So I am doing some more work at my parents house, and I noticed the
front door needs a major repair. Its quite the old door, came with the
house. I am not very skilled with the process, but I am a fast
learner, and I can fabricate quite a lot. All around the locking
mechanism which shows in the pics below, the wood has been broken due
to an issue with the latch sticking and getting caught pushing and
breaking both ends.
I can fix the lock and such, and I could just rig that wood, I dont
want to rig it though. A permanent fix would be best, so I was
wondering is there a way to replace that whole vertical right side
portion of wood without screwing up the door to badly? Probably not
after all these years im sure those dowels and what not have set pretty
well. Any response would be gratefully appreciated.
If you're talking about replacing the whole stile (vertical edge piece
at the lockset), that's a big job and it's probably not worth doing.
If it's not structurally compromised, and maybe even if it is, you
could glue it back together. Adding a few counterbored and plugged
deck screws or lag bolts through the side of the rail would add
strength and clamp the glue up. Once the door was refinished it'd
probably look and work as good as new with far less work than replacing
On 23 May 2006 07:19:42 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I can't see the entire picture, but it looks like you might be able to
glue and clamp the bit splitting off at the edge. I'd use a nylon
band with ratchet clamp, and with a square plastic corner brace to
guide the nylon band. For the inner split [at least it looks like a
split to me] I'd possibly try the glue you insert with a hypodermic
for full entry into the split, then bar clamp that closed. Again, I
can't see the whole picture, so I could be wrong.
What I can add, since I've done a ton of it, is how to remove the old
stain/varnish. I was able to take mine outside [Doors, door trim,
baseboard ...the lot] and use trisodium phosphate [TSP]. Dump a blob
into a tin of water to supersaturate; enough so that some will not
dissolve. Apply with a cut-down cheap paintbrush to keep it fairly
stiff. Let soak a few minutes, applying more if needed. Then give it
a good scrub. Do a small area at a time. Hose off with the garden
hose. Let dry.
If you were not concerned about keeping the old crappy brown varnish
look, you could do some filling with body filler, then paint. My
front door is now a nice light brown paint, matching the inside foyer.
I believe I would rip about an inch off (or however much it takes to get to
undamaged wood) the full length of the damaged side and replace it with the
same type of wood. Glue it on using Titebond III or a poly glue like
Gorilla. Once it's glued on, I doubt you will need any more support like
dowels and such. If you can find similar wood the repair could be almost
invisible after it has been refinished.
Finding similar wood may be the trick but have you any idea how many old
doors have been stuck in attics, out in garages over the rafters or stuck in
the cellar and left for years and years.... Look around the house or even
ask a neighbor who may have replaced a similar door years ago but kept the
old one for "just in case".
With the hardware removed from the door, you can cut the length of the door
using a straight-edge board and a 7-1/4" circular saw, or if you have access
to a table saw, it would be even easier. Just be sure to tape the glass ( X
each pane) to make sure the glass doesn't rattle when cutting the wood. I've
ripped wood off large old picture windows and never broke any glass on my
tablesaw. A piece the size of a door does get awkward to handle for an
individual so be sure to have a helper. Do a dry run to make sure everything
works as planned - then make the cut. You will need to probably tape a shim
or two on the door in spots to keep the door flat to the table if using a
tablesaw because of the raised trim around the panels but other than that
you shouldn't have any major problems.
Just another idea,
As a locksmith, Isee this kind of thing alot. To remove the lock, first
remove the trim. The knop on the inside has a set screw (or 2) and will
probably unscrew off the spindle. Once you remove the knob you will notice
that the spindle is in two pieces. One will pull out and the other has a
little hook that catched inside of the hub.
On the face of the lock body (Edge of door.) you can see 4 screws. The top
and bottom screws are wood screws and the two that sit side by side just
above the lock bolt are set screws. You only need to loosen the one on the
right side about 2-3 turns. Insert the key into the lock about 3/4 of the
way in and unscrew the cylinder. The thumb turn on the inside of the door
is just screwed into the wood, but the shaft goes into the lock body so this
has to be removed before the lock body can be slid out of the mortise.
The grip handle probably can be left on the door.
I would glue the split as my first choice, but sectioning in a new piece is
possible. If you were going to section in a piece be aware that the edge of
the door is beveled. I think I would try and dovetail in the new section if
that was the route to take. I think the minimum thickness I would use would
be 3/8 and try to find a good straight grained piece of wood to make the
If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, what does this say about the
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