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Mar 10 2017

FF: Wobbly Door (video)

Category: Doors & Frames,Fixed-it Friday,VideosLori @ 12:04 am Comments (12)

Today’s “shoulda” Fixed-it Friday video came from Luis Gabriel Gonzalez, one of Allegion’s specwriter apprentice.  What happened here???

(Want to learn more about our specwriter apprentice program?  Just ask me!)

12 Responses to “FF: Wobbly Door (video)”

  1. rb says:

    Given the wobble is across the door leaf and not just in relation of door to frame,it looks like the failure is internal to the door leaf: the core delaminated from the face sheets, the edges are not rigidly attached to the faces. Looks like a continuous hinge.

  2. Richard McKie says:

    It looks like a problem that we have in our high schools where students and staff are very hard on the doors. The interlocking seam on the edge of the door gradually loosens up and the two surfaces start to slide. The door becomes very sloppy and will no longer latch reliably. We call it “noodling” as the door has the structural integrity of a noodle. When we order replacement doors we make sure to have the seam tack welded and filled.

    • Lori says:

      I like that term – noodling!

      – Lori

    • Mike Elia says:

      All exterior doors at schools should be ‘extra heavy duty’, Level 3, Physical Performance Leel A, Model 2, vertical steel channel reinforced, and thicker than minimum gauge [14 ga] faces with edges welded [not filled with Bondo or left open]. The door in the picture has a large vision panel, and the selection of the lite frame should also be examined to be certain it does not take away from the door leaf strength. It might even If anyone is relying on just the edge to stiffen a door leaf, they will likely be disappointed in the performance.

  3. Laura Pedersen says:

    20ga steel door with honeycomb insulation, installer put in the vision lite and louvers without installing the steel channel reinforcements. This door is basically just two 20ga steel sheets held together with cardboard and glue.

  4. Scott Foley says:

    The tack welds on each edge probably broke loose,to much meat of the door missing for the hardware and opening usage.
    Design fail happened is my guess.

  5. Glenn Younger says:

    The vision lite and bottom louvers do not leave much of the door, even if they are installed correctly. There are places where a solid core wood, or an aluminum frame glass door on pivots, just work better than hollow metal doors. This looks like one of those…

  6. Rich says:

    We have repaired several doors with that problem. I don’t recall that we have done anything with a rated door, but I have fixed several that were entry doors. Align the door as best as possible and then open gently. Using one of those small 110V welders, weld the seam for about an inch at the top and bottom of the door. Recheck the fit. Weld the other side. Seams are no longer slipping. Door salvaged. Would this be an acceptable field repair of a rated door?

  7. John Dalrymple says:

    I didn’t know that any of the steel door manufacturers sold a non-core-bonded door. This is truly a flexible door for your inventory needs.

  8. Chuck Park says:

    This is why, when I worked in the medical center I always spec’d fully welded seams on HM doors.
    That pinch seam that runs the circumference of the door is only good for one, maybe two, gurney collisions.


    I have seen this happen so many times .The tack weld seams have let go so there is no longer any structural integrity left .. Our simple fix is to use self tapping pan head screws every 6″ down the inside seam approximately 1/4″ in ,to re stiffen the door This we tell them is a temporary fix to protect the hardware on the door until a replacement is ordered .We often Fing this on commercial buildings where cost was an issue … They always want the best lighting and flooring so they take it out of the hardware schedule… I mean really who cares about a door ….Oh yeah until they need to secure the place

  10. David Barbaree says:

    I would guess that the door was not “noodling” from the factory. It’s likely that the hollow metal frame was set out of alignment plane between the vertical legs. Perhaps someone tried to compensate by what I like to call “field racking” the door as described in this SDI article.

    Depending on the construction of the door, as mentioned above by others, this can cause the bond between the face sheets and the honeycomb core to break resulting in this (most excellent) example of “noodling”. I recently found a similar situation where a contractor repaired an out of plane frame in this manner. The end result was a very nice looking “noodle” door. Field racking is much more difficult when the door is edge welded and steel stiffened, but if it works, it won’t “noodle.”

    Warning, the following could be considered a bit of a rant:-)

    In the overall door assembly, the hollow metal frame is among the least expensive components. It is usually installed by the least educated, often lowest paid crew of tradesmen, and yet, the other door assembly components, often costing several thousand dollars, literally hinge on it. This is a growing problem in recent years.

    In my opinion, the solution is to provide better methods of education for masons, and drywall frame installers on how to properly set and anchor hollow metal door frames. Also, provide a better education to help contractors to develop better QA protocols to care for and follow the installation progression of these critically important components.

    This concludes the rant and we return you to your normally scheduled programming…

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