Warping plywood shed doors

by Sally
(Milford Township, PA, USA)

Right top sticking out.

Right top sticking out.

Right top sticking out.
Top of right shed door sticking out.
Warping shed doors.
Warped shed doors.

I had a workman build a pair of shed doors to replace an ill-fitting garage door in my old barn installed by a previous owner.

They look very nice, just like your drawing of the double crossbuck doors. However, the doors are warping, especially the one on the right--it's warping out at the top--you can see the top of the doors at their center they're closed.

I guess it has something to with the inside of the door being a solid piece of plywood and the outside bottom half has the crossbuck and some extra plywood to imitate beaded board on the upper half. More wood on one side than the other--would that be why the doors are warping? He said something about installing 'angle irons."

He installed a black (imitation cast iron, like the hinges) piece of metal shaped like an "L" (is that an angle iron?") and drilled a hole in the asphalt to twist and insert the iron. Keeps the left door closed when the right door was opened. I would try to fix it myself, but I'm not sure what angle irons are or which to use.

I was so frustrated that I thought about nailing a piece of wood above the center of the doors on the frame with a single nail & a spacer so that I could twist it over the top to keep the doors closed (like I would close Grandma's old pie safe doors!) or a slide latch like the ones used inside home or apartment doors with a chain (I wouldn't use the chain.)

But then the bottom side that wasn't anchored to the ground (the right) would warp. What do you suggest? I think my pictures might explain better.

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Nov 05, 2018
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Unfortunate strength of materials these days NEW
by: northeast carpenter

The door is warping because it is 1/2" pine on plywood. Plywood will naturally curve into a bracket or C shape. The crossbuck 1/2" pine is the equivalent of Styrofoam due our warming climate and fast growth of the tree it's made from. It will do nothing to stop the curve. I will tell you from experience that even 3 layers of 1/2" pine run in cross patterns will still warp. The door either needs 5/4 crossbuck of some other material such as Ash/oak/maple or the outside frame needs to be a T shaped 3/4" plywood structure sandwiched between 2x4 or 2x3 spruce or 3/4" of a hardwood.

Unfortunately doors need to be structurally engineered for the most part unless you use really thick softwoods or hardwood and even then you need to screw and glue plywood or metal in a way to fight warppage.

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