Shipping work to a dryer climate.

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Forum topic by uhyesthatsme posted 04-25-2019 12:36 PM 233 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 184 days

04-25-2019 12:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dry wet movement joinery doors climate question joining

I have been asked whether or not I can make an ornate set of doors for a church in Colorado. It’s the church I grew up in so I would love to be able to do it. My only concern is that I now live in California where it is a MUCH wetter climate. To make matters worse the doors will be southwest facing so, they will be getting a ton of sun as well. I feel like if I keep the wood as dry as possible while it’s here in CA and finish it before I deliver it it might not be too affected, but I also feel like that’s being overly optimistic. I don’t want to have to drive back out to CO to remove the doors and hand over a refund if things go wonky. Does anyone have any experience with this? Are their types of wood that would handle this better than others? Sapele has always worked well for me with doors, but I’ve never had to ship my work this far.

3 replies so far

View Robert's profile


3544 posts in 1995 days

#1 posted 04-25-2019 01:08 PM

I have zero experience doing something like this, but from what I know about wood, I don’t see how you will not have an issue of some kind.

That said, well dried quarter sawn white oak is probably you’re best bet.

Contrary to popular belief, finish will not prevent movement.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View ChefHDAN's profile


1461 posts in 3364 days

#2 posted 04-25-2019 01:58 PM

Wooden doors have been made for centuries before modern glues & finishes, I think your strategy with sappele/mahogany is the way to go. Good traditional construction and panel fitting should make it work, check out Joey's door over at Timberworks

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View uhyesthatsme's profile


2 posts in 184 days

#3 posted 04-25-2019 04:13 PM

Thanks for the replies Robert and ChefHDAN.

Robert, I think quarter sawn white oak would look great in this application, thanks for the idea. And, yeah, it’s way too easy to want to think that finishing something is like turning it into stone.

ChefHDAN, that video was amazing right up until he started priming it! I do think Sapele would be the most stable approach, but it might be a bit too colorful for the church building. I’ll have to see what they think.

Below is the first set of church doors I made out of sapele.

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