Are we talking about hollow metal door and jamb, usually found on
What makes you think it is swelled? If water and rust has really
swelled the door, you will need to replace it. If the jamb - you will
need to replace it.
If you simply mean the door rubs, the problem is most likely with the
hinges. If the door has a closer, someone has probably put a block of
some type to hold the door open up at the top hinge. This will result
in bending the hinge and/or bending the hinge plates buried in the jamb
and door. A heavy door will often cause the top hinge to sag slightly.
If the gap at the head of the door is larger on the strike side than the
hinge side, this is most likely the culprit.
Use an adjustable wrench ( 10 or 12" crescent). Tighten on the top
hinge barrels. Make sure you are on one of the barrels attached to the
jamb, not the door. Bend the hinge barrel away from the strike
slightly. Repeat on the other jamb barrel of the top hinge. You may
need to do this on the center hinge also. You may need to repeat. You
should see a noticeable improvement immediately, only continue to
complete the task.
Cut some dense cardboard shims 1/4"wide by height of hinge (normal
commercial are 41/2"). Add shims under the jamb side of the hinge on
the door stop edge. The net effect is just as above, moving the center
of the hinge barrel away from the strike. Add multiple shims, shim all
hinges, if required.
These are the normal ways to fine tune steel door installations. They
do not lend themselves to a little planing or belt sanding. If the
hinge plates in the door and jamb have been bent out, judicious work
with a wood block and sledge hammer might set the plates back into
position. I did have one exterior door that was quite a tight fit on
the west side of a building that worked well for several years.
Customer painted the door a dark brown. When it got hot in the sun, it
grew enough to stick so hard it would not open or close. I did my
tweaking in the mornings and left with the door operating well, but the
door would stick by afternoon. Fought it for quite a while, not knowing
what the problem could be. Finally sanded the door and repainted it
white. Same door , no problem.
Keep the whole world singing. . .
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