Aligning drywall with jamb

Pulling off my door casings to replace them, I noticed a lot of hammer marks on the drywall. "Why?" I wondered. Now I know. The drywall is poorly aligned with the jamb, with close to a 1/4" gap when I make the casing parallel to the drywall. I'm guessing the workmen pounded the drywall to make the original casings fit at all.
I suppose I can caulk the gaps, but I'm hoping there is a more elegant solution. Thanks for any thoughts.
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Wall too thick for the prehung door, huh? Some prehungs have a 2-piece jamb where you can slide one side in and out to adjust for that. If yours are one-piece, or if you don't want to rehang all the frames, you could get some square stock of a suitable wood and extend the jambs. Only other idea, if you have a planer or a good table saw, is to cut a kerf on the thick edge of the casing, but that would be a lot of fussy work to get it to look right. What shape are the doors and jambs in, if the casing needs replacing? Might be time to think about new doors pre-cased with the style you want, with a split jamb so they will fit exactly.
aem sends...
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<<What shape are the doors and jambs in, if the casing needs replacing? Might be time to think about new doors pre-cased with the style you want, with a split jamb so they will fit exactly. >>
Actually, the jambs are ok, it was mostly the install in the trim that was terrible. Staples split the wood all over the place. Doors are ok, but just plain jane hollow core. May replace them with solid wood.
But yeah, the walls are too thick...in places. The idea of jam extension did cross my mind. The unevenness varies, though and I'd probably have to plane it back once installed. I don't presently have a hand planer, but would get one if it made sense. Would this tool make this task straightforward?
Thank you
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Casing+replacement door slab= most of a new prehung door. Do you have the jigs and skill set to drill and hinge-mortise a new door slab? What do you bill your own time out at? I only have 20 or 30 years left, so I cost my time out at around 20 bucks an hour, minimum. (ie, if an extra 20 bucks saves me an hour of tedious labor, it is worth it. 30 bucks if it is a task I am inexperienced at, or have had trouble with in the past.) I can hang a prehung in my sleep, but I am no master finish carpenter to whittle on a blank slab, so the better results and less time make it a no-brainer for me. YMMV, of course.
But having said that: 1. Make sure you don't already have a split jamb. If the door stop and door side of the jamb are a single piece of wood, check the other side of the door stop for a seam, or shine a flashlight in the crack you exposed by taking off the casing. If it is split, you can un-nail that side of casing and move ot out. 2. A decent block plane, Stanley or better, is a tool every DIY homowner should have. No idea on current price- mine are 50 year old hand-me-downs. And if you don't have one already, pick up a sharpening stone at the same time- another must-have tool. Planes, like kitchen cooking knives, only work worth a damn when they are sharp. And like the kitchen knives- it needs its own storage container or storage spot, where it won't get banged up. I'd also pick up a stanley sur-form rasp and a packet of refills for it. For soft pine trim, it can shape a lot faster than a plane, and is harder to screw up. 3. Norm Abrams would add the jamb extension using glue and biscuits, and a electric brad nailer. Having only glue and a hammer, that is what I would use. Getting exposed face to match up even will be the hard part, if you are only extending 1/4 inch. Once glue is dry, scribe back side with a sharp pencil and the block off a sliding T-square. Plane just proud of that, and finish with a rasp and sandpaper. Remember to sink the finish nails with a punch, if they are in a high area you will be planing on.
aem sends....
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<<Make sure you don't already have a split jamb. >>
I will check that, thanks. It never occurred to me that this might be the case.
<<Norm Abrams would add the jamb extension using glue and biscuits, and a electric brad nailer. Having only glue and a hammer, that is what I would use. Getting exposed face to match up even will be the hard part, >>
I've got all those tools, so I'll give some thought as to what I'm going to tackle. One factor in the strategy is that intend to assemble the casing on the ground, gluing the corners and priming, before I attach it to the wall. I'm probably going to have to wait and see how the final result fits before I can tell where the adjustments need to be made. Perhaps there is only one section where the gap really need addressing.
Thanks for your ideas!
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On Fri, 03 Aug 2007 21:42:23 -0700, Greg Esres

The trim only has to touch the wall in 2 places; along its edge on the door frame, and along its edge on the drywall. I've been known to hollow out the back of the trim with a dadoe blade on a table saw to give clearance for the extra drywall thickness.
Similarly, instead of hollowing the trim, you can use a belt sander and taper the edge of the drywall down to the thickness of the door frame, but thats a bit more work.
-dickm
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<<I've been known to hollow out the back of the trim with a dadoe blade on a table saw to give clearance for the extra drywall thickness. >>
My major lack is that of a table saw. <sigh> Just no room for it.
<<Similarly, instead of hollowing the trim, you can use a belt sander and taper the edge of the drywall down to the thickness of the door frame, but thats a bit more work.>>
I did see web site where the author advocated cutting back the dry wall, but didn't sound like an aesthetically pleasing solution to me. But it's still on the table. ;-) The author didn't mention the use of a belt sander, though, and that might make it easier.
Thanks!
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If you're going to be doing serious door hanging work by all means consider a long level. After years of irritation with short levels i finally bought what I needed at Amazon.com...a Johnson 6' 8" door jamb special. Maybe not as pretty as the ones in their Jamber set ($160+) but at $43 one geat buy. You'll find a lot of other uses for it like checking floor slopes and such, as well as impressing the heck out of your friends. HTH
Joe
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