Best tool for unsticking doors

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I have an old house. From time to time, one door or another will stick. I assume it's because of the house settling in an uneven manner.
In the past, I've used a surform tool to shave off about 1/16" or so. This is a bit of work in an awkward location (top of door) on a surface that is difficult to stabilize. And, if I'm not careful, there is a tendency to knock chips off the side.
I have 4-5 doors that are sticking that I have been procrastinating fixing. I'm thinking about buying a little power sander to make the task a little easier. I'd be interested in suyggestions for what type of sander to get. Orbital? Belt? Or something else?
I see some small orbital sanders with a dust collector. Do they work? That would make clean up a lot easier.
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On 9/20/2012 1:00 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

I don't know but that is a good idea I will try next time with my small orbital sander. I usually use an old surface planer. I seldom use my orbital sander but thought it would be nice to have one around. Was not all that expensive.
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 13:21:49 -0400, Frank

I assume you mean something like this: http://tinyurl.com/97yg45r
and not something like this: http://tinyurl.com/9j4y66o
;-)
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On 9/20/2012 1:37 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Neither. Something inherited from my father - hand powered.
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 14:06:11 -0400, Frank

They look something like this. http://tinyurl.com/d7spl34 Come in different styles and sizes. I've butchered a lot of wood with them. They're the reason electricity was invented.
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 13:19:13 -0500, Vic Smith

:-)
I had power tools on my brain, so a simple hand plane never entered my mind. (sigh) Yes, I've done some really awful work with one of those.
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Hand plane is a poor choice for door ends. Often, the part that drags is end grain, and a plane does a terrible job. I'd be thinking hand held belt sander. http://www.harborfreight.com/3-inch-x-21-inch-belt-sander-90045.html Thirty bucks.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I had power tools on my brain, so a simple hand plane never entered my mind. (sigh) Yes, I've done some really awful work with one of those.
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On 9/20/2012 2:19 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Picture does not come up but we know what they look like.
My father was a ship fitter during WWII and plane came from this era. Basically, he was a carpenter that fitted things like bunk beds into a ship. He said there were no flat surfaces on a ship hull and there was a lot of fitting, I'd say planing, to do. He had apprenticed in this trade after the eight grade. Later became a typewriter and business machine repairman. I've got a few of his old tools from that period too.
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 10:00:31 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

Orbital will be easiest to handle and still do the job. Dust collectors don't do much without a vacuum attached, so I just vacuum afterwards. You won't raise much dust with an orbital.
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 12:32:16 -0500, Vic Smith

If it doesn't raise much dust, will it do the job. When I do it with the surform tool, it's very hard work and there is a ton of dust. Maybe a small belt sander would be better. I used to have a little sander that was about 2-3" wide, but I can't seem to find it.
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 10:42:59 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

By that I meant the dust basically fall downs, not up. Coarse paper on the orbital will take the door edge down. I've used only "bigger" belt sanders, maybe 21". They put a lot of dust in the air, and require a firm grip so they don't get away. A little belt sander would work faster, but it still requires 2 hand control. And it will still throw more dust. The orbital will work with one hand on it. Your call.
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Jennifer Murphy wrote:

With a suitable coarse grit, an orbital sander WILL (eventually) do the job. Plus, it's a nice tool to have for other projects and well worth the less than $20 cost http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-sheet-orbital-hand-sander-40070.html
Dust will be generated with any sanding operation, unless your sander connects to a vacuum source.
You can, however, confine the dust to a small area by covering the project with a trash bag or blanket.
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On 9/20/12 1:00 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Except for the dust issue, I like to use a small (1 to 2") drum sander, with medium to coarse paper, chucked in electric drill to trim such doors
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That's a great idea. And I already have a drill. Off to the hardware store to get a drum attachment and some drums. Thanks.
I may still get a little orbital sander to finish the job. I imagine that the drum sander may tend to leave the edge a little "wavy".
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:18:36 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

Well, I should have done a search for drum sander bits before I went out. I went to the local Ace Hardware and Home Depot. Neither carry drum sander bits for drills except for Dremels. I really couldn't find anything online, either. So I got a new surform and some drums for the Dremel.
The Dremel worked the best, but was impossible to get an even surface. If you ever want to teach a kid the difference between sanding side grain and end grain. just have them use a drum sander on the top of a door. They will get a very big dip just where the tiop rail is joined to the side rail. No way to avoid it.
But, all doors now close easily, so I'm a happy camper -- for another 5-10 years.
Thanks to everyone for the help.
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Electric planer is good for this.
--
Dan Espen

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wrote:

How that different from a small belt sander?
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:46:56 -0700, Jennifer Murphy

A power planer is actually two or more plane blades on a circular drum, driven by a motor. It does a similar job to a hand plane but much faster. (You posted a link to one earlier in the thread, though oddly it's labeled a "hand plane" even though it's obviously a piece of power equipment. I suppose that's intended to indicate that you hold it in your hands as opposed to mounting it on a bench.)
It's calibrated to take off a specific thickness on each pass -- I think 1/16" to 1/64" on mine. That's a big advantage compared with a sander.
The power plane produces a smooth surface, like a hand plane, rather than the relative rough surface you get with a sander. To get a similarly smooth surface with a sander and also take off the amount of wood you need to remove, you'll need to go through probably three grades of sandpaper. Of course if the surface is on the top or bottom of the door, the smoothness of the result may not matter.
It also produces a lot less dust than a sander, producing more chips and less fine dust. Mine collects most of the dust in its attached dust bag without needing a vacuum attached. It does still leave some dust though.
I've adjusted several doors with the same problem yours have, and I like the results. You do have to make sure to plane in from, or parallel to, any edge -- planing out is asking for large chips to break off.
If you use a sander, I think you'll need a belt sander. An orbital one will take a long time to take off 1/16" and you'll get frustrated.
If it's possible to remove the door -- either by removing hinge pins or, if the pins aren't removable, by taking out screws -- doing so will make the job a lot easier. You really can't reach all of any edge, even the edge opposite the hinges, without taking the door down. And taking the door outside eliminates most of the worries about dust.
Edward
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Have you tried loosening some hinges and tightening others to reset the door or cant it slightly upward or downward. A couple of pieces of thin cardboard behind the right hinge can do wonders and doesn't leave any dust<g>.
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Normally one would only have to do this once or so and you would be good for a number of years. Possibly the house is still settling and the foundation needs looking at to determine if there should be something done to stabilize it. Or the doors are installed so tight that changes in humidity causes the door or the jamb to swell from dampness and stick the doors. There should be about 1/16" to 3/32" gap all around the doors to ensure that they will continue to work properly and not stick.
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