The things we do for friends. Cutting down doors.

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A couple of things to remember about cutting doors.
If these doors are pre-drilled for a lockset, do not trim the latch side of the door. The backset is usually 2 3/8 (sometimes 2 3/4 for comercial) but there is no such beast as a 2 1/8 latch.
Be aware of the bevel and cut that on the door if necessary. If the door is predrilled and the edge of the door is square, you can still cut a bevel as the backset is measured from the high side of the door.
If the door is prehung and you cut down the width 1/2" off the hinge side, be sure to mark the piece you are going to cut off so you can transfer the hinge mortise position to the newly trimmed section.
Hinge side of the door is square, latch side has a bevel.
As a locksmith I have seen some real cock-ups when people have trimmed doors.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Once again thanks to the wreckers who replied to my question. Some comments on your replies:
0. He and his wife are not just good friend, they're very good friends.
1. He tells me they are new solid pine doors. He bought them not knowing that his jambs were undersized.
2. It was just a smidge irritating for him to specify how he wanted them cut, but OTOH they *are* his doors. A quick price check found interior solid wood doors running from $200 up. I figure if the job goes badly it was his pick of methods so he takes the blame. (See #4 below.)
3. He will be "assisting" me, probably at the outfeed end.
4. I'll be telling him in earshot of SWMBO that if the job gets botched and the doors ruined it's his dime, not mine.
5. I agree with one of the OPs that the biggest concern is feeding the door straight at the beginning and end of the cut.
6. I don't know why he's against using an electric plane. I bought mine (Bosch) for exactly that purpose. I don't have a hand plane yet, being a Normite that's trying to pick up some Neander skills.

--
Vince Heuring To email, remove the Vince.

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If you are still planning to cut them on your table saw, consider adding a board to your rip fence to extend it's length toward the infeed direction. It will help you considerably when starting the cut to get it straight.
--
Charley


"Vince Heuring" < snipped-for-privacy@dimensional.com> wrote in message
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:44:51 -0700, Vince Heuring

My personal experience with an electric plan is that they are really good for making wavy surfaces from flat surfaces. I would use one to put a bevel on the strike edge, but not to remove 1/2" - it is just too easy to bugger it up and too hard to get it right compared to the TS or circ. saw.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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wrote:

Mine has treated me well when used for this sort of thing. I wouldn't use it to take 1/2" off either, but it's been pretty handy at taking 1/16 or 1/8 off. I'd take the bulk off with a circular saw and then hit the edge with the power plane.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 15:51:22 -0500, Mike Marlow wrote:

My first experience with an electric plane showed that taking of 1/2" before you know it is no problem at all. But then, I only needed to remove about 3/16". So I had to cut it straight on the table saw and glue a strip back on. I then used a hand plane to bevel it. Luckily, it was a slab door which was going to be painted.
--

Luigi
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
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wrote:

A couple things to keep in mind as you wander into this turf...
If these pine doors are panel doors (flat or raised) with rails and stiles I'd be concerned that taking the whole 1/2" off one edge might make the door look odd--one "wide" stile and one "narrow" stile. I'd think it would be more noticeable the narrower the door. If deemed noticeable, and if the door slabs are not already bored for the lock set, it would then make sense to take some off both edges. I'd be inclined to scribe reference lines down the length of each edge and use the power plane given that you are now talking about 1/4" of removal and not 1/2".
Also, the lock set edge of a door is generally not square to the face of the door. Rather it is planed at a slight angle to give relief as the door swings open and shut. The door stop hides the gap introduced by the angled planning so there are no aesthetics issues. The door slabs I've purchased did not have this clearance angle so I'd check for it on the object slabs.
Have fun!
John
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:44:51 -0700, Vince Heuring
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

I actually _can_ understand his fear of the electric plane. You can make a big mistake fast with one of those.
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On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:44:51 -0700, Vince Heuring

I assume the new doors are blanks with no butt pockets or bore and probably no bevel on either side. There will be a lot more to installing these doors than getting them cut to size. He will be very lucky indeed if his existing jambs are plum and level. If they are not there will be some fitting required and you may have to get your electric planer out anyway. If he is currently happy with the fit of the existing doors then you're halfway there assuming the existing doors are square.
I've done this job more times than I'd like to remember and I won't do it without my jointer on the site.
Mike O.
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So build yourself a jig.
Rip a 1"x96" edge off MDF or hardboard sheet and don't wory about accuracy. Screw the edge to the sheet a bit over a saw base width from the previous cut, with the nice factory straight edge facing the waste line. Don't wory about accuracy. Support the whole thing and run your circular down the length with the base against the guide.
You now have a nice saw guide to do long accurate cuts. You can repeat to make shorter guides that are easier to maneuver, to make angled cuts, etc.
--
<a href="http://www.poohsticks.org/drew /">Home Page</a>
In 1913 the inflation adjusted (in 2003 dollars) exemption for single people
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"You can tell me WHEN, or you can tell me HOW, but you can't tell me BOTH!
Joe
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dave@N_O_T_T_H_I_S.balderstone.ca writes:

That would be my response. Since the wives are such good friends, the way to ensure they remain such good friends is for him to hire a door specialist to do this, or take the doors back and purchase the right size.
This is like moving a piano . . . don't ask friends to do it, hire the pros and always keep the friends.
The best that can happen is that all goes well; the worst that can happen is the wives will become not good friends and you will get the cold shoulder from yours for a while. It just isn't worth it. Doors are cheap compared to friendships and a lot easier to come by.
I cannot imagine asking someone to do such a favor and then telling him how to do it. He thinks he knows how to do it, loan him the tools and tell him you'd feel more comfortable with him doing it since he knows how he wants it to be done. Tell him nicely, but do it and do it firmly.
Just my opinion.
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote in
<snip>

Evidence that even the pros screw up is available down at the door shop. In their bone pile. At $15/door. Or less.
Patriarch
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Glenna Rose wrote:

Wise words. Friends don't help friends move pianos. I don't feel like telling the tale for the umpteenth time, but Google remembers how my friend's piano wound up road pizza.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Unless the door does not have rails, like solid or skin doors, 1/4" should be taken off each long side. If you take 1/2" off one side it will be very noticeable. Make a straight edge for the length out of a thin panel ( masonite or 1/4" plywood) fasten a straight edge to it.Leave the masonite a little wide at first. Saw thru the masonite keeping the saw against fence. Now the masonite edge is the cut line. Do not have to cut wide, saw to dimensions needed. Then either take a swipe with a plane or hand sand the saw marks off. If you use a decent combination blade ,sanding will take one minute or less. No one in their right mind would saw the door on a table saw.You can be hurt , think about it, old door probably with paint. Unwieldy to handle,at least 1 3/8" thick. If the blade binds , your in trouble. If your friend does not want the door cut this way, give him a Delta, Jet or Grizzly catalouge, let him buy his own tools.
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You can get some kind of 8' straight edge to guide the saw for the lengthwise cut, or assuming the exisiting edge is straight, clamp a guide fence to your circular saw such that the blade will cut off a little less than 1/2" and clean up with a plane.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcast.dot.net writes:

Oh, I know the pros can also screw up. (Boy do I know it! It's how I came to remodel my kitchen myself, can't trust them to build a base cabinet 34 inches wide because stock 36 inches won't fit, so the b*****d built it 36 inches wide, "because it's standard" which left my very expensive wood I had bought worthless to me! If a pro cannot get *one* cabinet right, what would they do to an entire kitchen?! It's been 20+ years and I still burn when I think about his arrogance, at my expense. Why in the he** would I have paid that kind of money for wood and pay him to build it if I could buy it at the store for much less than his fee, not counting my wood cost? grrrr I was *very* specific in telling him the maximum width was 34 inches because it had to fit into a space 34-1/4 inches wide. The result was a couple of years later, I remodeled my kitchen and had absolutely beautiful select white birch cabinets with formica covered shelves, and which fit the space with no shimming in a 90-year-old house. So the guy actually did me a favor in the long-term. I learned to tear out lathe and plaster, install fire stops, insulate, hang sheetrock, mud, tear off linoleum, use a commercial floor sander, lay vinyl, string wire, all of it, most of which I'd never have learned if he had done the job right. Sadly, I didn't take any photos of the kitchen when it was done, something that still astounds me. The house, home of 23 years, was a casualty of the separation and someone else benefits from those fine cabinets, never being able to appreciate the way it was before.)
However, back to the doors, if the pro screws up, it doesn't cause hard feelings between friends. It's just not a job that is wise to do with friends, especially more than one door.
If the pros damage them, they replace them and you get to bitch to your friends who empathize rather than become not friends. My point was the friendship is more important than the doors.
Glenna

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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote in


I was agreeing with you. Still do. Nice kitchen story, though.
Patriarch
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writes:

I think my response to him would have been you did a fantastic job on the 36 inch cabinet, but as I ordered a 34 inch cabinet I need to know when it will be ready?
If he tried to argue that 36 inches was a standard, then I would have said but 34 inches is the standard I specified.
If he didn't buy more wood at his own expense and re-do the cabinet promptly I would perhaps ask him if he had a preference of another cabinet maker that would deliver the requested product as he will be the one asked to pay the bill.
What was the final outcome of the dispute?
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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snipped-for-privacy@nospamsyix.com writes:

Trust me, he knew I was furious about it. (And he *didn't* do a fantastic job past it being the wrong size.)

I don't think he was capable of doing it right, quite frankly. He put the doors on cross-grain. What kind of idiot does that?! (and the prettiest grain on the inside when I had specified which was to be the outside *and* marked the edge of the wood with a pencil so stating "outside")

Unfortunately, he was my boss' brother-in-law so that went nowhere. They merged companies shortly thereafter and I was without a job. Neither was a great loss. Working for a remodeler was a good fit for me, but not that remodeler! (My boss of 20+ years would have made him do it right, family or not, difference in people.)
As I said, if he'd done it right, I'd never have learned all that I learned. As you know, there is no greater satisfaction than doing such a project as remodeling a kitchen and being totally satisfied with it. A lot of my male acquaintances were laughing about "a woman" doing such a thing. Those who saw the finished project told the others they were fools for laughing at me. Life does have its own rewards sometimes.
Prior to that project, all I'd made was a few bookshelves, a sewing supplies cabinet, and one overhead cabinet, so this was a major deal.
Eventually, I'll remodel my current kitchen, but it is very workable now. It's still the mid-forties kitchen originally built, but lots of counter space (compared to the other one) and all in one room! The other one was not, sink was in a separate room, no lie, like a pantry and just as small, hence the 34-1/4" opening for the sink base. Living 13 years with that kitchen made knocking out that wall a pleasure beyond description. :-)
It had a turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) sink, the old -time sink, low rim, high back, with two holes for water faucets (and outdoor type faucets). The kind that they sell in antique stores now. LOL Some people might want to pay big bucks for them, but that one was so cheerfully sent to the dump. Of course now, it might be nice to put in the garden for washing veggies before bringing them in, lots of spill factor with those low sides.<g> Maybe it could have become some yuppie garden art. (See, I may not be a yuppie housewife, but I can joke about it, though I'd never, ever bring that sink back. Taking care of a family of five and all the dishes generated to be washed there was not fun. I tried to be grateful at least I had running water and a drain, but 13 years was 15 years too long. And that was a house we bought that we planned to live in only two years at the most, yeah, about 21 years understated. But there's something to be said about actually owning, as in no mortgage, your own home.)
Right now, my biggest problem is having too much to do and too many interests to pursue. And I have a male friend who wants me to meet his neighbor who is widowed three years and "a nice guy." I asked, "Does he do yard work and home repairs?" Like I have time for a guy in my life right now. It's actually great to be at this point now since the first few years after my son's death, not only did I not look to the future, I didn't even want there to be one. It's a world that has come almost back to normal. It's not so very long ago that I would have bet the saws would never have been used again and almost gave the power tools to my middle son. The only reason he didn't get them was he lived in a duplex and no place to use them. He now has a house and workshop area, but no time to do it and a mom who is selfishly keeping her tools. They do, however, love the bookshelves I made them for Christmas and are looking forward to more. He has even asked for a wardrobe for the girls to supplement their bedroom furniture (and 6-foot long closets!). Joat posted a web page that has what looks like exactly what he has in mind. He'll thank Joat for not having to draw the plans himself.
Glenna
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