My wife just asked me to cut off 1/2 inch off the bottom of a door in the
hallway. I never done that before, so I know I would screw this up. At least
I'm smart enough to ask here for help. I only have a 10 " table saw, so what
I like to know, what saw blade do I need. The door is pretty cheap, hollow,
and of course a solid piece on the bottom. Probably still solid even if I
cut of about 1/2 inch. Which way do I put the door on the saw table. My
thought was inside down, and I hope it leaves the front part of the door
un-splintered. Did I remember right, do I tape across the front part? Or was
it the backside. Any help is appreciated..........peter
I'm no expert at this... But I think one of the things to do is put some
kind of very fine blade in the table saw and put tape on both sides of where
you are cutting to avoid messing up the luan by splintering it.
Joe - V#8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com
Thank you for your help....I think I better get a new blade then. Is the
carbide tip blade the best one to get? How far do you recommend the blade
should be above the door. I've heard different stories. For safety reason I
heard maybe just a little above the door, but for better cutting and
smoother cutting maybe more. As you can see, I have some facts, but not what
is right and what is recommended for a good cut or for safety for that
matter. I can just see myself screwing this up, no joy for Christmas, that
is for sure. I think my wife wants me to screw up, so she doesn't have to
get anything for me. :-) ..............Peter
I usually scribe the bottom of the door to the floor while it is still hung.
Rough cut with a jig saw or a circular saw and then clamp a straight board
on the line and finish with a router bit and ball bearing guide. That way
the door is parallel to the floor.
I'd recommend buyind a cheap circular saw of any kind before trying this on
a table saw.
The stores have them under $30 and one sees them at yardsales now and then,
as well as in pawnshops. Run the circular sae against a guide and it will
do well. Of course it's perfectly doable with a handsaw too!
Thanks Wilson and Max, I have every saw imaginable. I guess I'm a collector,
instead of a user. I always thought that one day when I retire I will use
all that stuff. Well, now is the time, but I never learned how to use these
tools. So a circular saw is better then using a table saw? I actually can
see the point here. Knowing me though, I will scrape the door, and still
screw it up. I better tape the whole door, well at least the part that the
saw travels on.. .........Peter
Test with your straight edge and circular saw on a piece of scrap so you
know exactly where the kerf will be. Put some masking tape on both sides of
the door as has been suggested. Carefully lay out and score the luan with a
utility knife thru the tape on both sides to keep it from splintering. A
gentle touch is best here...better to make several light passes with the
utility knife rather than one heavy cut that wanders away from the straight
Lay the door flat on sawhorses, a table, etc., and clamp your straight edge
very carefully so the kerf will just barely touch the bottom side of the
score, not inside it at all.
Measure twice...or three or four times...and cut once. Good luck.
I prefer to use the circular saw with a finish blade. If you have
difficulty cutting a laser straight line, use a rip guide or straight edge
to make the cut. Make sure the bottom of your saw won't scratch the door
all up, if necessary use tape on the foot of the saw. --dave
Thanks Dave, I feel a little easier already. I guess taping the bottom of
the saw is the preferred way to do it then. How many teeth for a finishing
blade, if you can tell me that..........I better not start on this until
This is not a job for a table saw. At least not for a basic table saw,
which I would assume you have and basic skills which I assume you have, by
the nature of the question you're asking. You'd be far better served to buy
a plywood blade for a circular saw and clamp a straight edge to the door and
cut it off that way.
Scibe the bottom of the door to the floor (door closed) with a pair of
compasses or dividers while still hung. If you don't have these then use a
small piece of planed timber with a pencil on top.
Open the door and check your scribed line - if the floor runs up the door
will rub or the floor covering so allow more for this if necessary. Place
the door horizontally across two sawstools and run a stanley or similar
knife down the line to be cut on both sides. If it's just the one door you
may as well save your money and use a handsaw.
Cut on the side of the line that's to be cut off (hope that makes sense)
carefully and a little at a time. Keep turning the door over and cutting a
little at a time from both sides (this avoids going off the line). run a
plane along the finished cut (hold the plane at a 45 degree angle to avoid
splitting) Or put some medium grade glasspaper oround a block and rub along
to remove any roughness.
Stand back smugly and hand your wife your christmas wish list!
Pete, don't even think about cutting a door on a tablesaw.You will
bind the blade ,screw up the door and maybe hurt yourself. Buy or
borrow a handheld circular saw. Put a 40 tooth combination blade in
the saw.Clamp a straightedge to a scrap first, make a short cut,
measure setback from staightedge to saw base. Clamp a straightedge to
the door with the correct setback.Tape the top surface where the cut
line will be ( I do not tape, score or anything else, but that is for
another discussion).Set saw base depth for 1/4" more than door
thickness. Make your cut, make sure the base rides along the
Now your done, take a piece of sandpaper and lightly round the sharp
edges you just cut, this is called breaking the edge. Paint bottom of
door, this seals the freshly cut surface. This is a must on an outside
door, usually skipped on interior doors.
Don't even *think* about doing this on the table saw. Unless you have a big
saw, and a big crosscut sled, there's no way you're going to get a straight
cut. Doors are just too big and unwieldy to try to cut in that manner.
Instead, you want a pair of sawhorses, and a hand-held circular saw with some
sort of guide. The edge guides made by the saw manufacturers will work, but
you're better off clamping a wide, straight board across the door and using
that to guide the base of the saw.
To minimize splintering:
a) use a good, sharp blade, with a high tooth count
b) put masking tape along the cut line, on the upper side
c) cut with the inside face of the door up, so that any splintering that does
occur, will be on the inside.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
Thanks to all of you for these important tips. I knew I had to ask here. I
would have attempted it on the table saw, guaranteed. No more though, the
advise I got here was so important. Many thanks for the detailed
instructions, just what I needed. I will go to Sears and get myself a 40
tooth (at least) circular saw blade, and do the marking, the proper taping
and proper position of the table. I noticed one of you mentioned the Router,
I have one of them as well, (collector) and never used it either. I never
imagined that you can cut with a Router. To be honest, I probably try the
circular saw. I do however appreciate the Router input. I never used my
brain so hard trying to absorb all of this information. Then I never ran
into a more supportive wonderful group of people then in this newsgroup.
Damn, I'm proud to be an American today. (3rd Armored Division ) I know it
sounds above and beyond, but it's just how I feel. Bless you guys for being
One other suggestion -- with the circular saw, cut off a little _less_
than the required amount, then use a hand plane to get down to the exact
You'll end up with a much smoother, cleaner, bottom on the door that way.
Admittedly, it's not like anybody will *see* it, in normal use, but _you'll_
On a serious note, it's advantageous, for a couple of reasons. For interior
doors, an even 'somewhat' rough bottom will collect dust, carpet hairs, etc.
And, you'll get a better fit against threshold weatherstripping, if -that-
If you (the OP) don't have a hand plane, and don't want to fiddle with
learning how to sharpen and tune and fiddle with them to make them work
just for a little one-off project, then I've found doors are a great place
to use those Surform planes Stanley makes. It's kind of like a cheese
grater for wood. Not much good for fine woodworking, but they're good for
stuff like this. I especially like to use one if I'm tuning the fit of a
door that's been hung for awhile. In case there is any grit or other blade
eating stuff embedded in the wood, I'm not tearing up a Scarey Sharp(tm)
mirror polished precision plane iron to shave a little clearance and get
the door to stop dragging on the rug.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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