Repairing Georgian door

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jsmac
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Repairing Georgian door

Post by jsmac » Sat 7th Mar, 2020 11:24 am

Hello PPUKers,

In our ongoing efforts to strip nearly 200 years of paint off of doors, architraves and interior panelling we chose to avoid dipping the doors because we were concerned that they would warp, fall apart, etc. We used Klingstrip which did a great job in getting through most of the several mm of paint and revealing the moulding details (the burnt areas are from days long past). However, while we were washing it down outside a sharp gust of wind blew it over and it fell onto the stone steps :cry: Sigh...

I've attached a few photos of the damage and I'd like to ask about your thoughts on how best to repair it (if indeed this is even an option). The door is an unusual size and quite thin so finding a replacement will likely prove problematic. The door hit the steps right on a knot so this is where the worst of the damage is. It is the hinge side; one the door knob side the damage is not as bad.

Thank you.

Scott
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Feltwell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Feltwell » Sat 7th Mar, 2020 1:27 pm

What a pain! The unknown I guess if it's also broken the tenon off from the central rail - can you tell?

I had a snapped off tenon on a door here, was like it when I moved in, someone had tried to nail it back together :roll: I was lucky in that it was at the bottom of the door, so I was able to take the door off, clamp it between the jaws of workmate with some 4x2 packers so the door was dead straight, machine a groove in the bottom of the door and put a steel bar right across the break, screwed in place and tight into the groove - worked a treat, metal bar is hidden under the door, the door has even survived moody teenagers in door slamming mode since! :evil:

That's a tricky place to repair on your door, definitely a weak spot. I don't think glue alone will do it. Are you intending to paint the door?

I'd be inclined to:-

- Inject a PVA glue into the cracks, and then thoroughly clamp the door so it's both straight and the cracks are closed up. Pieces of timber both sides and plenty of G clamps would it.

- Whilst clamped up, get a long wood drill and drill from the edge of the door diagonally down across the broken area into the central rail - 2 or 3 times. Then get a length of hardwood dowel, same size as the drill, and tap it in to the hole having first injected PVA in the hole. Don't go too mad with the PVA - put too much in and you won't get the dowel all the way in.

- Leave it at least 24 hours before unclamping. You'll probably have to carefully break the glue bond to your clamp timbers, then sand it all back and fill the drill holes.

If that doesn't work, you're into more intrusive methods of repair. One would be to machine a groove in the face of the door and insert a metal bar as I described, then fill back over to hide the repair - only really an option if you're painting.

You could even consider using threaded steel studding instead of wooden dowel - drill your holes, lock two nuts together on the end of the studding, and wind it in with a spanner to a tight-fitting hole. Tricky bit there is getting it recessed below the level of the door at the end - a slot cut in the end of the stud might enable you to wind the last bit in with a screwdriver - use a bit of silicone grease on the threads if you do this. I think I'd be inclined to try hardwood dowel first!

Hope that gives some ideas at least.

Flyfisher
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Flyfisher » Sat 7th Mar, 2020 4:07 pm

Difficult to tell from the photos if the tenon has also broken, though judging by the cracking around the door edge I'd guess probably not because looks as if the stile of the door has has broken around the tenon along the knot weak point - but I could be wrong.

Either way, I'd also go with Feltwell's glue and clamp suggestion (I hadn't thought of also inserting dowels, but I like that idea too!).

A couple of suggestions though. Definitely use PVA glue rather than that polyurethane stuff (or whatever it's called). I used that poly-thingy stuff once and found it almost impossible to close the joint when clamping and it put me right off. It probably doesn't matter in some applications, but in this case where the door really needs to be clamped back to its original dimensions it might be a problem.

The other suggestion is not to let the clamping wood come into direct contact with the door because, depending on the condition of the door, some of the door surface might come away when separating the clamped wood from the door once the glue is properly dry. I'd use a bit of DPC plastic or similar to keep things apart. The PVA will slightly stick to the plastic but not enough to damage the door surface when removing it.

Feltwell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Feltwell » Sat 7th Mar, 2020 4:56 pm

Flyfisher wrote:
Sat 7th Mar, 2020 4:07 pm
The other suggestion is not to let the clamping wood come into direct contact with the door because, depending on the condition of the door, some of the door surface might come away when separating the clamped wood from the door once the glue is properly dry. I'd use a bit of DPC plastic or similar to keep things apart. The PVA will slightly stick to the plastic but not enough to damage the door surface when removing it.
I'd forgotten actually, but on one job ages ago I wrapped the clamp timbers in cling film - worked well, it stuck to the glue but was easily scraped off.

jsmac
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by jsmac » Sat 7th Mar, 2020 6:23 pm

Thank you both. Using cling film or a piece of DPC to allow for easier removal of the temporary wood splints is an excellent idea and one that I would not have thought. I would then no doubt find myself trying to separate the pieces of timber without further damaging the door.

The door will be painted. We just didn't want to add yet another layer of paint so are trying the get most of the old paint off.

So as I understand correctly about your repair suggestion I've attached a couple of mockups with bad Photoshop illustrations. The arrows indicate the direction of drilling and the brown bars are the wood dowels tapped into the door diagonally through the width of the door. Does that make sense? Is this what you were suggesting?

Thanks again. I feel better knowing that at least there is likely a solution to putting this right.
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Feltwell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Feltwell » Sat 7th Mar, 2020 8:46 pm

The first picture was roughly what I meant, yes. Trying to stitch reinforce across the break, to resist the bending movement that caused the break to begin with. The second picture you wouldn't be able to drill.

Another option is a piece of round smooth stainless steel bar, tapped into a tight fitting hole with a bit of epoxy - that would *definitely* make a strong reinforcement, but get it wrong and you're a bit stuffed. Get it wrong with a bit of hardwood dowel and it's easy to cut it off or drill out.

Personally I think I'd start off with hardwood dowel. If the door then fails in service it's a relatively simple job to drill again and redo it with stainless bar.

I did a few dowel reinforcements on this window and they've held fine, but I guess it won't get the stress a door does in service.

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eezageeza
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by eezageeza » Sun 8th Mar, 2020 9:35 am

All good suggestions! You might find PVA penetrates the cracks better if you water it down a little - but only a little!

2 other methods of ensuring your clamping boards don't stick to your repair - stick packaging tape to the clamping boards (the brown stuff used to seal corrugated cardboard boxes - nothing sticks to that) or put a piece of siliconised baking paper between the clamp boards and door.

CliffordPope
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by CliffordPope » Sun 8th Mar, 2020 12:09 pm

How many hinges does the door have? Three adds a lot of strength to a thin door as it greatly reduces flexing and distortion in use.

Toby Newell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Toby Newell » Sun 21st Jun, 2020 11:01 am

I'm walking with Feltwell (halloo) half way up the hill, then stopping for a breather.

I agree moisture cured polyurethane glue tends to foam, = expand = is that not the opposite of desired outcome???

I would use D3 or D4 PVA (yes, PVA is not created equal)

I would try injecting glue liberally, silicone paper or cling film good idea, then shims, then decent clamps like a Bessey K clamp or 3.

I would try that for size on its own before I started drilling.

If glue alone doesn't work, then you can start the mechanical work.

Just my humble.

Zebra
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Zebra » Tue 23rd Jun, 2020 9:20 am

Feltwell wrote:
Sat 7th Mar, 2020 1:27 pm
get a long wood drill and drill from the edge of the door diagonally down across the broken area into the central rail
Feltwell, may I ask what kind of drill bit you would recommend for this job? I imagine you would need one which is both long and thin, and I have struggled to find drill bits for wood which are both long and thin. The ones that look like HSS but with the wood tip - I can't think what they're called - the length rises proportional to the width and I've never found one that is longer. Flat bits and augur bits are long, but you don't tend to find thin ones. I ask for a different purpose - I'll start a new thread one day - but just thought this question was relevant here.....

Feltwell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Feltwell » Tue 23rd Jun, 2020 9:45 am

Zebra wrote:
Tue 23rd Jun, 2020 9:20 am
The ones that look like HSS but with the wood tip - I can't think what they're called
I think the ones you're thinking of are called brad point, but for long drills auger bits are the way to go. You can get 8mm diameter up to 600mm /2' in length online fairly easily:-

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4PC-EXTRA-LO ... Swbl5ZieQu

Going to a smaller diameter than that and they do start to get shorter. 6mm can be found at 450mm / 18" length, beneath that and I think you'd struggle to find anyone doing one greater than 300mm / 12" - they'd just snap too easily.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6mm-AUGER-DR ... Sw5FZZzrDR

With these extra long bits I'd recommend starting off drilling a hole with a short bit, then swapping bits. They tend to be a bit wobbly!

Zebra
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Zebra » Tue 23rd Jun, 2020 10:46 am

Feltwell wrote:
Tue 23rd Jun, 2020 9:45 am
6mm can be found at 450mm / 18" length, beneath that and I think you'd struggle to find anyone doing one greater than 300mm / 12"
Oh Feltwell you star, that's what I need!

When I get round to it....

Expect to see a new thread, I'd say definitely probably within a year or maybe a few years.......

Feltwell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Feltwell » Tue 23rd Jun, 2020 1:00 pm

No need to rush. Planning is important. I have an entire garage full of things bought for future projects :lol:

KitKats help in the planning process I'm told. Only traditional 4-finger ones though.

jsmac
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by jsmac » Sun 13th Sep, 2020 12:05 pm

Hello all,

I thought that I would update this thread to say that it looks like the repair was successful! Thank you for everyone who chimed in with their thoughts and recommendations.

In the end I went with the belt and braces approach. Using a thick gauge syringe I injected D4 wood adhesive in all of the areas that had been cracked or damaged. It was striking how much glue it could take before it started leaking out of other areas. I think that in all I probably used about 100ml of glue. I then clamped the repair (using clingfilm between the battens and door was a excellent tip!) and let it set for a couple of days.

Next I drilled two 6mm holes with an auger drill bit across the damaged area and filled the holes with a 6mm oak dowel and more glue. All I need to do now is trim off the excess dowel, fill, sand and paint them!

Thanks again to everyone for your help.
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Feltwell
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Re: Repairing Georgian door

Post by Feltwell » Sun 13th Sep, 2020 6:13 pm

Hope that's done the trick! Always satisfying to repair something & put it back in use.

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