Sticky situation, in more ways than one:
In my apartment, I have really cheap hollow core doors. I moved here in
February, and the knucklehead who does the painting for this apt complex
sprayed the doors with oil paint, and then opened the windows for two 25
degree days to "vent out the fumes". Needless to say, the paint feels sticky
all the time, regardless of humidity. I guess it never cured correctly.
To make matters worse, my bedroom door is already about 5mm too big for the
frame. I like to close it in the morning because my significant other
doesn't need to wake up until 2 hours after I do. But, because it sticks so
badly, it makes a racket when opening or closing. The landlord doesn't see a
problem, and won't fix it. Meanwhile, this morning, the GF got stuck in the
room and I had to open it the way SWAT teams do on TV. This is a safety
I have a circular saw and I'm thinking about trimming the door slightly. My
initial thought was that since I've installed plenty of lock sets and
deadbolts, I'd trim that edge, but obviously, that won't work. The trimming
might lead to having to move the doorknob slightly inward, which would leave
some of the existing hole exposed.
That leaves the hinge side. This looks obvious: Some trimming, followed by
some very careful chisel work, and I should be in business, assuming I leave
enough of the existing hinge cutouts so I can follow their outline. Right?
What "murphy's law" horrors am I not aware of yet, in terms of woodworking?
(The legalities are another issue).
Make a long story short, I had to trim 4 doors about 3/8" each. Used a
hand held electric plane. I think that 5mm is too much to sand evenly.
Hand (non-elec) plane would do well _if_ you are good with such things and
the blades are sharp. My only problem was that someone lent me the
inexpensive/consumer plane w/ no instructions and I could not figure out
how to start at one end of the door edge -- not real pretty there. But,
once I got started the rest was smooth and even. If convenient, you can
rent one for 4 hours at a tool place or even a Home Depot.
If you do use a circ saw, suggest strongly that you clamp down a 1x2 as a
guide and hold the saw against it.
On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 17:32:15 +0000, Doug Kanter wrote:
If you have a gap between the frame and door on the hinge side, you may be
able to move the door in that direction by moving the hinge pins.
Sometimes this can be accomplished by loosening the hinge screws on the
jamb and slipping a narrow cardboard shim under the hinge away from the
hinge pin and re-tighten the screws. This has the effect of moving the
hinge pins and therefore the whole door. If this method doesn't buy
enough movement, try chiseling out the jamb side of the hinge mortices to
accomplish the same thing. Then there's always the old scrap hunka 2x4
and maul method to move the whole jamb a little on both sides. Cutting
the door should be the last resort.
I don't know how your rough opening is framed. If it is wood, I would
first unscrew one hinge leaf at a time from the jamb, drill a hole for
a wood screw so that the hole in the jamb is larger than the thread
diameter but smaller than the screw head, and see if you can pull the
jamb tighter to the rough framing. This follows the least effort
If that gets you almost there, I'd cut along the edges of the lockside
stop with a utility knife, so that the paint won't chip when you go to
step two - which is removing the stop. Once the stop is removed you
can pull the same trick on the lock side that you did on the hinge
side - the screw heads will be hidden when yo replace the stop. You
must be careful not to pull the frame apart at the head when doing
this (although a caulkable gap may be preferable to rehanging the
If the door must be cut down, remove the door and look at the top or
bottom to make sure that there will be enough wood left after cutting
to maintain sufficient structural integrity. Hollow core doors are
usually framed with thin pieces of solid wood and will become unstable
if too much of this is removed.
Tom Watson - Woodworker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
: Sticky situation, in more ways than one:
: In my apartment, I have really cheap hollow core doors. I moved here in
: February, and the knucklehead who does the painting for this apt complex
: sprayed the doors with oil paint, and then opened the windows for two 25
: degree days to "vent out the fumes". Needless to say, the paint feels sticky
: all the time, regardless of humidity. I guess it never cured correctly.
: To make matters worse, my bedroom door is already about 5mm too big for the
: frame. I like to close it in the morning because my significant other
: doesn't need to wake up until 2 hours after I do. But, because it sticks so
: badly, it makes a racket when opening or closing. The landlord doesn't see a
: problem, and won't fix it. Meanwhile, this morning, the GF got stuck in the
: room and I had to open it the way SWAT teams do on TV. This is a safety
: I have a circular saw and I'm thinking about trimming the door slightly. My
: initial thought was that since I've installed plenty of lock sets and
: deadbolts, I'd trim that edge, but obviously, that won't work. The trimming
: might lead to having to move the doorknob slightly inward, which would leave
: some of the existing hole exposed.
: That leaves the hinge side. This looks obvious: Some trimming, followed by
: some very careful chisel work, and I should be in business, assuming I leave
: enough of the existing hinge cutouts so I can follow their outline. Right?
: What "murphy's law" horrors am I not aware of yet, in terms of woodworking?
: (The legalities are another issue).
If it is a safety issue take it back up with the landlord. IF you cut the door
and the landlord does
not approve of you doing it say goodbye to your deposit and possibly more.
If you make a mess, you'll have to buy another door, or lose your damage
deposit, whichever is cheaper.
I have a lot of hollow core doors here that someone did an incredibly poor
job of cutting to allow more clearance for the new, fluffier carpet they
installed. I've found a great many of them have needed touchups.
No one has yet suggested what I consider the *best* tool for this job. Hand
planes are great if you have the patience to keep screwing with the iron
until it's sharp, and properly adjusted. It's an art, and there's a pretty
significant learning curve. For lazy people who don't do enough plane type
stuff to justify the study time, Stanley makes a Handy Dandy Fantabulous
product called a Surform plane. You can get them at Lowe's in the US for
about $6, though I have no idea how you'll fare finding one in whatever
country you live in. (Canada?)
It's a lot like a fine-grained Bondo file, if you've ever done any body
work. Sort of a cheese grater thing under tension. I know the fine
woodworkers here are cringing at the thought of using one of those things,
but I love'em. They do a very good job in this particular situation
because they have dozens of tiny little cutters making individual shavings.
There's a lot less tendency to splinter the door. Done well, you can get
by without sanding. Done poorly, you'll wind up with a lot of little
grooves to clean up.
Good luck with the landlord. In spite of the bad drainage, the termites,
the midew, the rotten wood, the poorly-laid roof, the bad gutters and
myriad other problems I have with this place, I'm sooooooo glad to be a
homeowner. Renting sucks. Landlords especially suck. I fscking HATE
Anyway, if this sounds like a good idea to you, and you can't scrounge one
up, I can mail you one from the US should it come to that.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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