted tenons, two per rail. Integral tenons would be even better if you have the capability to do it efficiently. Tongue and groove or spline the rails together. Laminating three plies may add some stability, but I would not hesitate to use single thickness with carefully chosen straight grained mahogany milled in a couple of stages. Exterior rated glue of course- I would probably use epoxy.
It is a basic 5 piece exterior door with a special panel.
The frame is built with mort/tenons or dowels. The panels will have to be rebated about an 1" on the perimeter to allow for expansion. 1/2" will be in the panel groove. 3/8"-1/2" will always be exposed.
The problem is controlling panel expansion from top to bot. I'll have a couple of beers before I answer that one.
I have been looking at how the Europeans build these, since I think they are ones that originally made these kind of doors. There are enough here in the US now to where the design is trickling down to those of us in the trenches, having these images thrust at us by designers and homeowners.
There is a European multiply panel that is stable and can be easily veneered that is often used for this work. Since it is a ply, it is dimensionally stable and easy to work with. Columbia Forest Products seems to sell something like it, and there are others.
It can be built in solids, laminated (?) or otherwise, but is far simpler with the stable material. I recommend 1/8" thick veneers throughout for durability and refinishing over time.
Besides the movement issues, those chamfered horizontal seams will be real rain "catchers". Any driving rain will roll down the panel and want to wick into the grooves. If solid and tongue and groove, the groove will have to be on top, but moisture will still wick up into it. If thick veneer, you must have perfect glue coverage to keep water out of that seam. Hope it has plenty of cover and is inset into the house. I wouldn't put much of a warranty on that one! If work is flowing, I'd be a no bid on that one, or help him find a European supplier.
I just love this kind of door. Can you please post some more images of it?