Hanging an internal door - complete beginner questions

I want to change one of my internal doors for a part glazed one and I've seen a glazed pine door in Wickes (Downham) that I like (and can afford).
The new door is 1981x762mm and the existing door is 1962x752mm so obviously I'm going to have to take 10mm off the width and 19mm off the length.
What would the best way of doing this - I'm fairly sure I won't have a tool for this - could I hire something or should I be buying something?
Any advice would be helpful
thanks
S
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You need only a hand saw for the bottom of the door and a hand plane or electric planer for sides of the door. No special tools needed. You can buy this gear MUCH cheaper than renting.

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Bitstreams wrote:

Too much for a power planer - unless you have all day. Circular saw is the tool for the job. You really need to take an equal amount from each edge/side. So 5mm from each edge & 9.5mm from top & bottom.
Circular saws come with a rip fence & most (but not all) will adjust to the ammount you require. Whatever you buy, check that the fence moves close enogh to the blade to give a 5mm edge cut. Don't even think about trying a free hand cut.
Support the door securely so it doesn't move about. Adjust the fence to remove whatever. Adjust the depth of cut so the teeth of the blade just protrude below the thicknes.
There is quite a lot of work involved in changing a door. You need to rebate the hinges, cut a mortice for the latch & rebate it etc.
--
Dave
The Medway Handyman
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On Jan 25, 11:16 pm, "The Medway Handyman"

Make yourself a wood miser saw board http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm
MBQ
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On Thu, 25 Jan 2007 23:16:16 -0000 The Medway Handyman wrote :

A better approach IMO is to clamp a straightedge (e.g. an 8' length of Contiplas) to the door and use this as a guide to run the saw along - before doing this check on a scrap piece to see what the offset from the edge of the guide to the edge of the cut will be: it's 101mm on my circular saw. You can remove 1-2mm using this method. It will also work with a HD router of course.
The danger of relying on the rip guide (don't ask me how I know this <g>) is that when you get to the end the guide comes off the door while you are still cutting and there's a risk of the cut turning in.
--
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk


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I would use a router. It will give a much nicer finish than sawing, but you will probably need one with a 1/2" chuck. If you saw, you will need to finish off with a plane. If you put a small radius on all the edges, with a router or just by sanding, any paint or varnish you apply is much less likely to chip there.
Don't forget to take an equal amount off each side. Whether to take an equal amount off top and bottom or to take it all off the bottom will depend on how much spare wood there is, what it will look like after and how close that brings you to the joints. Most door makers allow for quite a lot to come off the bottom.
Colin Bignell
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Bitstreams wrote:

If you are not sure what you are doing with an hand saw you could get into trouble. A brand new Bacho is your best bet and can you borrow a decent hand plane from someone? Look out for a cheap electric one if not.
A new hand plane is about 26, the saw is about a fiver. There isn't a better saw on the market and the Chinese make electric planers at about the same price as a good hand-plane. Or you could find a second hand quality one in the local paper
Your big problem is that with internal doors the finish is mere cosmetics and you will be taking most of the solid timber off it when you trim it. That means you have to chisel the hardboard/ply/veneer off the infill timber of the bottom rail and replace it in the skin of the door.
The same is true for the edging strips which are usually 5 or 10 mm wide. You really need to take the sides down to 10 or 20 mm under, then saw the trimmings down to remove the edging strips and re-glue them to the door, giving you back that 10 or 20 mm.
If you can't follow what I mean without a diagramme of such a door's construction, you will have a major task. If you have some idea of the pitfalls, you might swing it, to coin a phrase.
Without seeing the doors involved it is difficult to say. I would try and find a door that is a better fit or get someone in to work the project for you, as a mechanical saw is the best bet for the last bit. In fact a bench saw is the best bet.
Ignore the punter who suggested a router he sounds rather .. ahem.. No offense intended but some people here get carried away. Perhaps someone aught to carry them away.
Is there a small workshop locally that would do it? It's only an hour's work with the right kit, 2 or 3 hours with just an hand plane and a saw. But a huge project for a complete beginner.
Sorry to be the bad news bearer.
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....

He is fitting a pine glazed door, not a panel door. I've yet to see one of those that hasn't got solid timber rails and stiles, even when bought from the sheds.
....

I have the advantage of actually having had to do the same job and a router is by far the best tool. You get a superior finish on the cut and you can easily run a 3mm bearing guided radius tool along the edges, to round them off. In the end, however, it is going to depend what tools the OP feels happy about using.
Colin Bignell
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nightjar <nightjar@ wrote:

I'd say, if you're a complete beginner, forget hanging doors. Just too many ways you can bugger it up. I might investigate replacing panels in the existing door with glass though
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Stuart Noble wrote:

Not if it is a solid door. All he needs is a saw for that. OK a tape, straight edge and a pencil along with a bench to cut it on.
The door needs to clear the carpet and the head. The rails need an overall clearance of 2mm for door frame (4 for fire-doors with fury bits) plus a leading edge planed off. Do that for the top and hinge side too.
Fit the door to the frame and ignore using the old door for measurements. Try and use the old housings for the new hinges. (If you are experienced enough and the old hinge housings bead enough, scarfing them with patches might be a better bet. But you mustn't use metal fixings.
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Bitstreams wrote:

This will be made of solid wood, rather than the egg box construction of many internal doors - so working with it will be much nicer.

As you will gather from the range of replies, there are any number of ways of doing this. My personal preference would be with a circular saw and a powered plane.
Some handy tips:
Cut to the right length with the saw, but cut slightly over width (say leaving the door a couple of mm wider than the hole.
Use a carpenters marking gauge to mark the final finish width on the room side of the door. Now plane the long edges to clean them up. As you plane aim to finish with a slight angle on the finished edge, such that the room side is planed down to your line, but the frame side is planed a little deeper. Leaving the door slightly trapezoidal in cross section when looking down it form the top or bottom:
Frame side ____________________ /____________________\
Room side
(slightly over emphasised in the picture!)
This will serve two purposes, firstly it gives you a little more room round the hinge plates - so less chance of the screws binding. Secondly you can get a neater gap between door and frame without any risk of the back edge of the door catching the frame when you close it.
When test fitting the door, you can stick a screw partially into the side of it where the handle will ultimately go - this will make pulling it out of the hole again much simpler!
Once you have the final size right, use the plane set to a light cut and held at 45 degrees to chamfer off the edges of the door (most powered planes have a grove cut along the middle of the base to make this easy). This will take of the sharp corners making it safer (less likely to chop your fingers off if you close the door on them), and easier to paint (paint does not stick to sharp corners). You can sand or route a round onto the edges if you prefer.
When planing the edge of the door it helps if it is well supported on its edge while you are working. One simple way to make some supports is with a couple of lengths of 4x2". Cut a notch half way along each that is wide enough to take the thickness of the door. Cut a couple of wedges out of scrap wood. Lay the 4x2"s on the floor with the notch facing up - set the door into the notches, and use a hammer to tap the wedges into the gap between the side of the notch and the door to hold it firm. It will now stand freely and not move about while planing. Knock the wedges out to free it when done.
Mark out your hinge rebates on the door and carefully chop out with a chisel. Start by cutting into the wood along your lines, before paring off the waste wood. A few extra deep cuts across the waste bit with the chisel will make removing the waste a little easier since you don't need to take the whole length off with each pass. Keep test fitting the hinge as you go. When you have the rebate cut out, use a large nail to centre punch through each screw hole in the hinge - it makes it much simpler to get the screws dead centre in the hinge holes later.
The easiest type of latch to fit is the tubular type. These can be fitted by drilling a couple of holes with a spade bit - one through the door for the handle, and one into the edge for the bulk of the latch. You will also need to rebate the door edge for the plate of the latch.
To hang the door you can make a small "lift" - basically something to slide under the door, passing over a fulcrum. This will allow you to take the weight of the door by putting a foot on the lift. Something like and electricians bolster chisel sat over a screwdriver works well for this.
Fit the hinges to the door and offer the lot up to the frame, rather than the other way around.
When fitting the door, you ideally want to archive a nice even "penny[1] joint" gap round the edge of the door. The simplest way to do this once the door is about right, is to actually make the frame match the door rather than the other way round. You do this by removing the architraves so that you expose the wall to frame joint. You can now cut small wedges of wood that you hammer into the gap - pushing the edge of the frame toward the door. Doing this you can get a precise gap all around. Finally saw off any bits of wedge sticking out and refit the architraves.
[1] the Penny in question is one of the large old ones - so in modern currency a gap the thickness of a 2p looks about right - that's inflation for you ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.

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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Like most others, I would go with a circular saw, and finish off with a plane. A power plane is particularly useful if faced with end grain - as in the top and bottom of the vertical frame members. A hand plane is actually more controllable for fine tuning the sides.
Before you remove *any* material, have a critical look at the existing door, and note where it fits correctly and where (if anywhere) the gaps are too big. Then remove the old door and lay it on top of the new one. Centre it and mark out the size of the old one onto the new one, making any adjustments for places where the new one needs to be slightly bigger. You can then see exactly what material needs to be removed from the new door.
Whilst it is laid on the top mark the positions of the hinges and latch. These need to be in exactly the same positions on the new door so that it fit straight into the frame (assuming that you are transferring them from old to new door).
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Thanks for the amazingly detailed responses everyone. As someone has already mentioned, there appear to be several 'favourite' ways of doing this.
Questions though..
I don't have a circular saw, electric plane or hand plane. Since I need to take 19mm off the base of the door - I guess a circular saw would be best. For the sides I need to remove 10mm in total (5mm per side) - would I remove 4mm with a circular saw and then use a hand plane? Is 5mm to much to remove with an electric plane?
Options seem to be:
Electric plane only for the sides and manual saw for the bottom of the door
or
Circular Saw for the sides and base and then manual plane
(or router perhaps)
Clearly I am still some way away from a decision - could I ask for a show of hands?
S
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Bitstreams wrote:

A CC would be ideal, however if you can cut a straight line with a manual saw then a cheap hardpoint jack saw will do a plenty neat enough job of it (5 in any DIY shop).
> For the sides I need to remove 10mm in total (5mm per side) -

With an electric plane it would be easy enough to take of 5mm per side without any difficulty - even a basic one can remove 1mm per pass (although take lighter cuts for a better finish as you near the target size).

This would be your cheapest option.

Quicker and less effort, plus you have some tools left over that may come in useful later... costs a bit more up front.

If you had one already, then yes, but I would not buy one just for this one off job.

<waves>
--
Cheers,

John.

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Bitstreams wrote:

You get a pretty good finish with just a circular saw, and it's guaranteed to be square. Don't mess with a planer on this sort of job if you're a complete beginner. I still don't think it's a job to cut your teeth on....
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