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
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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
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.
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.
"Vince Heuring" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
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.
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.
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.
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
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.
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.
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,
<a href="http://www.poohsticks.org/drew /">Home Page</a>
In 1913 the inflation adjusted (in 2003 dollars) exemption for single people
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
What was the final outcome of the dispute?
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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.
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