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Thread: Outdoor frame and panel doors

  1. #1

    Outdoor frame and panel doors

    Some 30 yrs back I made a set of frame+panel white oak carriage doors. As I should have expected, the bottom panel groove held water, and the doors are now rotting there. It seems fixable with just a few insets, but is there an accepted way of dealing with this in frame and panel doors exposed to rain? Or are frame and panel doors just a bad idea outdoors? The owner wanted the doors unfinished, so I sealed them with Thomson's waterseal, which has been periodically reapplied. They've aged very well, with the above exception.

  2. #2
    Most of the time the doors are set back in a frame deep enough that it's not a problem. Where they do catch water I've seen an offset moulding at the bottom. Essentially the exterior side bottom moulding is lower and does not overlap the panel bottom edge. I did that once on some barn doors ,following customer's drawing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Napa Valley, CA
    For exterior frame-and-panel assemblies (mostly gates) I often use a "reverse tongue-and-groove" system to keep the water out of the bottom groove:

    Gate Joint [2] 3-25-16.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    mid-coast Maine and deep space
    My solution has been to bevel the inside (to the panel) edges of the frame so that the flat is no more than 1/8". This works also just beveling the tops of the bottom and mid-rails. Plus I seal the bottom edges of the panels with epoxy AND add a bead of silicone caulk along the rail/panel junctures where water is likely to collect. That combo has been pretty effective.

    I'm thinking - kind of based on Mel's comment above (if I'm understanding what I'm reading ) is that you could simply set the bottom of the panels on the rail that only has a rabbet on the inside, rather than a full mortise to receive the panels. In that case add a piece of bent flashing that the panels rest on - bent to come up behind the panel and on the front to direct water over the top of the rail. Might not be an appropriate visual in some cases but for not so formal doors I think could be fine - especially for paint grade. Still seal the end grain of the panel or bed in caulking and probably add a pin or screw in the center to secure the panel to the rabbet. Just an idea - not sayin' it's a good one.
    "... for when we become in heart completely poor, we at once are the treasurers & disbursers of enormous riches."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Camarillo, CA
    I made six frame and panel WRC gates ~3 years ago using a variation of Jerry's drawing above, except in my case I didn't use a tongue. I wound up making a 14 degree bevel on the top of the bottom rail and a matching 14 degree bird's mouth on the bottom edge of the panel, cutting a 3/32" slot on the mid point of the bottom rail and in the midpoint of the bottom of the panel and using a lexan tongue to hold it all together. BTW, Sam had chimed in to help me out then..!

    Anyways, so far so good.

    Link to the post below:

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