I am looking for suggestions for a suitable plane for adjusting doors and
frames. It looks like that pre painted doors have been hung into an existing
propery with wonky frames....
Sometimes taking the architraves off and wedging the frame can go along
way to improving the appearance without needing to shoot in the door so
A Stanley No 4 is ideal for trimming doors - not so good though for sorting
the frames out - but be prepared to sharpen the plane iron several times if
the doors are heavily painted.
With regards to the frames, I presume that these are internal door linings
with 'planted' door stops (nailed on) with something like a 3" architrave
If that is the case, providing the doors (and I presume these are of the
interior flush type) haven't been 'hacked' around too much, I would be
inclined to sort the frames out by removing the architrave and the planted
stops and using a level and a good, parallel straight edge (slightly shorter
than the door), plumb and straighten the styles (both ways) along with
levelling the head - this may well involve cutting the old fixings off,
wedging and refixing as required.
Once you are satisfied that frames are a good as they are going to get (you
can't always get 'em dead right) then refix the architrave and temporarily
fit the stops in position, refit the door, easing as necessary, check the
latch receiver housing and adjust as needed and finally fit and fix the
doorstop to suit the shape of the door.
If the doors are a panelled door with 4" styles, then these are a bit easier
to refit as there is more 'meat' to play with - but do ensure that when you
finished, both stiles look as if they are of equal width - and avoid cutting
too much off them if possible.
And always remember, on painted work like this - filler and paint applied
correctly can hide a multitude of 'errors' - a joke honestly :-)
A circ saw is quicker, easier, and invariably more accurate. I've just
taken the bottoms off some painted doors after carpet fitting. Perfect
finish and no chips, despite one of the cuts tapering from nothing to 3mm.
Depends on the amount you are taking off the door Stuart and - where!
Cutting top, bottom and stiles the full length - then yes, but for such
things as bevelling the 'leading' edges for a close fitting door when shut
or around 'bumps' in the frame and floor - then you'll have a job beating
the old Stanley No 4 or No 5 with a sharp iron - especially when you have a
Clerk of Works breathing down your neck for the perfect 'penny' joint all
round on the closed door...
Put it this way. I'm not good enough with the plane to achieve anything
close to saw cut accuracy, especially with a tapered cut. I set up the
straightedge, and I know the result will be spot on. I might set the
planer to zero depth of cut if I need a perfectly smooth finish. I've
seen proper chippies do this by hand, cramped on a 3rd floor landing
with no room to swing a cat, and I take my hat off to them.
Yes, and it's even worse when you are trying to fit a 7' x 3' front door
that seemed to weigh 'a ton' - in the narrow passage of the old BISF houses
with one leaf of the 'loose pin' hinges (3no) welded onto the steel frame...
Very good advice form Brian. I'd also recommend a Stanley No:4, but
get an old one. Look to pay15-20 quid in an antique/junk shop/ebay.
The steel on the old plane irons was far superior, taking and holding
a better edge, along with a better quality adjustment. Older Stanleys
will have wooden handles, rather than the modern plastic.
If you're not used to using a hand plane, get some advice on grinding,
honing and adjusting the blade - and practice on scrap until you can
consistently produce good results.
I used my old Stanley no 7 to take 3mm off the bottom of the door that
didn't clear the carpet. We still don't use it much (the clothes airer
is usually in front of it) but at least it can be opened at need now.
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