I have a back door that apparently was not put in square. It is a big
door. a fake door on each side and the real one in the middle. SOmeone
suggested shimming the hinge side so the gap is smaller where the door
latches. Can anyone explain how to do this? WIll I need to buy a router
to route hout" the hinge side? I am thinking of putting a 1/4 inch
board on the hinge side of the frame to push the door over that far.
How do I ensure the door is lined up properly when I put it back on?
On 31 Aug 2005 09:05:52 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
When you're taking about shimming, a router isn't going to do you much
good... Take a good hard look at the door. If the gap is at the top,
you need to shim the bottom hinge. If it's at the bottom, shim the
top hinge. But before you shim anything, check to make sure the
screws have not come loose on any of the hinges, and lift up on the
door to make sure there isn't any slop. Sometimes it's a really easy
fix like tightening a couple of screws.
To shim the hinges, get yourself some thin material that will hold up
to weather. Sheet metal, plastic, treated wood or even the shims you
can buy at the hardware store for under a buck will work for this. A
shim is just a thin sliver of something for the hinge to sit against.
Try a couple of different sizes by loosening the hinge screws, sliding
the shim underneith and retightening the screws. You're done when
you're happy with the way the door fits. Simple, but not always easy-
you may need a helper to hold the door steady if you're working on the
top hinge. You may need to trim the bottom or top of the door once
the hinge is shimmed if it is rubbing. The easy way to do this is
with a circular saw or a power planer, but a belt sander or hand plane
will work as well. It's well within the reach of anyone who cares to
do it, it's just kind of putzy work.
You only need a router if you're excavating a mortise, which you'd be
doing if you're installing a new door that is not pre-hung or if you
prefer that to shimming out for some reason. You can also mortise a
hinge with a chisel, and it's usually faster and easier than messing
around with the router unless you're doing four or five doors. To
mortise with a chisel, define the edges of the cavity by holding the
hinge in place and tracing it with a pencil, then set the chisel on
the pencil lines and give it a little tap to cut the fibers or the
jamb. Peel up bits of wood using hand pressure on your chisel (a
hammer is liable to cause the chisel to follow the grain and split a
big splinter off the jamb if you're not careful) If it won't cut with
hand pressure, sharpen the chisel until it does- a dull chisel is a
dangerous tool. Start from near the center line of the mortise, and
work towards the edges until you reach the desired depth (usually the
thickness of the hinge material, but with a door that is not square,
the depth needed is anyone's guess) and then work carefully to
flatten the bottom of the cavity. Hold the hinge in place to check
it, and maybe make a little dimple with a center punch to give you a
guide for pre-drilling the screws.
If the holes for the screws are stripped out, fill them in with bondo
or epoxy and redrill them.
Keep at it until you're happy with the result- if you cut too deep,
shim it back out, if it isn't deep enough, get the chisel back out.
Good skill to develop!
The gap is actually the entire latch side. There is about a 1/4 inch
gap at the worst place. I was thining of installing a 1/4 inch board on
the entire hinge side to "move" the dor over.
If that's the case, that's a lot more than I would want to shim. If it
was me, I would remove the door casing on the latch side, and remove
and reposition the jamb 1/4" closer to the door. This would require
cutting 1/4" off the end of the upper jamb and stop.
Ahh, I didn't catch that from the original note. Yes, that is slightly
more of a problem to fix nicely. Any chance you can detach one of the
fake doors and move it over a little bit to take up the gap? Barring
that, probably just do what Rico suggested, and glue on a thin strip on
the latch side.
Why would you put the filler piece on the hinge side? It's _far_ more
work than putting it on the latch side, and no real benefit. Buy some
lattice molding of the correct width - basically a flat thin strip of
wood - perfect for your application. You'll have to cut a mortise for
the strike plate, but that's really simple to do with a razor knife,
chisel and hammer. No need for a router. Make sure the piece fits
correctly before attaching it permanently. Cut it to fit. Put it place
and mark for the strike plate(s). Remove and cut mortises. Test fit.
Then glue and nail the strip in place.
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