Solid wood interior door question
I am in search of solid wood interior doors to replace my existing doors. The problem I am having is that the standard size doors are an 1/8 to 1/4 too big to fit the existing jamb. I would like to buy an appropriate size door and trim to fit. All I am finding in a solid wood door is the engineered/laminate style. I am concerned that cutting this style to size will lead to failure/delamination.
My questions are:
1. Does anyone have any experience doing this for custom sized doors? If so, were you successful in maintaining the integrity of the door construction.
2. What brand/manufacturer did you use? I have seen quite a few door boutiques online and it is difficult to decide on one.
3. Do you know of any manufacturers that make a true solid hardwood door…not the veneered type?
Any help is appreciated.
If I were to replace doors with solid new guys, the weight of the new ones would cause me to also purchase the frames to match the weight expected.
In the middle of your post, you switched from talking solid doors to hardwood doors. Did you know that?
IMO, For the most part, the engineered with laminated surface is better.
Welcome to the
Taunton University of Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
Excellence is its own reward!
No, I did not realize...seems like semantics to me...but i am no expert and that is why i posted the question.
how will the engineered solid wood door hold up after being planed to fit my openeings? i am concerned about delamination and failure. it looks like i will be more than $200 per door.
I want to get this right the first time and I trust the advice I recieve on this site.
regardless what kind of door, be sure to buy a flat slab - not warped, and then seal edges immediately after working it. Solid wood door can also mean pine - the most common IMO.BNut hardwood means it is made from hardwood trees instead of softwood trees. Like Oak, or BirchSo you can get a solid wood tree that is softwood
and you can get a hollow core door that is made from birch hardwood.Solid denites construction
hardwood denotes wood speciesI doubt you would be finding a decent solid hard wood door for two bills.
That is about right for a solid pine six panel though.
Welcome to the Taunton University of Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime. where ... Excellence is its own reward!
I just did what your talking about. I found 6 panel (solid core laminated) pine doors at home depot for around $70 apiece. I ripped 1" off each side to fit some unique openings. The laminations were all solid, and after sand a bit of a radius back on the edges you would never know I did anything. Rout or chisel a morise for the hinges and you're good to go. You also need to drill out for the lock set...in my case I used decorative pulls on one side as these were closet doors.
Did you use a table saw? I was thinking of going that route but I am also considering a power planer or a jointer. The doors I have purchased are salty. Nine of them cost 3500 dollars. I certainly do not want any tear out. Any advice on a prefered cutting method would be much appreciated....from anyone with experience.
I used a bandsaw, but the tablesaw would work fine. I cleaned up with a jack plane. I would think a sharp handplane would be the fastest option the 1/8" you are taking off each side if you don't have a planer. It is easier to manipulate a hand plane on a stationary door than trying to manipulate the door on some stationary tool.
A power planer is definitely the right tool for this job. It will produce a perfectly smooth finish and will save you the headache of pushing a door slab through a table saw. Bosch makes a very nice one (about 3-1/4", I think), and it's not a terribly expensive tool (something on the order of $125 - $150 as I recall).
Even if you make your first cut with a saw, you'll need a planer to get rid of the tooth marks on the finished surface. (If there's ever a need to cut off more than 3/8" or so, then I'll rough in with a circular saw and then clean things up with the planer.)
Just make a number of practice cuts with the planer before you go at the doors. For instance, you could clamp a piece of clear finish lumber and try to plane to a line you've drawn. A planer is a relatively easy tool to use, but like anything else, it takes a bit of practice. The most common mistake is allowing it to "rock" along the long axis of your cut, so that the shoulders are no longer 90 degrees. This can also be avoided by using the fence that comes with the planer as opposed to just freehanding it.
Also, if you need to cut the top of the door, note that you can't make that cut in a single pass. If you do, the planer will blow out the end grain of the top of the stile as you finish the pass. Instead, what you need to do is make two passes: the first from the left towards the middle, and then from the right towards the middle. Hope that makes sense. You just have to finish the cut over long grain.
Edited 4/5/2007 3:47 pm ET by Ragnar17
I second the vote for the purchase of a power planer. This was super fast compared to my first attempt with a belt sander. I had very odd door jambs in a cinderblock house and replacing the jambs weren't an option for me. I tried to buy doors and have the lumberyard match them to the old doors, but they wouldn't mill my doors since they were so far out of square. My solution was to line up the hinge side and take the old door and scribe it to the new door and just plane away. I did have to make adjustments for the some of the doors that needed more than 1/8 inch taken off to make sure that they were planed evenly.
Forgive my ignorance, what does IMO mean?
IMO = In My Opinion
IMO generally means "In My Opinion" - not to be confused with IMHO which translates to "In My Humble Opinion". However, "humble" would not describe many Breaktimers, so is seldom used...You might find the following sites helpful to decipher some of the gibberish:http://netforbeginners.about.com/cs/netiquette101/a/abbreviations.htm
Edited 4/3/2007 12:38 am ET by CaseyR
You will also find IMNSHO, In my NOT so humble opinion. Consistent with some of the debates we have here at BT.
most if not all door slabs are built with enough meat at the perimeter edges to handle your scribes with no problem.
If I had to remove a quarter inch or more I would consider removing stock from both edges. keep in mind the leading edge (strike side) should have a slight taper. some slabs come with tapers at both edges. in that case hinge and bore appropriately
also if the new doors are heavier than the old doors you may need to upgrade your hinge situation to carry the extra weight
i appreciate everyones input to this point. A few manufacturers void warranty if worked/cut. I came across Woodharbor brand doors. They seem to be of excellent quality and allow for modification in their warranty.
They have a dealer nearby. I will give them a call tomorrow.
Wood Harbor is a pretty good company as far as interior doors anyway. I think you'd be happy with them. They're made not far from where I live. Use them quite a bit. I hung a houseful of eight foot doors that came from them and they were excellent.
I got ball park estimates and I am awaiting a formal quote from the local dealer. Standard sizes run about 330 for a 2 panel and 600 for a bi-fold. I am a sucker for quality and will probably blow some of the budget on these doors.
In one of your post you want to spend $330 and $600per door? If I were spending that kind of money on interior doors I'd hire a pro to make the finished product look like a $330 and $600 dollar door. Quality is in the detail
I am hiring a pro. My wife is on bed rest with our first child. I do not have the time to do the work myself. I do however, pay close attention to how things are progressing and want to have a good idea of how this will be done.
I currently have electricians in and had given specific instructions how I wanted lights installed in a room. I came at lunch to find they cut first and thought about the pattern second. They had to do a lot of patching on their wallet yesterday.
You only get one chance to do the doors correctly. I want to make damn sure I understand the pros and cons of each modification technique and that the carpenter that does it will also.
There was an interesting thread some months back about one of the BT'ers charges $550 labor for installation for exterior doors. Do an advance search, see if you can find it. Interesting thread.
Here's the thread:
I was wondering when someone was going to say it's ok to take 1/4" off a door!
Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.
I'm not sure if you realize this, but it's MUCH harder to hang a door to fit an existing frame than it is to start with a prehung unit.
If you are trying to fit an existing opening, you have to perfectly match hinge locations (2 or 3 plcs), hardware location, AND the fit/hang of the door. It all equates to putting the door up and taking it down numerous times. If you don't have loose pin hinges, you'll really end up hating yourself! ;)
Sometimes you can find a door company that will do a "match up" service; that is, they'll take a stock door, trim it to size, and then cut the hinge gains and openings for the hardware. All you have to do is bring in the door that will be replaced. However, the "match up" is seldom perfect, and usually needs tweaking.
Unless you have strong finish carpentry skills and a compelling reason to keep the existing jambs, I'd suggest replacing them with prehung units.
Edited 4/5/2007 12:53 am ET by Ragnar17
To me it is 6 and a 1/2 dozen of the other. If I pull the casing and trim I worry the the pre hung won't sit in the exact same location as the old door. This will cause me to have to replace base board trim through out the rooms. Since I am an anal SOB it will lead to replacing all the trim through out the house to match as new. Think old trim...layers of paint...the existing trim wouldn't look as crisp as the caked up old trim. For me it is a run-away train project to do prehung.
> It all equates to putting the door up and taking it down numerous
> times. Not if you use the method described on page 64 of Fine Homebuilding #186 (the current issue).George Patterson, Patterson Handyman Service
Not if you use the method described on page 64 of Fine Homebuilding #186 (the current issue).
I don't have the current issue. Would you mind giving me the bullet points version?
Remove the old door but leave the hinges in the jamb.Rip some strips of 1/4" plywood 2-3" wide. Cut two of them the height of the jamb and three of them the width of it.Hold one long strip up against one side of the jamb. If the jamb isn't straight, scribe the strip to the profile of the jamb and plane it to fit the jamb. Do the same with the other strip on the other side.Use some scrap pieces of wood about 1/8" thick between the long strips and the jamb to get the right spacing and place them against the door stop moulding. Use similar scraps to space one of the short strips down from the top of the jamb. The short strip will overlap both long side strips. Use spring clamps to hold them together.Use spacers to get another short strip in place at the bottom and clamp it in place. The third short strip goes in the center. When you're done, it'll look sort of like a very thin screen door frame.Now glue all six joints together. The writer uses hot-melt glue. After this, mark the edges of the hinges on the upright.Once this sets up, take the frame down and clamp it to the door. Get it lined up the way you want it. Then use the edges as a guide for your saw or planer. The writer scribes the outline of the template and planes or cuts to these lines. Transfer the marks for the hinges and mortise them out. Attach the hinge halves, and you should be able to hang it straight off the horses.Now, head down to Barnes & Noble and pick up the magazine so that you get all the pretty pictures of this. :-)George Patterson, Patterson Handyman Service
Thank you for taking the time to describe the process to me.
I've only ever bothered to make templates (which is essentially what this author is doing) for arch-top doors and sash.
Although it seems like the process would work just fine, it also seems like it would take more time than simply putting the door up there, checking fit, and using the plane to adjust the fit as required. It might make more sense, of course, if one were hanging a very heavy glazed door, or something like that, where hanging multiple times (by yourself) is just not a pleasant thing to do!
When I started off my career as a contractor, I worked a lot with a guy who sells wood storm sash. Consequently, I got pretty good at using a plane to adjust sash to fit irregular openings.
The only real criticism I would have regarding the author's approach is that he doesn't seem to account for the mechanical slop in the hinges. Of course, this varies with the quality and design of the hinge, but in my experience, the door/sash can be cut perfectly, and then the slop in the hinges throws it off. For this reason, I prefer to leave some extra dimension on the top and strike side of the door/sash until it's actually hung on the hinges, and I can get a true read of where it will swing. Then I'll take the final passes and (hopefully) be done with it.
An alternate approach is to tweak the hardware or the way the hinge sits in its gain, but I prefer to avoid that if possible.
After hanging about 20 doors in the last year when I didn't have one under my belt before then.....I wouldn't even consider replacing a door without using a pre hung unit unless it was a recent construction and replacement could be done with a stock door that does not require trimming.
If you have to make a template, trim, cut, etc......wow, that's a lot of work. And you still end up with the same old jamb.
I guess I'm a sucker for retrimming everything. But I've taken a house that no longer had square openings and returned it to square.
I hope you're not misinterpreting my position. I agree that it's much easier to just start with a pre-hung unit.
The OP, however, wants to avoid disrupting the existing, paint-encrusted trim, so I can understand why he wants to hang a new door to fit existing conditions. It won't be easy, but I understand his decision.
As for templates, I've ONLY resorted to that with arch-top doors and window sash. In those cases, I felt the extra time in making templates was warranted due to the high cost of the custom door/sash. Just risk management, really.
I just wanted to state my point of why changing just doors when you can have a new jamb and everything. If there is paint riddled trim everywhere, are you going to want to replace it also after the new door is up? A picture would help.
I installed new doors and trim in my house in the last year or so, plus a rehab that I did.....oh, how nice it is to have something pretty and that works perfectly. With an old jamb the door is probably not going to close as nicely as a pre hung unit. But you know that already.
Paul, it's not my house, so I can't furnish a pic -- I'm just replying to "mcf" and his questions.
"it's MUCH harder to hang a door to fit an existing frame than it is to start with a prehung "That depends on the type of casing and wall conditions, as well as whether hardwood floor fits around the jamb or under it. It isa generalization that is far from universal.
Welcome to the Taunton University of Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime. where ... Excellence is its own reward!
It isa generalization that is far from universal.
True, and the OP has since provided more information to make me reassess that assertion.
However, I'm still unsure about how much skill the OP has in the field of finish carpentry. Generally speaking, I think hanging a prehung unit and nailing off trim requires less skill and experience than finessing a solid door slab to cleanly fit existing conditions.
1. What type of door do you have now? and why are you wanting to replace them?
2. Solid core masonite skin doors are a great product and value. If you
are going to finish paint the panels.
3. Any good quality supplier who understands the door business can size
the door panels to your needs at the point of manufacturing.
4. You probably have doors that are "pre-fit" as they usually are 1/8-
1/4" narrower than "full book" size. ie: 2/6 (30") doors are
generally undersized in width as a result of trimming the skin and
applying the bevel at the factory.
5. If you are staining your doors, Woodharbor is a very good company.
I would also look in to Lemieux.
6. I would seriously consider new frames for the solid doors if your
old frames are split jambs. They will handle the weight better.
Rather than wooden doors I recently replaced some of my internal doors with crittall style doors and they are stylish yet low maintenance. My inspiration came from https://www.blackmetaldoors.co.uk/ and it really looks like an upgrade from wooden doors and they are more customisable which sounds like one of the dilemmas you're having.