Door questions

I'm working on replacing the door to the utility room with a louvered door. I've got the hinges morticed, but I have other questions.
The original door measures 29 3/4 inches, while the replacement measures 30 inches. Is this difference normal, or should we have tried to get one the exact size of the old door?
How should I go about transfering the door knob and catch? I only plan on doing one door, so I'm not too thrilled about the prospect of purchasing a template kit.
Thanks in advance
Puckdropper
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"Stock" door widths come in 2" increments.
All wooden doors have a reasonable thickness of solid 'wood' around the perimeter, so you can 'trim to fit' a door that is slightly too wide.
The critical dimension is not the size of the old door, but the size of the opening it fits into. was it a 'snug' fit in the opening or was there a bit of a gap?
Be cautioned that 'well fitted' doors are -not- the same width on the front and the back.
The front has to be 'a little bit narrower' -- so that the outside front edge will clear the jamb as it swings closed.

use painter's tape, or anything similar, to carry the centerline of the strikeplate opening out onto the strikeplate, and onto the front of the jamb. make *sure* this strike-line is -horizontal-.
Mount the door in the opening. close it. transfer the strike-line onto _both_ surfaces of the door.. open the door, and 'connect the dots' across the edge of the door. scribe a vertical down the middle of the door edge. 'x' marks the spot to drill the bolt-hole.
on the 'inside side' (closest to the hinge-pins, carefully measure in the distance specified for the knob, along the strike line. and that's the centerpoint for drilling for the knob. Most knob assemblies are designed with _some_ play in the mounting -- thus, out-of-position by 1/8" or so, is not a disaster. ;)
If you don't know what the distance to the center of the knob is 'supposed' to be, you can measure from the door edge to the outer, and the inner, edges of the opening on the door being replaced. and 'split the difference'.
Tain't difficult -- you just have to make sure you're always 'square to the world'. :)
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snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote in
*trim*
*snip*

It was a snug fit. I took a closer look at the old door with a square, and indeed the sides were not square. Thanks for the information, I'll definately make use of it when I get back to the door.
*trim & snip*
Puckdropper
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I lay the old door minus the hardware on top of the new door and transfer/mark locations for the lock/knob set and hinges. This is all with the understanding that the original door fit correctly.
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wrote:

A hand plane or portable planer or joiner can make the door the right width. New doors are normally sized in 2" increments to the full inch.

A drill and a couple of bits and a chisel should do it. Go ahead and hang the door first and then just transfer a mark from the center point of the existing keeper to the door. If you still have the old door (or lock) Check the back-set (the distance from the face of the bolt to the center of the knob) normally it's either 2 3/8" or 2 3/4". Make your mark accordingly. Check the size of the bore (normally 2 1/8") and use a hole saw to make that hole first. A standard 1" bit usually is the right size for the bolt hole which will be centered in the edge of the door.
Be sure to check all of the above mentioned sizes. While these measurements are most common, I've seen some strange locksets over the years.
Mike O.
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I'll find a good way to take it down. (Probably a circular saw and belt sander. My hand plane's not that great.)

Hm... Hole saw... Don't have one. Looks like it's time for a NEW TOOL!!!

It looks like a pretty standard lock set, but I'll definately make sure I check it before I do anything more to the door.
Sorry about not getting back to you guys sooner, Real Life (and darkness) got in the way of finishing this project.
Puckdropper
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wrote:

Suggest a router, 2" straight bit, and straight edge. Finish with slight back bevel with a hand plane or sander, and a 1/8" or 3/16" roundover.
My favorite shop-made version of router straight edge is like this: <http://www.darkroomsource.net/sawguide.shtml
You can make one in minutes. Mark the jig with which tool and bit it matches for future use. I keep an 8' and 52" version handy.
--------------------------------------------- ** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html ** ---------------------------------------------
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That's a nice simple jig to make. If I don't have to cut anything, I could have it made in 5 minutes. :-)
I wondered about the 2" bit when I was getting the 1" pattern bit. Thought it might be a bit of a unitasker, though.
Puckdropper
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wrote:

I don't use a pattern bit with that jig, but a standard straight bit. That way, you don't have to hire a guard to protect the straight edge. The base of the router simply rides along the inner rail.
Mine uses a jointed straight hardwood strip in the middle.
The router leaves a really nice edge, really quickly.
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I wouldn't either, unless it happened to be mounted in the router at the time...
I just did some quick math in my head, and with the your jig the 2" bit would be great for getting through some of my most common sized material.

Puckdropper
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