The things we do for friends. Cutting down doors.

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I just got a call from a friend wanting me to "help" him cut down three doors. He wants to remove about 1/2" from each dimension, both width and length. Ugh. I'll use a clamping guide and a circular saw to cut the width, but cutting the long side is another story. He doesn't want me to use the circular saw freehand, nor does he want me to use a hand-held electric or hand plane. So I guess it's going to be an 80" rip on the table saw. Ugh^2.
I plan on using rollers for infeed and the outfeed table for the outfeed side. With maybe a roller beyond that. Any helpful suggestions beyond, "get a new friend"?
--
Vince Heuring To email, remove the Vince.

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I'm confused. A friend imposes on you for a favor (OK, that's what friends are for), and then he insists on dictating which tools you use? Perhaps he has an opinion on how you should be dressed when performing this favor, or what brand of beer you should serve him while doing it?
Anyway, it doesn't have to be an 80" rip. Take the 1/2" off the bottom first, then it's just at 79-1/2" rip :-)
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Roy Smith wrote:

Yeah, that's what I'm not getting too. I'd cut it down to within 1/4" to 1/8" or so of the line with a circular saw, then plane it to the line. If the friend wasn't happy with that idea, I'd tell him to cut down his own damn doors.
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Vince,
Make a cutting jig for the length cut. Use a piece of 1/2" X 4" X 80" plywood glued onto a 1/4"X12"X80" piece of plywood. The 1/4 piece should be wide enough so that your first cut with the saw foot against the 1/2 ply, you'll cut off some of the 1/4 inch ply.
When you cut the door, mark your door for the cut and then clamp your jig on the door so the edge of the 1/4 inch will be on your marks. Your blade will cut exactly along the 1/4 ply and make a perfectly straight cut.
Much easier than the table saw! :-)
Good luck.
Bryan
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Vince Heuring wrote:

You could always set the door on a set of saw horses, draw a line 1/2" from the edge along the 80" length and hand you buddy a Disston rip saw.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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LMAO!
-Phil Crow
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Won't he let you clamp on a guide and use the circular saw to cut that edge down as well? Just out of curiosity, why doesn't he want you to use an electic plane or a hand plane?

I'd cut it a little fat on the table saw because you really have a very small amount of fence guiding your door in the early and the late stages of the cut. In particular with the beginning of the cut, you have a lot of leverage at your disposal and it would be very easy to tweak your cut a bit. Cut it a little fat and you can touch up the edge with a plane afterwards - or with sandpaper if the neighbor won't let you use that plane.
--

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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 17:38:37 -0700, Vince Heuring

IMO the TS is a *lot* easier to rip a half inch off a door than any other tool you could use. I would have someone on the outfeed side to help catch the door/guide it onto the roller stands, and wouldn't bother with a stand on the infeed side. A door is a piece of cake compared to a full 4/8 sheet of plywood ;-)
Oh, just a note on roller stands - if they aren't lined up right they will guide your piece in or out, lousing up your cut. DAMHIKT
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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I would prefer making the cut with a circular saw. If the door is old, it is probably out of square, bowed, twisted, whatever. Not ideal for TS work. You can perform a surprisingly accurate rip with a circular saw by 'pinching' the table with one hand and running those pinched fingers along the edge.
I would however tell my friend that if he knew how it should be done he should do it himself.

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Sounds as if anyone comes up with any alternative ideas, you need to run them past your "friend", at which point I'm betting he nixes them. I think your best course of action is to get a new friend. If you don't cut them to his satisfaction is he planning on billing you for replacements?
David
Vince Heuring wrote:

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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 17:38:37 -0700, Vince Heuring

If he's concerned about chip-out, use the circular saw with a guide to take off all but about 1/8", placing masking tape on the out-blade side of the door. Then, using a 1/2" upcut spiral bit in a router and a guide, use the router to produce a smooth finish.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Now we'll just use some glue to hold things in place until the brads dry +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 17:38:37 -0700, Vince Heuring

This may be advice you don't need but when cutting the length be sure to score your cut line anywhere it goes across the grain. On a plain veneer door this will be all the way across. This will prevent tear out from the blade. I think you could rip them on the table saw easily enough but you will still need to clean up the cut with a jointer or something. If you have access to a jointer you could make several passes to get your 1/2". If you have to rip them with the table saw be sure to have the friend tail them for you. That way at least you can share the blame if something goes wrong.
Mike O.
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I'd use a straight edge and a router. Maybe becaue I have a straight edge and a routerbit that you'd need.
In either case, I'd take it off the hinge side, and have your buddy let the hinges back in. Don't take it off the lock side.
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wrote:

Excellent point. I've made that mistake too...
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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...and JUST when you think you're all through with making mistakes..HELLO..there's another one....hehehehehe
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snipped-for-privacy@dimensional.com wrote:

The best way to do this is with a circular saw and an edge guide, on the long side as well as the short side. That's not using the circ saw "freehand".

Tell your friend that if he wants you to do the job for him, you're going to do it in the manner that seems best _to_you_ -- and if he thinks he knows more than you do about how it should be done, he's perfectly free to do it himself, with his tools.

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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Using a guide is not the same as freehand. Done properly it should be a good cut.
OTOH, maybe this is the excuse you need to build a nice outfeed table. Making an 80" rip should not be a problem with a decent setup.
Since your friend is bringing the doors to you (he is, isn't he?) and insisting on a certain setup, I'm sure he will be there to lend a hand.
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I've used both a circular saw with guide and also a table saw for this kind of job. Both were easy and gave a good result, after hand planing for detail. Watch for scratches in the face of the door if you use either, and use tape or backing of some type for tear-out. If the door jamb is bowed, the circular saw may give a better result. I didn't notice much difference, though I don't pay a lot of attention to minor imperfections. Although you could cut from the hinge side with a somewhat better result, you would need to recut the hinge plate sites with a router or chisel. It would probably be less work to cut from the latch side, as long as the door nob hole is not already drilled. If it is, it may be easier to work from the hinge side, although there is some tolerance for door nob hardware distances -- check the door nob hardware directions.
Dave

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I just finished cutting down a door for a friend and ripped it on my new Craftsman saw with the Biesemeyer comercial fence. An easy cut to make with some help. I clamped a sacrifical board to the fence to keep the blade from being too close to the fence. Had help on the outfeed side steadying it and also someone on the right side (wide side) helping to apply pressure against the fence. I cut it just wide of the dimemnsions needed and then sanded it to the line with a belt sander.. Made the cut from the hinge side after removing the hinges. Then morticed the hinges back to the door. I marked the locations before cutting so I could reattach them back to the exact position they were to begin with. CC

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Tell him to do it himself.
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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