Saturday, December 5, 2009

Exterior doors prehanging machine overview

KVAL's RKG-1 exterior door assembly station makes it possible to assemble steel, fiberglass, or wood door units with sidelights, patio door units or double door units according to the company's literature. They say the design eliminates the manual lifting and turning of the doors during the assembly of a door unit with multiple parts. The station is designed to receive a door panel with the hinge jamb or mull post attached, exterior side up.

For double exterior door units, the left-hand door panel would be prepared and rolled into the door machine. The door panel, with the jamb attached, would then be rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise and lowered onto non-marking polyurethane wheels. The wheels are positioned to support the door on the bottom and top rail. They provide clearance for door light frames or raised moldings. The second door, with the jamb attached is then rolled into the station, rotated, and positioned next to the first door. The pair of doors is then lowered onto jamb support plates.

The standard RKG-1 door hanger will accommodate doors 6’-8” high and doors that vary in width from 2’6” to 3’0”. With the 8’0” door capacity option, the RKG-1 can be set up to accommodate doors that vary in height from 6’8” to 8’0”. The RKG-1 will accommodate all jamb widths.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wood Exterior Doors becoming popular again

Wood exterior doors were the norm in residential construction until steel doors came onto the scene in force in the seventies. For the next 3 decades, steel and fiberglass doors became the mainstay of homes in the $100,000 to $400,000 price range. Wood doors were viewed as high maintenance with a high price and were relegated to mostly high end homes. While steel doors were thought of as maintenance free and the last door a homeowner would ever have to buy for their home. Of course this view has not worked out as advertised. Weatherstripping and sweeps wear out or fall apart, paint peels and warpage still occurs. If you get 5 years out of a steel or fiberglass door without any problems you have done very well.

The tide is beginning to turn. Wood exterior doors are becoming more popular again in homes of most any price range. The public's realization that steel and fiberglass doors don't last forever, has helped spur the resurgence of wood. Since Mother Nature makes every tree unique, an exterior door made with wood is truly one of a kind. The natural beauty and warmth of wood can be imitated but never equaled by man made materials.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Mahogany is synonymous with exterior doors. The reason is because mahogany is a very beautiful, stable, durable and rot resistant wood. Genuine mahogany sometimes called Honduras Mahogany (scientific name: Swietenia macrophylla) is generally considered the king of the mahoganies. The radial, tangential and volumetric shrinkage of genuine mahogany is very low which makes it a great choice for the manufacture of exterior doors or interior doors.

Other mahoganies that are also used extensively in the manufacture of doors include African mahogany (scientific name: Khaya), sapele mahogany (scientific name: Entandrophragma cylindricum), and meranti mahogany (scientific name: shorea). These mahoganies have similar characteristics as Honduras mahogany.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exterior Doors

I just returned from Pittsburghs' Mexican War Historic District with some great exterior door photos. Homes were first built in this area in 1847. The architectural styles vary from Second Empire Mansards, Italianate, Richardson Romanesque, and Greek Revival. Neighboring streets also included some Victorian style homes. Thus the wide variety of exterior door styles.

Full round top door panels with applied moldings in 1 panel and 4 panel designs were popular during the Victorian era and adorned several homes adjacent to the historic district. Exterior doors with numerous small raised panels, with or without applied moldings were also abundant in many different configurations, some with glass and some without.

Many of the homes were a mixture of architectural styles. This frequently happened when the original owners preferences were not architecturally correct. After all most original owners were not architects and many probably did not hire architects to design their homes. They would put a Victorian entry on a home that may have mostly Italianate architecture simply because they liked the way it looked. They were not necessarily interested in adhering to strict architectural standards of a particular style or period.

I guess the moral to the story is, if you see an entry door you like and you like the way it looks on your house then it doesn't really matter if it is architecturally correct or not. This may offend some purists, but in the real world of architecture you can build a purebred or you can build a mutt