Need advice on mounting a door on a dodecahedron
I am making a little free library. For some crazy reason I decided to make it in the shape of a dodecahedron. It is made of 3/4" Baltic birch plywood. The door is also made from the same plywood with an opening for a plastic window. The opening and the door edges are mitered at 58 1/4 degrees to make the 116.5 degree side-to-side angle of the dodecahedron. The pentagon and door sides are about 10" long. The joints were all splined and glued/sealed with epoxy. Angles have driven me crazy on this project; the supports for the shelf inside were a nightmare! But now that the end is in sight ...

I am trying to determine which hinges would be the best for outdoor use and how best to weather strip the door against rain intrusion (will be located in Oklahoma). The fit between door and opening is pretty tight, so I have considered using some molding attached on the face near the edges of the door to hold some kind of barrier (e.g. foam) against the sides when the door is shut. This molding would need to slide over four sides of the dodecahedron as the door shuts. Of course this won't work on the hinged side. I would appreciate any ideas you can offer on hinges and/or weather stripping.



Making Chips
Sorry, I only have experience with icosahedrons
"When I nod my head, hit it." - M. Howard.

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I guess I would go with a hinge designed for marine use:

There are examples made from stainless steel, chrome over brass, and nylon.

There are also "living hinge" plastic hinges that would be waterproof (for the hinge only):

I think I would use the living hinge.

[Image: Flex_Fold2_Hinge-xl.jpg]
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
Why not just mount the final pentagon with a cutout and door mounted into it? You could make the door any shape you like, and it could fit to a flat face.
Thanks for the quick replies. 

John Clifford: Sorry, I have a strong bias against icosahedrons, but I hope it doesn't show.

DaveR1: I had planned on opening it on the left side pretty much like a regular cabinet door, though the bottom is an interesting idea. I agree that flashing on top is essential. If you look closely at the picture you can see part of one of the shelf supports attached inside. (See pic below for shelf set in place.) By the way how did you make the picture of the dodecahedron? My SketchUp skills were not up to the challenge, so the design work was done by hand with a lot of math. And the mistakes were legion!

Cooler: I like the living hinge idea. It would also help to seal the hinge side of the door from blowing rain. Do you know how best to attach it? Epoxy, screws?

Alan S: I am sort of stuck now with the pentagonal door. Mainly because it is sized to fit large children's books. Though I wish I had thought of that during the design stage.


Making Chips
The easiest way seems to me to hinge from the shelf, or an inch above the shelf and lower the lid like a rural mailbox does.  If it is about an inch higher than the shelf it reduces the likelihood that some of the books will accidentally  fall out when someone opens it.

The shape, though very interesting, almost invites water to flow into the interior.  

Maybe this becomes a child's toy storage box and something simpler is made for the books.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.

You could use a pentagon the size of the others.  Cut off the lower edge at the height of the shelf and fasten it to the main body.  I can't tell if the shelf is inset, but if this strip could be fastened to the shelf it would support the shelf and strengthen the whole works.  Hinge the remainder to the fixed bottom piece.  Maybe some sort of flange on the top two sides to direct rain away from the door openings like the eves of a roof.  Some sort of latch, I'm thinking magnetic, and a chain so the door can't open beyond 90° and will act as a shelf for people using the library.  I hope my description is clear.  Looks like a fun project.

Maybe make two pentagonal doors that can close one over the other, with waterproof "living hinges", one on each of the two top sides. This way one door hanging down will help to keep the other closed against a weatherstripped edge, no top edges are open, and the doors could be propped open for access by resting the doors against one another. A magnet at the bottom could serve as a latch to both hold the doors together, tight to the box. You would just want to make sure the inner door was closed before the outer one, which could be done by connecting their bottom edges with a cord.

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