Keeping Door Closed

Page 1 of 2  
I apologize in advance if this is off topic. I did a number of searches this is the closest I could find to what I am looking for. (Please recommend another ng if it is. Thanks!)
This is my problem. We have a door that goes from the house into a cold, non-heated breezeway. We have to open and shut the door whenever we go to the cellar to do the laundary. Unfortunately, the door does not stay shut as the gap between the door and sides are a bit too wide. I would imagine the door is not alligned right either.
To compansate for this problem we stick a dish towel in between the door and the sides to give it enough friction to hold. Then, when we come back upstairs we lock the door with a bolt and don't need the towel any longer.
Over the years the people at Home Depot and others have recommended putting a strip of insulation type stripping between the door and side. I have had some success, but the gap is too narrow and eventually the strip comes off because of excess friction due the narrowness of gap. This is an old door so the gap is probably not equal everywhere. My question, is there any other materials I could put between the door to increase the friction besides these weather type strippings? They are generally about 1/8-1/4 inch I presume. And, they always come undone. If I had any woodworking ability I would work on setting the hinges right, but to be honest I wouldn't have a clue on how to do that. Thanks for any feedback and sorry if I offend anyone if I posted in the wrong ng. Charlie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[...]

Either install a door closing mechanism, so that the door will close by itself or maybe add a magnet to the frame and a piece of iron to the door so that it's kept closed.
[...]

Without you telling what kind of hinges the door has it's imposible to help you there...
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Closing mechanism. as like those found on a swinging screen door ? Or, are you referring to something else?
Would they sell this magnet/metal piece at Home Depot?

The door has two hinges with layers of paint caked over them. There is a large pin with a ball shaped top holding the door in place. The door swings inward toward the kitchen. One flat part of the hinge lies flat against the frame. While the other part is on the side of the door. The the pin and casing is on the kitchen side. Removing the screws may prove to be a chore. But, the pin seems freely movable. As though someone had moved it recently.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie S. asks:

A pneumatic closer, I'd guess. They are easy to install, not super expensive, and will solve your problem. You'll see counterparts on many commercial doors, restrooms, etc. You'd probably need one of the ligest duty models available.
Screen door springs *might* work if your door weighs about what a screen door does.
Charlie Self "One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected." George W. Bush
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) writes:

I thought of someting much simpler, which works however only for doors that open only to one side: It consits of two metal blocks, one is screwed to the door frame and one to the door itself, and a metal rod that sits between the two blocks. If you open the door the rod will now push the door upwards, so the weight of the door will now try to push it closed again. Another advantage of this is that the door may be lifted above carpets. How is this device called?
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 18:25:27 GMT, "Charlie S."

there are about a billion ways to do it.
one way you might look into is a self closing hinge as used on fire doors. it's a pretty inexpensive piece of hardware and readily available.
another is a mechanism made by ryobi called "doorman"
another might involve pulleys and rope with a weight.

you'll probably do better at a hardware store. magnetic catches are usually used for cabinet doors- you might have a hard time finding one strong enough to hold an entry door.

yep. every time the door gets opened/ closed....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sat, Jan 15, 2005, 1:23pm (EST-2) snipped-for-privacy@all.costs says: <snip> another might involve pulleys and rope with a weight. <snip>
Don't even need pulleys. Couple of screw eyes will work, if you want to be elegent. Couple of nails, if not.
JOAT Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. - Dale Carnegie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie S. wrote:

Forget the hinges, that has nothing to do with holding the door closed. I don't really understand. Doesn't the door have a knob and a latch? If it has a latch,do you mean the door frame is so far away from the door edge that the latch won't catch. If it has no latch just install one. All kinds including regular door ones (difficult if you don't know anything about wood working or the kinds that go on gates (simple). If you don't want a latch, then why don't you just install a spring from the frame to opening side of door, just like old fashioned screen doors? A screen door spring would take about 5 minutes to install.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I should have mentioned it earlier. The door does have a knob and latch (I presume by latch you mean the thing that goes in and out when you turn the door knob.) It's a very old door the door knob doesn't work. It rotates, but doesn't turn the 'latch'. I think I could install a latch. I've installed locks in doors. This couldn't be any more difficult. Although, don't be surprised if I am back here trying to find out how take the old knob off:-)
The spring idea seems rather simple. And, that would do the trick too.
To be honest all the ideas suggested are very good. I am going to copy and post them to a Word document and make my decision. The good news is I am confident all of these ideas will work. I thank all of you for your help. No more towels in the door. What a relief!!!
Installing new door knob mechanism may be a good place to start. It would cut down on the drafts too. I am a bit worried that this being an old door, it might look funny with a new door handle. It's an old door with a large square window on top with three panel-like 7" x 22" cut outs beneath. It's not the most attractive door, but it fits with the decor of the house.
Just went into the kitchen to look at the door again. It looks better than I thought. It just needs a little paint and for me to remove and replace some of the old tattered insulation strips I put up in the past. Looking at some of the detailing around these insets I realize it would cost big bucks to have one of these doors custom made.
These house doors are keeping me busy. Last week I spent a half hour adjusting the bolt receptor so it would align perfectly with the lock bolt. I also have an old wooden door that coming off it's hinges. The hinge attaches to the frame and side of the door. The door swings inward. The pin mechanism is also inside. It has a large pin with a roundish ball at the top and bottom of it. The screws are coming out of the where the hinge meets the frame. Especially at the top and bottom of the hinges. We have to lift the door to open and close/lock it. It rest on carpet so it takes some effort. This is another thing we've lived with for years. What should I do? Just install longer screws? Or, should I prep the frame somehow so that it will hold the screws more securely?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

(I
OK I am a locksmith, Iam here to help. If it a really old door (pre war) then you probably have a mortise lock. These have a metal box set into a pocket in the edge of the door. To remove these you need to unscrew the set screw on the knob spindle. Once this is loose the knob unthreads from the spindle. The spindle then will slide out. you can then remove two screws from the edge of the door. the box can then slide out. It might be stuck. If so use a utility knife to cut throughteh paint film around the edge of the box, and reinsert the spindle holding both sides of the spindle.
With the box out of the door you can bring it to your local locksmith to replace the spring.
If the knob is the newer style there is probably a couple of screws in the inside rose. If there is no exposed screws look on the edge of the door. There should be a brand name. Tell me what that is.

pin
to
some
This is usually an easy fix. Remove the screw and drive in a wood dowel. then replace the screw. This should snug the hinge up. If the wood is really chewed up I will drill a clean hole and glue in a bigger dowel. The problem with using larger screws is that the screws have larger heads and that prevents the hinge from closing fully. this then rips out the screws when the door is forced closed.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seems to be a mortise lock for it has a metal box set into a pocket in the edge of the door. Taking the kitchen knob off I came across something I can't quite figure out. Maybe you can explain.
There is the flat metallic ring that has a hole in the center of the ring. It allows the spindle mechanism through and acts as a sort of facade or face plate that rest against the door. (I am assuming the spindle is long square piece the knob screws into.) This piece turns freely as it is not screwed into anything. There are two holes in this piece where I assume screws hold it in place. I looked behind it and there is the metal box you told me about. But, I didn't see any holes that the screws might go into. Is there a piece missing? Or, is it held in place another way. (Sorry for digressing from the real problem.)
To remove these you need to unscrew the set

Could you define what the spindle is?
This will take some work. This door may have been painted a dozen times or more over the course of its lifetime.

Going to the locksmith is something I know I can do. Getting that box out will be a lot tougher.

I don't know what you mean by rose. There is one screw on the knob with a choice of 3 holes to screw the knob into. I screwed the knob back to the hole closest to the door.
If there is no exposed screws look on the edge of the door.

There is a lot of paint on the door. Scraping it off would be a project in itself. Thus, I don't think I will be able to tell you the name of the lock. Sorry. If the weather were warmer I wouldn't mind. But, this breezeway is very cold. On the edge of the door there are two screws holding the box mechanism and lock in place. One on the bottom and one on top. The whole plate is about 6 inches long. I am pretty sure it's one piece. Although with all the paint and the darkness I am not 100% sure.

I'm really don't have carpenter skills. What would be the best way to go about measuring, cutting and inserting the dowel?
Would this project be a lot easier if I took the door off the hinge first? Or, should I take the screws out of the hinge one at a time and fill each hole individually with dowel materials? The door is not very heavy.
On measuring the dowel: should I insert the dowel into the screw hole and mark where it meets the hinge. Or, should I cut the dowel a little shorter than the length of the hole? Add glue? Or, only add glue if I drill a bigger hole?
I am sure the screws in the door are ancient and probably rusty. I'll probably be putting in new screws. I imagine any type of flat head screw would be sufficient? As you suggested I'll be sure not to use screws that are too long.
This should snug the hinge up. If the wood is

Got it. Thanks! Charlie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

face
An escutchion plate.
(I am assuming the spindle is long square

Bingo.
This piece turns freely as it is not screwed

hold
there
The escutchion is attached with small screws to the wood. No need to mess with the escutchion plate.

The square shaft the knobs fit on to.

You don't need to remove all the paint, just score around the edge of the faceplate of the metal box. You also might also need to scrape and dig little to get a screw driver in the slot.
Once you get the screws out and score the paint around the box, you re-insert the spindle in the lock and slip the knob on to the spindle. leave it a little loose. Now grab one knob in each hand and wiggle and tug. This will pop the lock out of the hole a little, then slip the spindle out and the lock will pull all the way out.

the
a
Don't worry about the rose plate, those instructions were for the newer style, you have the mortise lock.

Insert it long and just snap it off. If it snaps off a little proud of the surface, tap it in with a hammer.

If you don't mind about taking the door off then go ahead and take it off. Pop out the hinge pins, remove the door then unscrew the screws holding in the plate. I will note that the plate should sit flush with the door jam. If it is inset it will tend to pull out the screws. It probably will be flush.

Glue would not hurt. Cut the dowels a little long, apply glue and tap them in. when the glue is dry, (Use the brown wood glue, it's faster than the white stuff.) cut off the dowels flush. Easy to do with a tap from a sharp chisel.
If you have to use the drill and bigger hole method, then you can cut the dowel before gluing. When you drill use a brad point bit and drill through the jam until you hit the stud. Now insert the dowel and mark the length. Now cut the dowel and glue it in. You might want to drill a small pilot hole for your screw.

Take out one of the screws and bring it with you to the hardware store. Get new ones the same size in diameter and head shape. Phillips head are a little easier to drive.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Roger Shoaf wrote:

Hey Roger, this isn't meant as a criticism just a suggestion. The first thing I thought of when I read your first response was, what is a rose, but I know where the screw are so I know what it is, just never heard it called that. By cracky, Charlie had not idea, just as I suspected. So the suggestion, is forget all the lock terminology or if you don't then put a description in brackets after it when talking to the layman. Every profession and every specialty has all these weird words that improve communication between peers, but are not understandable by others.
Good help.
One question, I know the spindle just spins in a lot of old mortise locks. Are you saying that the problem is just a broken spring? I guess I could look as I have an old one laying under my workbench that I could take apart and look at, but asking you is easier. :-). And if something else is broken, the op could probably look around and find a similar old used lock, but you would know more about that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Two conditions can cause this. Usually it is a knob not set on the spindle so it just spins or it can be a worn out hub.
Are you saying that the problem is just a

Usually, The OP said his latch was not coming out of the hole.
I guess I could look as I have an old one

Some times the best place to look is around your own house. Often there is a closet door that uses the same lock but stands open all the time.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Roger Shoaf wrote:

Oops. missed where he said the latch wasn't coming out.
Not around my house, I haven't lived in a house with that type of lock for over 40 years. We call them antiques!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Once you get the screws out and score the paint around the box, you re-insert the spindle in the lock and slip the knob on to the spindle. leave it a little loose. Now grab one knob in each hand and wiggle and tug. This will pop the lock out of the hole a little, then slip the spindle out and the lock will pull all the way out."
I didn't need to wiggle and tug. Surprisingly (to me) the lock came out rather easily. It doesn't look pretty. A few loose screws and a spring. I will bring to a locksmith to let them figure it out.
Noticed there wasn't a face plate for the latch to go into. May have one lying around or maybe the locksmith will have an extra one (probably for $5) There is a bit of spacing between the door and frame as there was some area cut out before. Don't know if I have to build it up first and hollow out an area for the latch or what. I know it's difficult to comment on this without seeing the spacing.
Thanks again for your help.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 07:33:00 GMT, "Charlie S."

the spindle is long square piece the knob screws into.

it's probably held in with 2 screws.

if the wall it's in is wood frame- made with studs inside- longer screws is the answer. note that that is *longer* screws, not *fatter* screws. you want at least one of those screws to reach the stud behind the door frame, tightened up enough to pull the door up straight.

again- longer screws the same diameter are what you want.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You might want to look at the alt.home.repair newsgroup.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks! After I get these door questions straightened out I'll got there for house repairs. I have a broken chair taht needs repairing. I may be back soon. Too much to take on now.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How about taking the door pin out, lay it on a hard flat surface, hit the center of the pin with a hammer. Now you have a bowed pin. Put the pin back in. The door should should stay closed now. If not, do the other pin. If that don't suit ya, then straighten the pins.. You are now back where you started I do that in order to keep the door from closing by it's self.
Tom.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.