I just got a call from a friend wanting me to "help" him cut down three
doors. He wants to remove about 1/2" from each dimension, both width
and length. Ugh. I'll use a clamping guide and a circular saw to cut
the width, but cutting the long side is another story. He doesn't want
me to use the circular saw freehand, nor does he want me to use a
hand-held electric or hand plane. So I guess it's going to be an 80"
rip on the table saw. Ugh^2.
I plan on using rollers for infeed and the outfeed table for the
outfeed side. With maybe a roller beyond that. Any helpful
suggestions beyond, "get a new friend"?
I'm confused. A friend imposes on you for a favor (OK, that's what
friends are for), and then he insists on dictating which tools you use?
Perhaps he has an opinion on how you should be dressed when performing
this favor, or what brand of beer you should serve him while doing it?
Anyway, it doesn't have to be an 80" rip. Take the 1/2" off the bottom
first, then it's just at 79-1/2" rip :-)
Yeah, that's what I'm not getting too. I'd cut it down to within 1/4" to
1/8" or so of the line with a circular saw, then plane it to the line. If
the friend wasn't happy with that idea, I'd tell him to cut down his own
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Make a cutting jig for the length cut. Use a piece of 1/2" X 4" X 80"
plywood glued onto a 1/4"X12"X80" piece of plywood. The 1/4 piece should
be wide enough so that your first cut with the saw foot against the 1/2 ply,
you'll cut off some of the 1/4 inch ply.
When you cut the door, mark your door for the cut and then clamp your jig on
the door so the edge of the 1/4 inch will be on your marks. Your blade will
cut exactly along the 1/4 ply and make a perfectly straight cut.
Much easier than the table saw! :-)
You could always set the door on a set of saw horses, draw a line 1/2" from
the edge along the 80" length and hand you buddy a Disston rip saw.
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
Won't he let you clamp on a guide and use the circular saw to cut that edge
down as well? Just out of curiosity, why doesn't he want you to use an
electic plane or a hand plane?
I'd cut it a little fat on the table saw because you really have a very
small amount of fence guiding your door in the early and the late stages of
the cut. In particular with the beginning of the cut, you have a lot of
leverage at your disposal and it would be very easy to tweak your cut a bit.
Cut it a little fat and you can touch up the edge with a plane afterwards -
or with sandpaper if the neighbor won't let you use that plane.
IMO the TS is a *lot* easier to rip a half inch off a door than any
other tool you could use. I would have someone on the outfeed side to
help catch the door/guide it onto the roller stands, and wouldn't
bother with a stand on the infeed side. A door is a piece of cake
compared to a full 4/8 sheet of plywood ;-)
Oh, just a note on roller stands - if they aren't lined up right they
will guide your piece in or out, lousing up your cut. DAMHIKT
I would prefer making the cut with a circular saw. If the door is old, it
is probably out of square, bowed, twisted, whatever. Not ideal for TS work.
You can perform a surprisingly accurate rip with a circular saw by
'pinching' the table with one hand and running those pinched fingers along
I would however tell my friend that if he knew how it should be done he
should do it himself.
Sounds as if anyone comes up with any alternative ideas, you need to run
them past your "friend", at which point I'm betting he nixes them. I
think your best course of action is to get a new friend. If you don't
cut them to his satisfaction is he planning on billing you for replacements?
Vince Heuring wrote:
If he's concerned about chip-out, use the circular saw with a guide to
take off all but about 1/8", placing masking tape on the out-blade side of
the door. Then, using a 1/2" upcut spiral bit in a router and a guide,
use the router to produce a smooth finish.
Now we'll just use some glue to hold things in place until the brads dry
This may be advice you don't need but when cutting the length be sure
to score your cut line anywhere it goes across the grain. On a plain
veneer door this will be all the way across. This will prevent tear
out from the blade.
I think you could rip them on the table saw easily enough but you will
still need to clean up the cut with a jointer or something. If you
have access to a jointer you could make several passes to get your
If you have to rip them with the table saw be sure to have the friend
tail them for you. That way at least you can share the blame if
something goes wrong.
I'd use a straight edge and a router. Maybe becaue I have a straight
edge and a routerbit that you'd need.
In either case, I'd take it off the hinge side, and have your buddy let
the hinges back in. Don't take it off the lock side.
The best way to do this is with a circular saw and an edge guide, on the long
side as well as the short side. That's not using the circ saw "freehand".
Tell your friend that if he wants you to do the job for him, you're going to
do it in the manner that seems best _to_you_ -- and if he thinks he knows more
than you do about how it should be done, he's perfectly free to do it himself,
with his tools.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter
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You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
Using a guide is not the same as freehand. Done properly it should be a
OTOH, maybe this is the excuse you need to build a nice outfeed table.
Making an 80" rip should not be a problem with a decent setup.
Since your friend is bringing the doors to you (he is, isn't he?) and
insisting on a certain setup, I'm sure he will be there to lend a hand.
I've used both a circular saw with guide and also a table saw for this
kind of job. Both were easy and gave a good result, after hand planing for
detail. Watch for scratches in the face of the door if you use either, and
use tape or backing of some type for tear-out. If the door jamb is bowed,
the circular saw may give a better result. I didn't notice much difference,
though I don't pay a lot of attention to minor imperfections. Although you
could cut from the hinge side with a somewhat better result, you would need
to recut the hinge plate sites with a router or chisel. It would probably be
less work to cut from the latch side, as long as the door nob hole is not
already drilled. If it is, it may be easier to work from the hinge side,
although there is some tolerance for door nob hardware distances -- check
the door nob hardware directions.
I just finished cutting down a door for a friend and ripped it on my new
Craftsman saw with the Biesemeyer comercial fence. An easy cut to make with
some help. I clamped a sacrifical board to the fence to keep the blade from
being too close to the fence. Had help on the outfeed side steadying it and
also someone on the right side (wide side) helping to apply pressure against
the fence. I cut it just wide of the dimemnsions needed and then sanded it
to the line with a belt sander.. Made the cut from the hinge side after
removing the hinges. Then morticed the hinges back to the door. I marked the
locations before cutting so I could reattach them back to the exact position
they were to begin with.
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