Question about cutting of 1/2 inch off door

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My wife just asked me to cut off 1/2 inch off the bottom of a door in the hallway. I never done that before, so I know I would screw this up. At least I'm smart enough to ask here for help. I only have a 10 " table saw, so what I like to know, what saw blade do I need. The door is pretty cheap, hollow, and of course a solid piece on the bottom. Probably still solid even if I cut of about 1/2 inch. Which way do I put the door on the saw table. My thought was inside down, and I hope it leaves the front part of the door un-splintered. Did I remember right, do I tape across the front part? Or was it the backside. Any help is appreciated..........peter
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I'm no expert at this... But I think one of the things to do is put some kind of very fine blade in the table saw and put tape on both sides of where you are cutting to avoid messing up the luan by splintering it.
--


Joe - V#8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com
Northern, NJ
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Thank you for your help....I think I better get a new blade then. Is the carbide tip blade the best one to get? How far do you recommend the blade should be above the door. I've heard different stories. For safety reason I heard maybe just a little above the door, but for better cutting and smoother cutting maybe more. As you can see, I have some facts, but not what is right and what is recommended for a good cut or for safety for that matter. I can just see myself screwing this up, no joy for Christmas, that is for sure. I think my wife wants me to screw up, so she doesn't have to get anything for me. :-) ..............Peter

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I usually scribe the bottom of the door to the floor while it is still hung. Rough cut with a jig saw or a circular saw and then clamp a straight board on the line and finish with a router bit and ball bearing guide. That way the door is parallel to the floor. max

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I'd recommend buyind a cheap circular saw of any kind before trying this on a table saw. The stores have them under $30 and one sees them at yardsales now and then, as well as in pawnshops. Run the circular sae against a guide and it will do well. Of course it's perfectly doable with a handsaw too! Wilson

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Thanks Wilson and Max, I have every saw imaginable. I guess I'm a collector, instead of a user. I always thought that one day when I retire I will use all that stuff. Well, now is the time, but I never learned how to use these tools. So a circular saw is better then using a table saw? I actually can see the point here. Knowing me though, I will scrape the door, and still screw it up. I better tape the whole door, well at least the part that the saw travels on.. .........Peter

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Test with your straight edge and circular saw on a piece of scrap so you know exactly where the kerf will be. Put some masking tape on both sides of the door as has been suggested. Carefully lay out and score the luan with a utility knife thru the tape on both sides to keep it from splintering. A gentle touch is best here...better to make several light passes with the utility knife rather than one heavy cut that wanders away from the straight edge.
Lay the door flat on sawhorses, a table, etc., and clamp your straight edge very carefully so the kerf will just barely touch the bottom side of the score, not inside it at all.
Measure twice...or three or four times...and cut once. Good luck.

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Thanks Chuck this sounds so nice and easy to do, but I'm a little nervous. I will try it the way you suggested it ..............Peter

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I prefer to use the circular saw with a finish blade. If you have difficulty cutting a laser straight line, use a rip guide or straight edge to make the cut. Make sure the bottom of your saw won't scratch the door all up, if necessary use tape on the foot of the saw. --dave

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Thanks Dave, I feel a little easier already. I guess taping the bottom of the saw is the preferred way to do it then. How many teeth for a finishing blade, if you can tell me that..........I better not start on this until tomorrow..........Peter

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wrote:

I probably would use a circular saw rather than the table saw. Clamp a straight edge on the door as a guide. You can minimize splintering by applying (plastic) electrical tape.
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least
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This is not a job for a table saw. At least not for a basic table saw, which I would assume you have and basic skills which I assume you have, by the nature of the question you're asking. You'd be far better served to buy a plywood blade for a circular saw and clamp a straight edge to the door and cut it off that way.
--

-Mike-
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Hi Peter,
Scibe the bottom of the door to the floor (door closed) with a pair of compasses or dividers while still hung. If you don't have these then use a small piece of planed timber with a pencil on top. Open the door and check your scribed line - if the floor runs up the door will rub or the floor covering so allow more for this if necessary. Place the door horizontally across two sawstools and run a stanley or similar knife down the line to be cut on both sides. If it's just the one door you may as well save your money and use a handsaw. Cut on the side of the line that's to be cut off (hope that makes sense) carefully and a little at a time. Keep turning the door over and cutting a little at a time from both sides (this avoids going off the line). run a plane along the finished cut (hold the plane at a 45 degree angle to avoid splitting) Or put some medium grade glasspaper oround a block and rub along to remove any roughness.
Stand back smugly and hand your wife your christmas wish list!
Dave

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wrote:

Do you have a router? Use and up and down cutting spiral bit and a straight edge.
Barry
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Pete, don't even think about cutting a door on a tablesaw.You will bind the blade ,screw up the door and maybe hurt yourself. Buy or borrow a handheld circular saw. Put a 40 tooth combination blade in the saw.Clamp a straightedge to a scrap first, make a short cut, measure setback from staightedge to saw base. Clamp a straightedge to the door with the correct setback.Tape the top surface where the cut line will be ( I do not tape, score or anything else, but that is for another discussion).Set saw base depth for 1/4" more than door thickness. Make your cut, make sure the base rides along the straightedge. Now your done, take a piece of sandpaper and lightly round the sharp edges you just cut, this is called breaking the edge. Paint bottom of door, this seals the freshly cut surface. This is a must on an outside door, usually skipped on interior doors. mike
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Don't even *think* about doing this on the table saw. Unless you have a big saw, and a big crosscut sled, there's no way you're going to get a straight cut. Doors are just too big and unwieldy to try to cut in that manner.
Instead, you want a pair of sawhorses, and a hand-held circular saw with some sort of guide. The edge guides made by the saw manufacturers will work, but you're better off clamping a wide, straight board across the door and using that to guide the base of the saw.
To minimize splintering: a) use a good, sharp blade, with a high tooth count b) put masking tape along the cut line, on the upper side c) cut with the inside face of the door up, so that any splintering that does occur, will be on the inside.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Thanks to all of you for these important tips. I knew I had to ask here. I would have attempted it on the table saw, guaranteed. No more though, the advise I got here was so important. Many thanks for the detailed instructions, just what I needed. I will go to Sears and get myself a 40 tooth (at least) circular saw blade, and do the marking, the proper taping and proper position of the table. I noticed one of you mentioned the Router, I have one of them as well, (collector) and never used it either. I never imagined that you can cut with a Router. To be honest, I probably try the circular saw. I do however appreciate the Router input. I never used my brain so hard trying to absorb all of this information. Then I never ran into a more supportive wonderful group of people then in this newsgroup. Damn, I'm proud to be an American today. (3rd Armored Division ) I know it sounds above and beyond, but it's just how I feel. Bless you guys for being so nice......Peter
wrote:

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One other suggestion -- with the circular saw, cut off a little _less_ than the required amount, then use a hand plane to get down to the exact dimension.
You'll end up with a much smoother, cleaner, bottom on the door that way. Admittedly, it's not like anybody will *see* it, in normal use, but _you'll_ know. <grin>
On a serious note, it's advantageous, for a couple of reasons. For interior doors, an even 'somewhat' rough bottom will collect dust, carpet hairs, etc. And, you'll get a better fit against threshold weatherstripping, if -that- applies.
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

If you (the OP) don't have a hand plane, and don't want to fiddle with learning how to sharpen and tune and fiddle with them to make them work just for a little one-off project, then I've found doors are a great place to use those Surform planes Stanley makes. It's kind of like a cheese grater for wood. Not much good for fine woodworking, but they're good for stuff like this. I especially like to use one if I'm tuning the fit of a door that's been hung for awhile. In case there is any grit or other blade eating stuff embedded in the wood, I'm not tearing up a Scarey Sharp(tm) mirror polished precision plane iron to shave a little clearance and get the door to stop dragging on the rug.
--
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On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 19:39:45 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

A spiral up/down combo bit and a router will do all of this in one step!
Barry
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