Trimming a hollow door

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 hazard.
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).
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I say trim. Worst comes to worst you can replace the door for $20.00.
Sam

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wrote:
[snip]

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.
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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.
-Doug
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On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 17:32:15 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

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 theory.
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 door).
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.
Good luck.
Regards, Tom Tom Watson - Woodworker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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: 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 : hazard. : : 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.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

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 landlords!!!!!
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 < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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