Building jamb for existing doors


Hello,
I have two salvaged doors which I would like to make into double doors for a closet. So I have to build a new jamb for them, and I am wondering how much clearance I should allow around each door and in between the doors. I was thinking 1/8" everywhere, so I would make my jamb 3/8" wider than the sum of the door widths. Does that sound right?
Also, what options are available for hardware to hold them in the closed position while allowing them to operate independently? I don't want to have any hardware in the floor. The only thing I could think of was a ball catch at the top inside corner of each door, but I'm not sure how well that would work.
Thanks, Wayne
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

i used a spring loaded ball catch at the top of a door i built for the commode room in my master bathroom. it works almost too well, as the force to overcome the spring is almost too much.
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Why couldn't you use just about any type of cabinet latch attached to the upper jamb?
Magnetic, clip, etc.
I currently use heavy duty magnetic cabinet latches on my shed to keep both doors "in the closed position while allowing them to operate independently".
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I guess my concern with a catch at the top of the door is that when you are pulling on a handle at 36" above floor level, the 44" height difference will cause the door to flex before the catch releases. I've observed this sometimes when a door sticks in the jamb at the top. Perhaps this can be avoided by using a catch with a sufficiently low release force.
I'd ideally like a catch system for double doors that would operate by turning the handle, like a normal door, but isn't so complicated as the ones that require you to route out the edge of the door. Is there anything like that? What do most people use for double doors?
Thanks, Wayne
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wrote:

Most people use a ball catch at the top. It is height-adjustable to allow for different release forces. Additionally, rubbing just a smidge of mineral oil usually helps the metal-on-metal with the strike plate.
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How large are the doors ??? Are they solid doors or paneled doors ??? It sounds like you are worrying over a non-issue for a real door
What you describe is possible, but not using residential door hardware...
A "push-bar exit device, surface vertical rod, less bottom rod" would do exactly what you are asking/describing... You can obtain these with knobs, levers or handle/thumb piece outside trims...
It is way overkill for a closet and you would need two of them, one for each door... But their installation doesn't require routing out the edge of the door, only boring a hole through the door for the outside trim... All other parts of the lock unit will surface mount on the inside face of the door...
Again, its overkill for what you are seeking to do, but you asked if it was possible and no one responding so far has described this solution...
~~ Evan
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Thanks for your response and for all of the other responses. It was good to learn about the hardware you described. But as you say, it is overkill for closet doors, so I will likely just use a quality ball catch.
Cheers, Wayne
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re: "how much clearance I should allow around each door "
I'd match the other door(s) in the room (house) so that the reveal was consistant.
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Well, there's some variation, but 1/8" at the sides would match fine. But I have no idea on what the gap between the two doors should be, there are no other double doors in the house.
Cheers, Wayne
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On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 21:11:03 +0000 (UTC), Wayne Whitney

3/16 ?
The reveal should be the same between doors as the sides are.
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Oren wrote:

If you want a tight visual gap, you back-bevel the edges where they meet ever-so-slightly. That way they don't run into each other. -- aem sends...
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

Two ways to work it...
1. Measure the thickness of the door from the center of the hinge pin to the back; ditto the width, hinge pin center to edge. Calculate the hypotenuse of those. That is the "width" of the door as it opens. Add a smidge to each width.
2. Bevel the edge of the door back by 3 degrees or so thus decreasing the opening width at the back so either can be opened without hitting the other. Add whatever gap you want between them.
--

dadiOH
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On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 19:50:30 +0000 (UTC), Wayne Whitney

One magnetic latch at the top of each door (inside). You can get "dummy" door knobs for the pull handle (door knobs).
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

Spring closers that replace the hinge pins.
Pneumatic door closers.
Screen-door springs
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That's a good idea. I would want the closet doors to stay open if opened, but some sort of "soft close" hinge would work well. It should only activate when the door is almost closed, and then should ensure the door would close fully and stay closed.
Cheers, Wayne
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

Door stops (you'd be surprised at the variety)
Brick
Locking lid support
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

A dime at top, nickel at sides _____________

There are ball catches and there are ball catches. Used to have a pair that worked great, silky smooth. Current also work fine but are "rough" - takes a fair push to close, fair pull to open.
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No. Maybe. Ask any journeyman finish carpenter what gaps should be and he will quote you the ancient ''nickle and dime' rule: a dime thickness at the hinge side, and a nickle thickness at the latch side. That's what the young apprentices learn, but with older doors you may have to bend the rules a bit.
Joe
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Nickel and dime seems good> Why not use a magnetic latch to hold the dfoors closed. If there is too much force to opening, a piece or two of scotch tape over the fixed plate will reduce the effort needed to open the doors. I haev that on several places in our house.
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