Novice door hanger: couple questions
I’m a novice door-hanger, and I need to get schooled on some of the basics. I’ve struggle through hanging a number of doors, and I’ve got some specific questions. I NEED to get better at this, but I don’t have any one to walk me through it.
I’m not a carpenter yet.
– When making a door frame, is it best to aim *exactly* for 1/4″ more than the dimension of your door? Or do you shoot for, say, 3/16 and buy an extra 1/16 for beveling the door?
– Do all hinge sets get you an 1/8 between the hinge jamb and the door? Or are some more or less?
– What are good methods for putting the bevel on a door? 😉 I don’t have a power plane. Jack plane? I’ve not bothered beveling the doors in my house, because I was sloppy and made my doors slightly wide.
First, 1/8" is, to me, a little heavy for a reveal. I like about 3/32", maybe a little less. The difference may not seem like much, but I notice it. The rule of thumb I was taught for reveals is to use a nickel as a gauge.
As far as making jambs go, I like to make them so the inside dimension is standard- in otherwords, 30" wide, 32" wide, etc. I then cut and/or plane the doors to fit. I wouldn't trust all hinges to leave exactly the same reveal. Which is why I fit the doors after making the jambs.
You can bevel the doors with a power plane, or a jack plane, or a circular saw set at a bevel. Make or buy a shooting board if you use a saw for the bevel. Actually, you should have a shooting board of some kind anyway for cutting doors. I now have an EZsmart guide, but before that, I made my own guides out of plywood.
I like to put a 3-4 deg. bevel on the strike side of the door, and a little less of a bevel on the hinge side. Some guys don't bevel the hinge side, but I was taught to do it that way, and it does help prevent binding if the jambs aren't perfectly square to the walls.
One other thing- when I get door blanks, I prefer getting ones that aren't already beveled. It seems like they take a lot off the door when they bevel them at the factory. I've seen 2/6" doors measure 29-11/16 to 29-3/4" across the face of the door. Then I have to do some shimming to get the margins right.
I bevel doors 5 degrees. other carpenters range from 3-5 degrees from what I see. If you don't have a planer with a guide that can be set, you will be slowed down as you have to constantly check the bevel, assuming you will be working with a jack plane. The more narrow the door, the bigger the impact of the bevel. doors will become hingebound without the bevel, especially if not set flush with jamb and door.
I leave 1/8" all the way around the door to jamb, with 3/16 reveal jamb to casing. I don't understand your question about the hinge sets...what are you looking for on that one? I use a Bosch hinge template and have for years. Can't say enough good about it. I have a dedicated set of routers for the hinges and strike plates. I also have a lockset drill kit. Less chance for error the more standardized you are.
None of this addresses trouble shooting a door and hinge. That's another story!!
"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a governmental program" -Ronald Reagan
I just remodeled the upstairs of my house and I built the jambs and hung the doors for 14 openings. If you really want to get faster at it you need to invest in a power planer. I have the Makita and it comes with an accessory that attatches to the front that rides alongside a door blank putting a 3-5 degree bevel on it. The more passes you make the more it takes off the door so go with the lightest setting. The first poster's response about making the width of the jambs match what door your working with is what I did too. Then plane the doors to fit. I also invested in a Porter Cable hinge setting jig. It was a huge timesaver routing out hinge mortises instead of doing it by hand. I've also beveled doors on the table saw with the blade tilted 3 degrees. Alot of contractor saws dont have that big of a rip capacity so its easier to plane them. A 1/4" reveal sounds like a lot to me, I always strived for 1/8 to 3/32 at most. Now as for hanging the jambs in the openings, well I won't go there or there will be fist fights started.................LOL.
Thanks for the replies!
30" opening for a 30" door. . . well, that makes a lot of sense, to be honest. I'm dealing with a situation in which I previously made and cased some frames with 30 1/4" openings, and now I'm trying to fit 30" doors in them. It's turning out to be way too generous. I was honestly under the impression that I would leave 1/8" all around.
A Canadian nickel is juuuuust over 1/16". That would, indeed, be a nice fitting door.
The shooting board + circ saw idea sounds good. I was only worried about leaving sawmarks.
You can sand out kerf marks, if you’re careful and if you used a guide for the cut, with a random orbital. But - before you cut any door with a circular saw - always wrap the cut line all the way around the door with quick release blue tape. Press it down thoroughly for good adhesion and mark your cut lines on the tape. That prevents most surface tear-out.
I wouldn’t want to hang doors without a power plane. As a novice I used my foreman’s Makita, which was a while back when Makita planers still shipped with a good fence as standard equipment. Then I bought a Bosch planer because the fence set up looked better and I haven’t looked back. It costs a little more, but it’s a nicer tool with a better fence... and it can cut rabbets.
Use your jack plane to take a clean up cut after you bevel the door with the circ. saw.
Unless you really like getting an upper body work-out, the saw will save a lot of time ove hand planing the bevel.
I also like chamfering all the edges, top, bottom sides, with a block plane.
3/16" more than the actual measurement of the door is the header size I use. A 30" door can be anywhere from 29 7/8" to 30 1/8" so measure each door accurately.
This will give the reveal of a Canadian loonie on the latch side.
With the hinge as a pivot, a door swings in a circle. A 48" door has a very wide circle, an 18" door swings in a very tight circle. A 48" door does not need a bevel to close properly, the leading edge of the door will not come in contact with the frame because of its wide arc. Along that line of thinking, a 18" broom closet door needs a very large bevel so the leading edge of the door does not come in contact with the frame upon closing.
After hanging a lot of doors, I realized there was no reason to bevel doors larger than 30" and that 30" doors need only a slight bevel to close properly. A 24" door needs a 5deg bevel.
So, you have a blank door. Which side to bevel? I put one corner of the door on the floor andlook down the long edge to find which way the door bows. The side that bows out is the hinge side. "Perfect is the enemy of Good." Morrison
Good explanation.I was going to explain that in the olden days, they taught us to use a framing square to determine the bevel. I just can't remember the relationship of the numbers, but I'm reasonably sure it was the ratio of the width and depth of the door. It's just been too long on an explanation that I've never used. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
Seems to me one degree per foot of opening should be adequate.
But thats just a WAG.Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks
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They say a carpenter could do anything with a framing square. Checking bevels with one is something I never thought of.
My digital level tells me 5deg is the approx equivalent of 1" per foot.
Another way of checking the useable closing bevel for a door is measuring the diagonal across the top of the door. This method works no matter what the thickness of a door.
The thicker the door, more of the leading edge needs to be removed. So much material in some cases that the doors leading edge will not contact a standard interior doorstop. Common sizes of interior doors 2" and thicker may need to be set into rabetted 1 1/2" frames."Perfect is the enemy of Good." Morrison
The square will deliver the exact rise vs run ratio and tell you exactly the amount of "gain" needed as well as mark the exact bevel. It's been a long time since I saw that picture and explanation...so I really can't elaborate. I don't have the books anymore either or I don't know where they are. Bob's next test date: 12/10/07
My jambs are 3/16 over the actual door size. I bevel both sides of the door, 2 or 3º each. Try to leave the eased edge, if there is one, so you don't have to sand it again. The bosch planer works great for this.
The door blanks I've bought have been pretty consistent- in other words, if I'm careful about planing just to the eased edge, I can cut all my head jambs to door width + 3/16 + the rabbet.
"When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone." --John Ruskin
"so it goes"
You have chosen a tough task for a beginer. Should have done your first door hanging with prehungs.
I've hung a few doors, but have never been truly happy with the results. I haven't hung a pre-hung door yet: I can only imagine the luxury!This was not a task I could dodge. . . it was for family. But yeah, fitting doors into an existing opening is intimidating for someone of my skill level.
Edited 5/16/2008 9:53 pm ET by Biff_Loman
If you haven't one yet, make a door holding jig. It can be triangle piece of ply with slot cut in the middle to hold the door on edge for bevel or hinge. You can also use some cheap 1x3 furring strips to assemble such a jig. Slot can be 1/4 inch wider than door thickness on each side for each removal and hold the door tight with shimming shingle. Brace the verticle to horizontal for holding strength and make the verticles shorter than the smallest door, not meaning 18 inch doors. Make 2 and attach them on bottom for solid support, especially if you are using plane. Some people even line the slot with carpet to not scratch the stain grade doors. I probably would, although I never had to hang stained doors.
Invest in diamond stone to sharpen the plane and chisel. Makes the life real easy.
If you can, buy even a cheap router to set the hinges. 1/4 inch carbide straight bit and even a template cutting fitting for the router. Template fitting will make the hinge template making a lot easier. I made do big templates that followed the router bed (the round part?). With 1/4 inch bits, you can even free hand the hinge cutting with little practice. Mark the hinge place with sharp pencil, cut this line (carefully) with razor and route inside the cut. Don't think you have to get the cut right to the line, you can stay away even 1/8 inch and later easily finish with chisel. Router will cut the depth perfectly. Trim router will be easier, but you can use regular router for other things. Just one thing, if you never used router before, do not set it down while the motor is still spinning. I once grabbed spinning bit (one above) after turning off the switch and this was when I was no longer a novice. Cut was not bad enough to go to hospital but plenty bloody. You really have to remember this.
There is also a punch that matches the hinge holes and starts the drill holes for pre-drilling the screw holes.
All of these will make your job 110 percent easier. I did buy quality tools but bought cheap accessories from stores like Harborfreight. I think template fittings and punch can be cheap bought but get Bosch quality router bit and at least HomeDepot quality diamond stone. Good luck.