Hanging Old and New Doors!

Doors that creak and do not hang properly can be the subject of much irritation. Whether rehanging an existing door or hanging a new one, a careful scheme of operation is necessary, or the door may not hang properly, catch and be difficult to close. A door should fit correctly, with the minimum of gap, if it is an outside door.

Doors are usually hung so that when they open they screen the room from both view and draught. A door must have a clear, all-round allowance for expansion in wet weather.

For an outside door, leave a clearance around the top three sides and at least 3mm at the bottom. For an inside door, the average clearance is about 2mm at the top three sides and 6mm at the bottom.

Panelled, solid doors have more movement than doors using man-made boards, which are more inert. Leave a new door in a room for about 48 hours to adjust to humidity.

Cutting to Size

To protect a door in storage and transit, the stiles, the long rails, are made over-length and project beyond the end of the door at top and bottom. These extension pieces are called ‘horns’ or ‘joggles’ and have to be cut off.

It is best to leave these on, to protect the door from damage, until you are ready to hang it. Lay the door across trestles and cut these off flush with a hacksaw, finishing with a block plane.

Most doors have to be adjusted to fit the door frame. This is done by planing or ‘shooting’ the door. A home-made support can be made up to hold the door while the edges are being planed, consisting of a piece of 75mm x 50mm timber about 510mm long with an angled notch about 40mm deep and 50mm wide in it. A large wedge, about 255mm long, secures the door when placed in the support.

An alternative to using trestles and the support is a unit such as the Workmate portable bench, which can double for both and provides lateral support when planing, since the bench contains an integral vice along its length.

When shooting the stiles and rails, use a long plane, such as a jack plane; shoot from either end, as this will ensure an accurate line, free from hollows.

If the frame is out of true when the door is offered up, the door may have to be scribed to fit. You may have to wedge the door up into position with plugs at the bottom while you are checking the fit.

Once the hanging stile is a good fit against the jamb, the opposed stile should be planed. This edge must have a slight bevel on the inside edge of the non-hinged or lock stile to fit properly. A door about 50mm thick requires a bevel of about 2mm.

Next, fit the head of the door, testing the fit with the hanging (hinged) stile in position. Allow a little less clearance above the lock stile than the hanging stile, since the doors tend to drop in time, partly because of wear on hinges.

Fitting at the bottom on an outside door depends on the type of step or whether draught extruders or weather seals are being fitted.

Exterior doors are best hung with what is called a ‘kick’. This means that the door, when opened, is slightly out of vertical, which increases the clearance at the bottom.

This is often necessary for porch floors, which may have a slight fall in the direction of the door. The kick is achieved by slightly varying the amount by which the hinges are recessed.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hanging Old and New Doors!


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