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Step 4 – Other Design Considerations

Ok so designing in abstract terms is all well and good, but the real trick is to be specifying real world finishing products and materials into the design.  So as you go, you are going to want to be researching what products are appealing, and importantly available, to you.  As always the internet rules when it come to this kind of thing, but bear in mind that the set-in-its-ways world door joinery may not yet have hit the internet in the same way most ‘tech’ industries have.
Here are some things to consider when making your designs:

  • Design in weather seals – these vary in shape, size and cost(!) a lot.
  • Locking mechanisms – go multi-point if you can, even if security is not an issue in your area, it has lots of benefits.
  • Maximising joint strength – the crucial factor is how much of the ‘side grain’ is in contact – making joints to the ‘end grain’ are never as good.  Thus interlocking finger joints are quite good – and easy to make with a laminated design.
  • Insulation properties – try to eliminate ‘thermal bridges’ (areas or sections of material that conduct heat well, and provide a path from out to inside).
  • Aesthetics – always important. To me aesthetics are closely linked to functionality anyway. During the selection of materials and the build, you will also be thinking about this.

This is a profile view of the glass retaining seal. The orange tape peels off and that bit sticks to the retaining strips.

Designing part 2 -Things to Consider

Below are the weatherstrip style seals that the doors will shut onto. As you can see they are ‘kerf-in’ seals (they push into a 2.5 to 3mm wide grove), I think these are far superior to the stick on seals, which tend to peel away.

bubble weather seal

push in weatherseal

This is the five point MPL. A you can see it has a central bolt, two hooks that lock into the other door and a top and bottom bolt that secure it to the fame. Also useful are the adjustable keeps, these let you adjust how tightly the locking pints pull the door against the seals.

five point lock

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