tag: doors


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Locating latches

Locating latches

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Here's a fast, accurate method that I use for locating the centerpoints for door latch and dead-bolt mortises. First I center a hole for a 6d nail in the end of a short piece of dowel (a 1-in. dia...

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Better backing for doors

Better backing for doors

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If you think about how most doors are mounted to most jambs and visualize the relationship of hinge-to-door and hinge-to-jamb, you may see some room for improvement. Standard butt hinges, heavyduty...

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Chiseling hinge mortises

Chiseling hinge mortises

I typically use a router and a template to cut mortises or to enlarge existing mortises for new door hinges. But for small jobs where it doesn't make sense to cart along a lot of gear, I use a...

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Solo window installation

Solo window installation

I was recently faced with installing windows in a new house, all by myself. Here's how I did it, First I cut a couple of 2x4s about 8 in. longer than my widest window. Then I measured the distance...

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Installing tall doors

Installing tall doors

Faced with installing some 60, 3-ft. by 8-ft. prehung doors, I developed the jamb-setting fixture shown in the drawing. Not only did the fixture keep the hinge jamb and the head jamb at 90°, but...

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Putting a new window in an old brownstone

Putting a new window in an old brownstone

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In Brooklyn, where turn-of-the-century brownstones and bricks are the norm, window replacement often calls for some ingenuity. I have used both Bonneville and Andersen brick-to-brick replacement...

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Hanging solid-core doors

Hanging solid-core doors

When I have to muscle a solid-core door into or out of its hinges, I let a drywall lifter (a tool designed for placing drywall on walls) do the heavy lifting. Unlike a flat bar, a drywall lifter...

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Quick, accurate shims

Quick, accurate shims

Obtaining the right-size shims for a job can be quick, easy, and precise if you put in about 10 minutes’ preparation. Begin with the shim stock. A proper shim has grain running its entire...

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Shim gauge

Shim gauge

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In home building, square, level, and plumb are admirable goals, but we sometimes fall a little short of the ideal. As a consequence, we turn to shims. They are vital for adjusting the fit of prehung...

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Get a grip on window installations

Get a grip on window installations

The last thing I want when struggling with a heavy window during installation is to drop it. Even small falls can fracture the flange, making for a time-consuming repair. After watching my glass guy...

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Fixing warped doors

Fixing warped doors

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A warped cabinet door can be a real pain. When you have spent hours matching panels, colors and grains, the last thing you want to do is remake a door. My approach takes a couple of hours and $5 in...

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Drying rack

Drying rack

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We preprime and varnish a lot of the trim we install in houses, and finding a good place to let the material dry without getting in the way used to be difficult. To solve the problem I came up with...

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Routing hinge mortises

Routing hinge mortises

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I had a fair number of doors that needed hanging, and I wanted to take advantage of my router and my 3/4-in-dia. straight bit to make quick work of the hinge mortises. I had tried freehanding the...

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Door butt gauge

Door butt gauge

For accuracy and speed when hanging doors from scratch, I use a butt gauge (see drawing) that I made out of 1-in. aluminum angle stock. Bending one leg of the angle over 90° just 1/8 in. down...

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Redrilling a door for a new lockset

Redrilling a door for a new lockset

I was recently confronted with the task of replacing a houseful of interior-door locksets. All the doors had three holes bored in their stiles -- a 3/4-in. hole for the spindle and two smaller...

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Door-holding jig

Door-holding jig

This is a sketch of a jig I use to hold doors while routing them for hinges or planing them to fit. It automatically adjusts to doors of different thicknesses and holds them securely. The weight of...

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Screw-clamp door buck

Screw-clamp door buck

Sometimes we forget that a tool can be used to advantage for other than its original purpose — the ubiquitous screw clamp, for instance. I needed to plane the edge of a small door recently and...

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Replacing a door jamb

Replacing a door jamb

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Occasionally I'm hired to replace door jambs that have been damaged by burglars. Often, only one jamb leg is damaged (the strike side of the door). The other side jamb and head jamb remain...

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Replacing garage-door panels

Replacing garage-door panels

My frame-and-panel garage door had a nasty gouge in one of the bottom panels. My job was to figure out a way to remove the 1/4-in. thick panel without ruining the rest of the door. To do so, I turned...

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Shoring up a load-bearing wall

Shoring up a load-bearing wall

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When I need to install a header for a new window or door in a bearing wall, I shore up the wall with a temporary row of angled 2x4s alongside the existing wall. As shown in the drawing, the temporary...

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