Wood for closet doors


Old 11-27-03, 09:23 AM
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Wood for closet doors

I am looking to replace some ugly plywood closet doors in 2 bedrooms. They are not tall like normal sliding closet doors and need to keep them fairly thin (approx 3/4" at door jam junction). What wood should I use to build the surface to get a nice smooth finish that I can paint white with an alkyd paint when done? I do not want to build it in slats and join many pieces but would rather use sheet stock. Doors are approx. 5' tall by 4' wide. I will do some creative molding on the outside surface to give depth too.

Thanks for your help. Peace: e3
Old 11-27-03, 10:02 AM
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You could build a frame and panel door with luan plywood as the panel. This would address the molding issue and provide a nice paintable surface as well as giving the lighter weight of frame and panel in place of the solid plywood. You could use 1/4" birch instead of the luan and have an even smoother surface for painting. If you used 3" material, a separate vertical stile with this construction would break up the span visually. Plywood is quite stable, so you could glue the ends and have a strong, stable piece. A door such as this would weigh less than 20 pounds.

Hope this helps.
Old 11-27-03, 10:47 AM
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Rather than making the doors yourself, why not go to home depot and use their bifolding raised panel doors? I wouldn't make the doors out of a plywood substraight as plywood is just that, IT'S PLYWOOD"

Your best bet would be to find some nice, straight, soild wood for the frames. You can always go to a local cabinetry shop and ask them to straighten the boards for you, if you're unsuccessful in finding ones that are pretty straight. THen you can do some type of jointery: Biscuts, mortise and tennon, etc to join the stiles to the rails.

Plywood is good for some types of doors, but not stile and rail.

If it was a good thing, you'd be seeing it all over the place. Note: Kitchen doors that have a 1/4" plywood panel have soild wood for the stiles and rails. It's just a better overall quality door.

Budget: If it's not within your budget, then the plywood may be the way to go, but in that case, I would find a woodveneer with a MDF core. The doors will stay straighter a lot longer than plywood doors. MDF is a paintable surface, plywood edges IS NOT.

Once you cut out for the panel, you're going to be left with an exposed plywood edge, which won't look pretty. painted.

Sure you could edge band that exposed edge, but at that point, why even bother with plywood. I would just jump up to soild wood and save yourself the headaches.

If you use just a flat MDF Core with a veneer on the outside skin. you can apply any type of molding and have a flat straight door without using stiles and rails.

You can find MDF Core products at a lumber yard, woodworking supply or a hardwood supplier company. Most of those WILL have MDF core sheet stock.
Old 11-27-03, 10:49 AM
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AH yes,

I forgot to stress on my post that you did say you wanted a FLAT DOOR, not PERSAY A STILE AND RAIL DOOR

Old 11-28-03, 08:35 AM
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Use 1x D or better pine for the edges. Rabbet 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch and use 1/4 inch luan plywood. This will creat a 'frame' around the main body of the door. Apply molding to the inside of the frame for decoration. If you have a hardwood dealer around you poplar would be even better for the frame. If you can find a little more thickness, 5/4 (1 inch net) will make a stronger door that is more likely to stay flat. D or better pine is less likely to warp than cheaper grades.

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