Removing steel door frame from concrete block wall?


A small add-on to garage is concrete block with one door. The old door is hollow core and falling apart. The frame is steel with no apparent screws or fasteners showing. The frame has coats of old paint and a little rust and I can't imagine how one would remove the steel frame. Rather than replacing just the door, it is looking like it would be easier, if we can remove the whole thing and replace with a pre-hung door. Door is 32x80, 1 5/8".
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On 9/10/2010 10:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Got an air chisel? Those frames are installed as the wall is built, and have ears on the back that are mudded into the block. Hope you have a lintel above it, otherwise the door frame is part of the wall structure.
If the frame is sound, I'd take the old door slab to a commercial door and window house, and have them see if they can find a matching insulated steel door with same thickness, hinge spacing, etc. Might be hard in a thin door like that.
Otherwise, time to call a mason in, unless you want to be brave and try it yourself. Should not be too expensive. A good one can piece it in with chunks of 4" block, or chunks of split block, so it looks like it was always there. Run off any that say that they will just mud it in.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

I was afraid of that ... built-in :o) There is a lintel, but what difference does it make? My daughter's home, so decision is hers and her husband. I'd make a door with cross braces before I'd go for masonry work....checked HFH and another reseller for used door.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote: ...

Surely there's a salvage place around that has old doors, etc.???
Good chances for finding an old exterior door altho used salvaged interior doors on the garages and old shops here that have survived (w/ some rework) over 50 years so far and still going. I did reglue one earlier this spring but I suspect it will now outlast me caring any longer... :) This is pretty dry country (not desert, just 20" annual rain average) so isn't like they stand in water here--longevity wouldn't be quite as good back in TN or VA or similar...
I'd imagine simply putting another old hollow core back in the opening would last for another 10+ years in all likelihood. Doesn't sound like needs anything of consequence for the purpose.
--
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On 9/11/2010 8:56 AM, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

If garage is not heated, a Z-buck door would be an entirely appropriate solution, if it fits with the style of the house. If you can find nice dry 5/4 T&G car siding for the part that shows to outside, you could even make it reasonably pretty. Build it oversize an inch or so, and cut to fit before you make the mortises for the hinges and such. Make sure to check opening and door slab for square before you cut. Glue and screw the Z boards, and the thickeners for the hinge edge and lockset, Pick a wood and finish that is suitable for the local weather conditions. It'll hold up better than a hollow-core door. Big thing with a plank door like that is to make sure the bottom can't wick moisture from the threshold- that is where the rot starts.
--
aem sends....

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On 9/11/2010 4:08 PM, aemeijers wrote:

Forgot to answer your lintel question- if there was no lintel (either concrete precast, or single or double steel L running into the wall on both sides), if you take out the door frame, the block right over the door may succumb to gravity and fall down, especially if you vibrated the wall a lot while removing the frame. Some places let a steel door frame count as a lintel, at least for single-story walls that are not carrying ceiling joists or roof above them.
--
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aemeijers wrote:

Appreciate your advice, but what is "car siding"? Thickeners? I can muddle through cutting wood and fitting the hinges...just bought a wood chisel to get rid of old globby caulk where the block meets the garage wall. The door faces the front of the property, but blocked from view from the street by the house. The garage is in good shape (brick) and we are also preparing to paint the block section dark red matched to the red brick of the garage. Any nicely painted door should be okay in the location. Garage is recovering from a tree branch through it's roof...got another huge oak to take down. :o)
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On 9/11/2010 6:12 PM, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote: (snip)

'Car siding' is what they used to cover RR box cars with, 100+ years ago. Tongue and groove plank, often with a bevel on the edges to reduce splinters. Often available with a matching V-groove down the middle, mostly for looks, but can also reduce the tendency to cup. T&G is better for doors, because wood expands and contracts, and simple planks would leak air at every joint. In pre-plywood pre-drywall days, became very popular for outbuildings and interior use in porches, utility rooms and such. Often used for wainscoting in areas where plaster would not stand up, and they could not afford masonry or tile. Last gasp of wide popularity was the 'knotty pine' fad for basements, porches, attic conversions, and such, in the 1950s or so. The purists on here will say I am stretching the term 'car siding', and I probably am exceeding what the industry says it is. To me, it is any wood T&G plank (as opposed to clapboard or sheet goods) siding material.
As to the other terms- those are just what popped into my head- to make it all as thick as the door you are replacing, you will need to add wood in spots where stuff attaches. As to how to build a shed-style door- do a Google search for 'how to build a shed door' , 'how to build a Z-brace door', etc. Lotsa how-to pictures out there, and even some videos. If I was building a door like that, I'd put square-edge planks all around the perimeter, one horizontally at mid-point, and the diagonal braces rising from lower corners on hinge side, to the upper corners near lockset and top outside corner. To the frame, the door edge would look just as thick as it does now. Done carefully, a door like this can be very strong.
Now one of the actual trim carpenters on here will jump in and explain the correct way to do it, and use the proper words.
--
aem sends...

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On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 08:56:38 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

You can buy new replacement steel doors. That's a standard size.
Or make a frame out of treated 2x4's and cover the exterior of the door with ribbed metal siding like the kind used on pole barns. Use the matching trim to cover the ribs at top and bottom.
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Might be an idea being a man and looking out for your daughter
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The hollow metal jamb is a better product. I doubt that your door is 1 5/8" It will be either 1 3/8 or 1 3/4. I suspect that it is 1 3/4. Contact any local supplier of commercial doors (NOT the lumber yard and especially not any of the box stores) and get a price on a 2-8 / 6-8 door. Measure the hinge tops from the top of the jamb's door pocket and measure the center line of the strike from the top. Note whether the strike plate is a T strike or D strike and its size. Any commercial supplier will be able to tell whose jamb it is and would be able to precut and mortise a wood door or supply a steel door that will fit. You can also buy a slab and do your own prep - make sure to read up on beveling both edges of the door and proper mortise work with chisel or router.
If you really want to remove the hollow metal jamb:
Easiest would be to use a gasoline Quickie type saw with fiber blade and slice across the jamb about every 2 feet. The anchors holding the jamb will be 1/4" wire or 16 gauge galvanized T's. There will usually be 3 per side and one in the head. The jamb will be full of concrete.
Wiggle, cut, grind, hit with a sledge until you can remove the pieces.
Removing the jamb as usable or in one piece probably isn't going to happen.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DanG
Keep the whole world singing . . .
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote the following:

Actually, from what you described, it doesn't 'look' easier (or cheaper) to replace the whole thing. Scrape the paint off the center of the steel jamb on both sides and the top to see if the screw heads are hidden under that old paint. The screws are installed into wall anchors. If you find the screws anchors, don't expect to be able to use the old screw anchors in the new frame. You'll have to install new anchors in the wall to accept the frame. If it were me, I'd leave the frame and just replace the door with a solid wood or steel exterior door.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

I can dream, can't I? :o) Was hoping (NOT expecting) to find door same size, same hinge location, low price :o) We could take down the old door, replace most of the frame and slap on some plywood. With a good paint job, would probably last a few years.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote the following:

You can get a piece of 3/4 plywood and a couple of T-hinges, cut the plywood to size and screw the hinges to the frame to hold the door. Or even more cheaply, lay a piece of plywood against the door frame and pile some old Chevy auto parts laying around against the plywood to hold it in place. It would probably last decades, from what I've seen in the backwoods, not just years.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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