OT: Cutting down a steel door?

Ok, I've once again agreed to do a bit of side-work that I really wish I hadn't. Homeowner put down some engineered flooring in the entryway and now the exterior steel door won't open if there's a floor mat or any carpet in front of it. "Do you have a steel cutting blade so you can cut it down for me?"
I can certainly cut the door down, but I've got a VBF about it. Any suggestions? Comments? Solutions? I'm thinking of telling him to leave the door alone and I'll just rout out an area for the floor mat or a little rug to sit in.
JP
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Jay Pique said:

I'm not an expert, but if it is like any of the "steel" entry doors I've seen you will compromise the door by trying to cut off the bottom. They are generally a 14-18 gauge sheet steel shell wrapped around (often) a stick frame and filled with foam insulation. I wouldn't even try it.
I've seen some that have a composite/wooden thermal break between the front and back steel panels, leaving a small ~1/4" exposed composite/wood edge. You could remove a bit of that if present, but I doubt 1/8" would help much in clearing carpet.
Sounds like poor planning on the part of the installer/homeowner. FWIW
Greg G.
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Greg G. said:

Another thing I forgot to mention. Assuming there is any material to remove, make certain that there is enough threshold adjustment to make up the difference. You must have a good seal between the threshold the door bottom to prevent water penetration, keep out bugs, and to conserve heating and air conditioning. FWIW,
Greg G.
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Yep, it sounds like a bad idea to me.
JP
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Cutting down the door is doable, but it's opening a can of worms - and some of the worms have teeth. The recessed mat is the way to go. I've never done one in laminate, just wood strip flooring in higher end homes. I use bronze angle to support the edge of the wood at the recess. Otherwise the edges get abused very quickly. The horizontal leg extends towards the inside of the recess. I then put down a thin layer of whatever to compensate for the angle leg thickness, then cut two or three different mats for different seasons/occasions. Vinyl- backed cocoa mat is the standard, and looks great, but I also use semi- cheapie tufted runner from the Borg. It comes in brown and grey and is cheap, quick and pretty durable.
R
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True words of wisdom. I used to do a lot of office finish outs and remodels.
There are two kinds of construction for metal doors. One is "plugged" and the other is "folded".
In either case, unless it is just a small adjustment trim, I wouldn't touch the door. If you cut into the plug or folded portions, you compromise the structural integrity of the door. Not good.
Think of the folded type as the way a folded envelope back looks on a large brown envelope. The edges and ends are folded onto themselves and torch "spot" welded, but in some cases they aren't even secured. The engineered folds to all the work.
With a plugged door, imagine a hollow door you can see through from top to bottom. They slip a structural component into the door, then force full sized plugs with a lip on them into the top and bottom of the door. They spot weld the plugs into place along the lip of the plug. If you cut the welds, you are screwed.
Another aspect to consider: if you haven't cut a metal door before, you are in for some real fun trying to make those sharp crispy factory style lines appear after you finish.
I would say do whatever you had to do to make that mat area recessed.
Robert
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�"Do you have a steel cutting blade so you

Jay
Routing may be a good idea if you are able to maintain the threshold integrity. Otherwise take it to a good metal man. Like my Blacksmith friend. He would do it with his eyes closed. Well almost. No one would ever be able to tell the difference.
Bob AZ
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I had a problem like that. Ended up pulling door & frame & raised it, took 3/4 " from the header & added 3/4 " on the floor. Took all day just to make YOU KNOW WHO HAPPY!!! Jerry
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/MyWoodWorkingPage
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/1974RuppCentair
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Time for Swingman to chime in. He had the exact same problem on a new home build last summer. I absolutely cannot recall what the solution was.
That said, Rehang/raise the door and jam assembly. Unfortunately that could not be done on a straw bale house.
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I did that just recently. Used a plywood blade in a circular saw and a clamp on strait edge. No worse than cutting wood.
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You might even be able to fit up an angle grinder cutting disc in your circular saw!
(Do it at your own risk, I take no responsibility if things go wrong)
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On Fri, 6 Nov 2009 18:01:04 -0800 (PST), Jay Pique

Since you've presumably already agreed to cut the door down, then you're on hook for the job. First question comes to mind is if you're charging for the work? If not, then you can rightly insist that he helps you do the work. That might mean teaching him how to operate some tool, but at a minimum it's hoped that it will shorten the job for you and in best case scenario, he might decide that he then doesn't want the job done.
I help friends all the time. With the ones that I consider to be passing acquaintances, I don't hesitate to say that I'll do the job if they help me. Their first response is that they don't know how and you respond naturally by saying that you'll teach them And, that includes doing the lion's share of the grunt work. After all, you're doing the job for your expertise, not for your muscles.
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I assume you are talking about one of the wood framed doors with the steel skin on the faces like a Stanley door. Perhaps the best/easiest thing would be to raise the door and jamb. This project would be similar to replacing the door and jamb and would keep the built in threshold and gasketing intact.
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Jay Pique wrote:

How about you simply replace the steel door with a quality exterior-grade wood door, with the bottom cut to fit the new threshold height?
Aero
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Since this is an exterior door, you can't just trim the door. You have to raise the threshold as well.
In order to do this "properly", you'd need to remove the door and frame, put a filler under the bottom of the door, adjust the framing at the top, and reinstall the frame and door.
Brad
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aeroloose wrote:

Well, that's certainly thinking outside the box!
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