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A really strong door DIY or buy?

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  1. #1
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    Default A really strong door DIY or buy?

    If we ever get the new shed up in the future I will need to have a secure storage area in it, under the mezzanine naturally.
    House exterior doors at Bunnings range from $60- to over $200- and to my untrained eye they all look the same.
    Having seen many of the $60- doors trashed and ripped from the frames over the years I know they are not strong enough to use on secure storage, but I have no idea how strong is strong enough and the numpties at Bunnings really do not know and Doors Plus are no better.

    So do I start looking for a really strong door or do I find a cheaper unit with strong framing and add a layer of plywood or thin steel?
    I am assuming 3 or 4 hinges and top and bottom bolts in conjunction with a deadbolt
    Or do I start thinking about making one up from scratch using thick plywood and hardwood framing?
    I can get help with setting up a DIY job
    At our current rate of progress this might be up to a year away too
    Also aware that a secure door needs a stronger frame so advice welcome there also
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  2. #2
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    It really comes down to how much you are prepared to spend and how irreplaceable/rare the contents are, as insurance will cover it otherwise. Usually you are just keeping out the good guys' prying eyes, as the determined bad guys *will* get in (and not always via the doorway), and the more you protect it the more they will think it's worth getting to, maybe not on first attempt but subsequent visits...

  3. #3
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Try looking up ‘blockboard door’ as a starting point for a solid, but cheap no-frills door.
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  4. #4
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    Lets say strong enough to satisfy insurance company
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  5. #5
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    OK shows how little I know as until now I'd not heard of blockboard being used for doors
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    Lets say strong enough to satisfy insurance company
    Anything which locks and shows evidence of break-in? Break & Enter isn't defined by how hard it was to do. I know I'm sounding somewhat flippant, but physical security is simply differing levels of deterrent.

  7. #7
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    All depends on budget. You can get metal clad PA doors. Often used in Industrial.

    Personally I just used a standard shed door and screwed 12mm marine ply obtained from work to the inside frame. From the outside it looks like a normal shed door.

  8. #8
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    Upgrading the door strength is only a deterent, if they want in they will get in.
    If you upgrade the door and frame what are the walls and roof made of ? Too much trouble to go through, then go around.

    And if it’s to satisfy insurance ask them what they require.

  9. #9
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
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    Default A really strong door DIY or buy?

    I made my shed door outward opening solid core door with a protector plate over the deadbolt recessed into the architrave. I used 4 hinges with pins you can't remove. As mentioned you can get metal skins too.

    ----

  10. #10
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Moon, it all depends from your skills and tooling. Making a door is not easy, but making one for a shed is easy enough. Forget Bunion or Doors are them. You need a solid door if it has to withstand burglars.
    To begin with, if you want a real strong door and frame to go with, you need to go either steel or hardwood. Although ... that blockboard stuff is not to be frown upon.
    A steel door would be easy enough to make but you need to be able to weld satisfactory, and cut metal tubing or angle with some precision. Drill a lot of holes to rivet sheet metal etc. Doable but depends of what you can do.
    Timber door, sort of rough rural style is easier, but a nice solid frame to withstand assaults needs a planer with rebate or a router table with a real big router.
    Both usually in the reach of the average woodworker, but again, don't know what you have.

    The door itself ... I try to describe for you what I have done, more for looks than for strength but those doors I made just for looks would be my choice to stand behind if I had to stop bullets.
    The doors I made are of 1 1/2" oregon planks parallel next to each other (what else) and held together by 3 cross members of the same material and two diagonals. The barn style hinges are attached half in the door plank and half in the cross member.
    They look like this, only the planks are 8"



    Screw and glue together. Use well seasoned timber or you will get a gap between the planks. Does not really matter for a shed, and if this happens you can always use no more gaps or a strip of wood.
    A Lockwood 355 coupled with really strong hinges and long screws into a hardwood frame will give you some sense of security.
    PS
    When I lived in never never land, burglary was as common as back fence cats, so what I did to stop them from breaking in was a secret bar that went across the door but from the inside, and moved via a hole in the wall. This door was in the corner so I could slide a steel bar through a hole in the wall and completely block the door. A bit of lateral thinking to disguise the bar entry hole and you have an impenetrable door.
    If the door is not in a corner you can still make a bar that is hinged to one side of the door and pulled down and up with a pulley and a string handled from the outside.
    “In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”
    Louis Pasteur



  11. #11
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    Marc you have pretty much described the door on the old garage, except that it has rotted out on the bottom and has become very loose over the last 50 years and is a mortise and tenon construction.
    Perhaps rehabilitating the old door would be an option and going up a couple of screw and bolt sizes to account for rot and weathering?
    I'd not really considered that option
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  12. #12
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    I went pulses idea - outward opening brings a whole world of new problems for the would be thief. Very helpful not to have a heavy sledgehammer or axe stored anywhere nearby (sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how light most thieves travel)

    a thin steel steel cover will say - heh look, something valuable is in here...., which means you need to strengthen the wall around it as well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmaboy2 View Post
    I went pulses idea - outward opening brings a whole world of new problems for the would be thief. Very helpful not to have a heavy sledgehammer or axe stored anywhere nearby (sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how light most thieves travel)

    a thin steel steel cover will say - heh look, something valuable is in here...., which means you need to strengthen the wall around it as well.
    I found a torch and a jimmy bar stashed in the bush on my block yesterday.
    haven't had any break-ins or trespass for 18 months. thinking they had been looking at neighbours.

  14. #14
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforthis View Post
    I found a torch and a jimmy bar stashed in the bush on my block yesterday.
    haven't had any break-ins or trespass for 18 months. thinking they had been looking at neighbours.
    That’ll be rabbits for sure. Rabbits are known to use jimmy bars and torches. I suggest placing the jimmy bar and touch back exactly as you found them. But to catch the rabbits, I suggest circling the jimmy bar and torch with as many rabbit traps as you can muster. Keep the traps as close together as you can and I’m sure that you’ll catch a rabbit or two.
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    That’ll be rabbits for sure. Rabbits are known to use jimmy bars and torches. I suggest placing the jimmy bar and touch back exactly as you found them. But to catch the rabbits, I suggest circling the jimmy bar and torch with as many rabbit traps as you can muster. Keep the traps as close together as you can and I’m sure tat you’ll catch a rabbit or two.
    south's footie jumpers not that common on this side of the continent.
    actually saw some rabbit traps in the local CC the other day - imagine the trespasser/victim outrage

  16. #16
    The Master's Apprentice Bedford's Avatar
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    This should do it, but then maybe this is all they left......

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bank-vault-door.jpg  
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

  17. #17
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    So I am leaving Bunnings this morning after buying something cheap that was really needed and I detoured past the junk pile.
    There's a door on top of the pile, just a cheap door and one of the sides was snapped but I was interested to see how these cheap doors were made.
    There's nothing to these cardboard doors at all but after stripping the 3mm MDF of the frame I saw that the repair was an easy fix so I shoved some glue in the cracks, some ply offcuts in the corners and I have skinned it with offcuts of the S/H plywood I bought this week. It's really ugly but it fits the hole in the wall and that is all I was after.
    Having played with this one I am now ready to do a DIY for the second door I need
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  18. #18
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    For $98 you won't get through this door in a hurry, it's solid core and weighs quite a bit, these are only 35mm but still very strong.

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/hume-204...-door_p1971771

    If you want to make it difficult to get in the door is only one small part, the jamb and lock are more important than the door.
    I have seen many a jamb simply kicked in because they are so weak.

    To make the door much more secure, make it open outwards as these are much more difficult to kick in, mount it on 3 decent fixed hinges with decent screws.

    Make sure the door stops are not simply fixed on with a finishing gun, and the jamb is of decent timber, plus the jamb is screwed to the frame, then fit a decent lock not some $10 bunnings special.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  19. #19
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    If you make it swing outwards ensure hinge pins are not removable :P

  20. #20
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    All good advice
    Thanx
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  21. #21
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    I did some telephoning around locally. The sheet metal factory closest to us will fold a steel cover to suit any door and drill the holes for the locks etc for $140- in 1.6mm gal; providing we are happy to wait for a time when they don't have any priority work
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by doovalacky View Post
    If you make it swing outwards ensure hinge pins are not removable :P
    Been looking for hinges with security pins, no luck locally but readily available in the USA or via Hong Kong
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Outswing...Kj4pidyJpt3SNQ
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    Been looking for hinges with security pins, no luck locally but readily available in the USA or via Hong Kong
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Outswing...Kj4pidyJpt3SNQ

    https://trioaustralia.com.au/product...security-stud/

    https://www.accesshardware.com.au/tr...-trs710025fpss

    https://www.accesshardware.com.au/tr...-trs717525fpss
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  24. #24
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    door.jpg

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  26. #26
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    Don’t forget to strengthen walls and windows to suit the door strength. Not much point having a strong door if you can take out a window or undo the walk sheets with a tek gun.
    Measure twice, cut once, trim some off the end, trim some more. Too short. Rinse, Repeat.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spottiswoode View Post
    Don’t forget to strengthen walls and windows to suit the door strength. Not much point having a strong door if you can take out a window or undo the walk sheets with a tek gun.
    12mm hardwood ply lined, screwed and nailed with builders glue as well, lock positions reinforced with steel angle and double studs at the locks and hinges??
    Yep!
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  28. #28
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    12mm hardwood ply lined, screwed and nailed with builders glue as well, lock positions reinforced with steel angle and double studs at the locks and hinges??
    Yep!
    I'm curious, are you protecting $1M worth of gold bullion ? where I live you can leave the doors open without a problem.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  29. #29
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    Thanx Metrix
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I'm curious, are you protecting $1M worth of gold bullion ? where I live you can leave the doors open without a problem.
    PM incoming
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog55 View Post
    PM incoming
    Moonshine your Inbox is full, time to sweep it out
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  32. #32
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    Just did it
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

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  33. #33
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    OK So time for an update
    The really strong door is coming; thanx METRIX for the advice; but I have just scored a hollow core exterior door cheaply.
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/hume-doo...-door_p1972010
    $30- with a deadlock and keys. Needs the paint done and small hole patched.
    If I was going to add another skin I have been assuming it would need to go on the outside as this one will be swing in to suit the existing lock and hinges, although I am OK with replacing the small hinges with longer ones using 4 bigger screws to make it a tiny bit stronger
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

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