I got new carpets fitted. As a result I need to shorten two internal
doors by *about* 1cm.
What is the best way to do this? I have a DIY book (don't we all?)
that recommends using a manual plane.
I am a complete novice at carpentry - should I be trying this? What
tools should I be using? Etc etc
Simply a hand saw, plane, craft knife and glasspaper.
The method that I would use is simply to mark the bottom of the door with a
pencil on both sides and then to avoid any spalling - score along both marks
with a sharp craft knife.
Once that is done, use the saw to cut just inside the line and holding the
saw at a fairly 'flat' angle to reduce spalling - remember to take care when
approaching the end of the cut to hold the waste and saw slowly. This is
best done using a new 'throw away' crosscut saw from one of the 'sheds' for
the reason stated under Warning below.
Once the waste is removed, clean up to and just 'take out' the scored line
with the plane and use fine glasspaper rubbed along the cut edges to take
the arris off - voila job done and rehang the door.
Warning:If they are flush doors, you have a good chance of hitting a couple
of staples holding the frame together on both edges of the door - if you
'hit' these then they will certainly blunt the saw/plane and will require
removal before you can proceed further. If you do hit these, there are
several different methods to remove them using a thin bladed, flat
screwdriver and a pair of pincers or simply cut through them with a hacksaw
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Another thing to be aware of is that internal doors are usually hollow.
Taking 10mm off shouldn't be a problem unless the door has *already* been
shortened on an earlier occasion, but taking much more off is likely to
result in losing the bottom piece of framing altogether. If that happens,
you need to get another piece of wood of the right thickness, and glue it
between the two hardboard (or whatever) skins - clamping it together until
the glue has set.
I've had no problems cutting doors absolutely straight with one of these
saws. Have you ever tried to use one? The blade is so wide that it
really can't wander off the cut. Of course starting the cut and ensuring
that it is going to go where you want it is a tad tricky but anyone who
can use a handsaw should be able to use one of these.
I think I'd take door off, lay it on table or two saw horses.
Put a fine tooth blade in the old circular saw. Measure carefully
using the distance the saw blade is offset
Then clamp a batten as a guide across the door use that to guide edge
of saw. One cm. is narrow strip but anyone handy should be able to do
it neatly. And it is the bottom of the door anyway! Not at eye level.
If that is not within capability then suggest get a reasonably
competent 'carpenter type' person to do it.
Many doors are hollow but there should be several centimetres of would
on the bottom edge
I haven't used one of these on a door but I did to trim the bottom off door
facings so that tile effect laminate(spit) would fit underneath and can't
praise it highly enough. You have to use one to appreciate how good at tool
None if you are skilled at using such machinery - like myself, a time served
'chippie' of over 40 years who's handled virtually every type of portable
power tool for cutting wood and fitted more doors and frames than I can
remember - or the *well versed* D-I-Y'er.
But if you are a novice and unsure of what to do - and the OP is that, then
it's a far better way to cut a door for the first time using hand tools -
there's less chance of taking too much off, less chance of the 'electric'
saw tilting or jamming through incorrect use - and more importantly more
chance of keeping all the fingers on his hands - or the saw 'jumping' and
taking a lump out of his thigh....
Personally, I wouldn't use any power tools to fit a simple internal door,
whether panelled or flush, hardwood or softwood - especially in my own
house - I find it quicker, easier and more accurate to use sharp handtools
and a bit of patience in taking off leading edges to get that old fashione
'penny' joint all around the door - even on a 'bent' door frame. Some thing
you cannot do with an electric saw or planer - mind you, a battery powered
drill comes in useful for drilling out the lock/latch holes on the very odd
occassions when the old hands are too sore to turn the damned bit and brace