Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Wet Rot Replacement

If you were to go back to the final part in my Making a T&G Gate series, you would see that I made a reference to the state of the door frame surrounding the garage I also like to refer to as ‘my workshop‘. Wet rot clearly set in some time ago. It’s hard to say why though, on this occasion. It could simply be a case of neglect and an overall lack of maintenance (the paint, which must have been applied over eight-years ago, is crumbling off all round). Or, it could have been that moisture found its way up in to the end-grain of the timber with rising damp.

Either way, it was time to do some more work outside of the workshop…

When I first looked at this and began scraping away at the old paint (revealing a soft and very damp presence of timber), I was optimistic that I may have been able to simply seal the surrounding wood (once all the rotten stuff had been removed) using a Wet Rot Hardener and from then on, rebuild the lost chunk of this stile with a couple of layers of wood filler. Once I dug a bit deeper though, it became clear that this job was a little more than a simple case of ‘filling holes’…

I still have no idea what those four nails were in there for. Unless a previous repair was undertaken to replace the front edge of both stiles (four nails can also be seen through the paintwork on the opposite frame member, which happens to be in better condition) by the previous occupant. They certainly don’t provide any means of fixing in to the wall or floor.

With so much of this timber too far beyond repair, I decided I would have to cut it out and splice in a new section of wood of the same dimensions (this is something I’ve successfully done several times before; most commonly, on window frames):

Cutting the top (or, end) of a splice joint like this (45°) helps to distinguish the two lengths of timber once the timber has been painted. Any shrinkage or movement could otherwise cause two 90° ends to become distinguished from one another and, anyone could then spot the repair from some distance away. Unless you’re very careful with your selection and preparation of the timber used (for grain matching and continuity), this may not work out as well with any timber item that is to receive a clear finish. In my experience though, the average home-owner will choose softwood joinery products (with their lower price) and also, choose to have them painted (…Presumably to hide their embarrassment at being unable to afford anything in oak or similar! ;-))

Removing the old lump of infected timber revealed a little about its history… Clearly, this piece of pine had previously been used in a door frame somewhere and was reclaimed and recycled for its next life as part of the detached single-car garage. I believe that my mother’s house was built in the 1980s (I could be wrong!). I do not know when the garage was built but, I somehow doubt that this was one of the original timbers used in the construction of the main door’s frame. Don’t ask me about the green colour – I haven’t the foggiest!

Before fitting, I treated the cut ends of this new piece to some end-grain preservative and after that, a single all-round coat of Sadolin Woodshield:

While the paint tin was open, I also decided to replace the lipping piece (almost like the ‘stop’ on an interior door) as that was also showing signs of deterioration at its lower end:

There’s still some filling to be done (my hand-sawing of the existing frame wasn’t quite as perfect as the 45° cut on the replacement, which was done on the mitre saw!) and further coats of paint will be required before the frame is back to its best. Before fitting, I also precut a notch for the Garage Door Bolts I fitted back in the summer (sadly, I never got around to documenting them but, for an up-and-over door, they are excellent. The Ultimate Handyman has produced an excellent video on fitting them, if you’re interested).

With the frame more or less done, I’m again thinking about replacing the up-and-over doors with a pair of timber doors (I do this every  winter… :roll:). It all depends on how much cash I’ll have spare in the new year. I reckon that job would cost about £100 in timber alone. Actually, I did buy the hinges for them back in 2008! 😳 I can’t see myself doing too much else this side of March/April. We’ve been fortunate (in the UK, at least) with the weather we’ve had so far but, I’m certain the worst is yet to come…

Thanks for reading.

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One response to “Wet Rot Replacement

  1. Ant 25/09/2012 at 23:26

    olly, liking the pics of the door frame..i’m working on a 160 year old sash window atm and wondered if you could enlighten me on the use of sadolin with rotted wood…I’ve done one sash so far and replaced the sill on that one. I used ronseal wet rot preservative to harden the original vertical sections of frame and got carried away by painting it on the new meranti sill…the woodshield is now blistering on the sill. Yes..the ronseal says not to be used as a surface treatment…and on the sadolin website it says down’t use woodsheidl over water repellent treatments…had I read that first I would have been more carefull…thought it’d help 😉 …lesson learned I guess (I am an amature…and I was copying the builder I saw renovating my neighbours sashes……so I’ve learned more than one lesson I guess !)
    anyway…second sash is posing similar problems in terms of rot damage but I don’t plan on cutting the original sill out this time which leaves me with some wet root to remove and treat. the areas are the normal joints between the sill and the uprights…and the underpart of the sill…I was planning on digging the rot out, treating with ronseal wet rot, then over filling with ronseal 2 part wood filler (which I love)…is it still safe to apply sadolin woodsheild or is it particularly sensitive to any trace of products like the ronseal wet rot preservative ? (What else would you treat the area with if it wasn’t that?)

    thanks,
    Ant.

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