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would you warranty this entrance door?


I build furniture and cabinetry, so entrance doors aren't my typical. I would like to hear back from seasoned door makers on my choices of material/ techniques for self improvement. As the title suggests, would you feel confident with this door holding up over time, or what would you have done differently, specifically related to reasons of longevity.

The door is engineered. Rail and stile substrate is two layers of 3/4" marine ply (marine grade version of baltic birch, visually-- forget the name of it) with a single 1/8" layer of baltic birch inbetween to get initial thickness laid up with marine epoxy similar to west systems two part. The veneers are Resawn @1/8" and sanded to final thickness of apron 3/32".

Panels are two layers of 5/8" baltic birch with same thickness veneers and same epoxy.

Rails and stiles are two rows of 2" long dowels (many of them) and the panels are also fit and epoxies into perimeter groove, as you would do most any other frame and panel, except this is fit well and epoxies into the frame, not being a floating panel.

My area of concern is the rails... applied 1/4" veneer for final aesthetic. They run long and capture both rail and stile. Epoxies one, and didn't like how the epoxy ignored my taped off border in an attempt to minimize latter squeeze out scraping/ sanding. The rest I used gorilla glue, which while foamy, was easier to deal with cleaning up after wards.

This door will be finished with epifanes spar varnish and be under a covered porch. Hardware is Rocky Mountain, "Convex" with 4 Emtek ball bearing NRP's (outswingingThe wood is claro, redwood lace burl and madrone. Same wood as an altar I posted in project gallery cpl years ago. Looking forward to finish and install.

Little nervous though. I am not a door guy, though I really enjoy building them, and would like to build many more. Try to do all that I can for stability, aesthetic, and durrability, but.... even when you think you know, you never know?


12/19/15       #2: would you warranty this entrance do ...

Having picture problems... trying again

12/20/15       #3: would you warranty this entrance do ...
james mcgrew Member

Use the preview button instead of post to check before and you will see if the photo posted. might be too big to load

12/20/15       #4: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Mary Stone Member


Joel, if you are having problems with your image, you can send it to me via email and I will add it here - please send to Thanks -

12/20/15       #5: would you warranty this entrance do ...
David R Sochar Member


Number one factor in door longevity is exposure to UV and water. UV will break down the finish and even heat up glues to near failure if it is a dark finish. While South facing is bad, East and West are actually worse since the sun can strike the door at near 90 degrees. Does the porch shelter the door from UV 100% of the time? Water?

Water will get in anywhere it can. Especially the bottom of the stiles where the end grain will try to drink up water once again. Ply will limit this uptake, but not eliminate it. This should all be sealed with epoxy after fitting, before final installation.

The sticking should be integral to the wood rails and stiles, not applied, in my opinion, to help limit places that water will work its way in to the panel edges and rail joints. You do not describe what type of sticking or molding you use. Should be a cap mold?

As for your construction, I know little about those methods, so am not qualified to comment. My opinion from a distance is that there are many more joints - more joints that can fail from lack of glue or can let water in, in that type of door than a door made of solid wood with integral sticking. Count the number of parts in the door you made, then the number of parts if it were to be made in solids.

I think any warranty is conditional upon final placement. You can warrant against shop made defects, but once it leaves your shop, the door is out of your control.

12/20/15       #6: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Joel Member

Thank you. I put on a veneer remnant with epoxy over the plywood core on the bottom, and the shoe covers that as well. Should i silicone that? The covered porch is north east facing, with a chance of water only in driving wind and storms.

The French doors, however are south west facing, and I used old growth vg redwood on the exterior of those, as that is all of the other exterior trim, so it matches.

The small trim of madrone and claro surrounding the redwood panels is tight bond iii and will be integrated with the finish two coats rapid clear gloss epifanes then third coat of satin.

The trim is also engineered, because I didn't have enough claro to go solid, and maintain the sequential grain matching. The intent was to be balanced and harmonious visually.

This is all t and m. Would have no idea where to begin for a quote and would have eaten it hard otherwise. But I specialize in Resawn veneer in and am pretty efficient in the process. I enjoy it imensly too.

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12/21/15       #7: would you warranty this entrance do ...


I read your post and can only comment on your finish schedule. I am a finisher and have used Epifanes for exterior doors too. If you don't know already, the first coat needs to be thinned by at least 50%. Typically, the second and third coats are again thinned, but by a lesser ratio. The final coat is applied at full strength. My suggestion is to wait at least 24 hours between coats of finish.

The other alternative is to apply a 2K Urethane Varnish by Milesi or ICA Coatings from Italy.

I would never guarantee a finish past 2 years. UV rays are a killer on wood.

12/21/15       #9: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Joel Member

Thank you, very much, Robert. I was going to thin the first coat then do the next two at full strength. I appreciate your input. So I'll do that, should I do more coats prior to a final full strength coat?

Anyone else have comment, or concern in regards to the applied rail skins? They aare glued well, quartersawn, and 1/4" thick.

12/22/15       #10: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Joe Calhoon

That is an awesome looking door! Veneer offers a lot of design freedom not possible with solid wood.

I want to experiment with sawn veneer on doors and will be anxious to see how this goes for you. Its risky business for sure. I network with a lot of custom door builders across the country and several have tried sawn veneer with mixed results. From what I have seen companies that ship product out have problems with this. A couple small companies that work in their local environment have reported good results. If the material is acclimatized to your area and with a covered porch that is in your favor.

Do you have a link for the marine ply you used?

I am not familiar with the process you used and can only offer a few suggestions.
For exterior door and window work dowels should be rot resistant. We get locust or white oak dowels from Europe specifically for this application. Rangate sells these in the US. Domino XL with Sipo tenons is another good choice for this. Since you are under a covered porch the normal birch or beech dowel should not be an issue.

Epoxy is messy. Would something like Unibond 800 work better? We use a lot of TB3 with success but find on horizontal rails with sawn skins the joint opens up a little over time. We stay away from skins on exterior doors anymore and prefer no laminations to the weather. A lot of companies have success with stave and skin construction though. Make sure all your sawn veneer is same MC each side.
As Dave mentioned loose stops to the outside are not good construction but with the design I think the only way you could do it.

We have had good luck using recoatable waterbase door and window finishes like Milesi, Sirca and ICA offer. It was a learning process for us and something you would not want to try first time on a door like this.

Thin veneer would be safe but I have never liked the idea of using this on entrance doors.
Good luck,

12/22/15       #11: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Joel Member

Thanks Joe. I used hydrote plywood.

Quality control in a small shop is more predictable than a large manufacturer in my opinion also.

My concern in the rails is more checking than delamination, but at this point, will just have to endure the test of time. I was hoping for reasurance to calm the nerves, I guess.

I will post photos after install.

All of the hardwood I used was kd.

It also seems that with more coats of finish, thinned, will offer better penetration into any potential water weak spots...

This project is for an 800 Sq ft. Tree house. Pretty trick little house.

12/27/15       #12: would you warranty this entrance do ...

First coat of finish

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12/30/15       #13: would you warranty this entrance do ...

In the latest picture that you posted it looks like there is a black line on the stile/rail joint and then one across the bottom rail. I didn't notice that in the earlier picture. Am I just seeing things, again

1/1/16       #15: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Joel Member

The black in the style is a natural color spot in the wood. The black line allong the bottom, I used a sharpie pen to color the wood black where the shoe fits up to. The shoe is black anodized bronze. That will never be seen.

The natural black spot is in the rest of the sequential cuts as well, in the interior, exterior, casing as well.

The glass in the French doors is dual pane with a uv coating on the exterior face. With claro glass stops on the interior. Planning on silicon in the glass in. Any other recommendations or types or methods for installing the glass?

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1/17/16       #16: would you warranty this entrance do ...
Joel Member

Done. Happy. Hope she lasts a while.

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1/23/16       #17: would you warranty this entrance do ...
D. John Bishop

Does this door have direct exposure and which direction. If no overhang to protect I would not guarantee for a week. Plus which direction does it face, a more or less East facing door unprotected, no overhang will never live I donít care what you make it out of. It will need to be resurfaced every single year and will eventually succumb to the UV as everyone mentioned.

I am familiar with all the finished folks have recommended and they are great but will not protect very long and will never stop the sun from eventually killing the door depending on its exposure and if it has an overhang or not.



1/24/16       #18: would you warranty this entrance do ...

The door is North East Facing, with a bit of cover, and, being that it is a tree house, most of the year, it is well shaded, and shielded from direct elements. Driving rain storms will get it wet, but the rain the other day wasn't touching it.

The back French doors, on the other hand are South facing. But they are old growth vertical grain redwood, and a much simpler design. Same finish. THe owners understand they will have to sand and refinish the doors every couple years to maintain...

We'll see how it goes.

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