How to Repair Doors
There are many jobs to repair doors which come within the scope of the home handyman, and a well-fitting, smooth-opening door goes a long way to ensure comfort in the home.
The weight of an average door in most homes may vary from 100 lb. upward and this is quite a lot of weight to be supported on two hinges. It is not difficult to understand why this weight and the constant movement of doors places considerable strain on hinges, causing doors to sag. If a door is badly fitted, the first consideration should be given to the hinges, and it is quite an easy matter to exert pressure against the edge of the door to see if the hinges are loose, or if theholding the hinges have loosened, which is most often the case. A hinge may easily be reseated by removing screws and replacing them with new screws of exactly the same gauge, but 1/4 in. longer. The new screws should be lightly oiled before inserting them and only one should be replaced at a time. Unless the condition is very bad this should effect an immediate cure. If, however, the news screws do not grip firmly in the old holes, the -hole should be plugged either with plastic wood or with fibrous plug material of the type used for plugging walls. To give the filling material sufficient time to harden the doors should be half opened and a wedge inserted under the door to support the weight on the hinges.
In the case of a hinge which is cracked or very badly worn and so sloppy at the joint, the only remedy is to replace the hinge with a new one of exactly the same size, securing the new hinge with screws of the same gauge but ¼ in. longer than those removed.
Easing Doors that Stick:
Doors that jam in their frames do so because the wood on the door or the frame has swollen, warped, or has become encrusted with multiple layers of paint.’ If the latter is the case the best treatment to ease the door is to clean the old paint from the edge of the door and the meeting part of the frame. Paint may be removed with a solvent or with a blowlamp.
If, however, the wood of the door has swollen, which sometimes happens, it will be necessary to ease the jam by removing a few shavings from the edge of the door with a smoothing plane or a hook scraper. It should only be necessary to remove a few very thin shavings to effect smooth closing and handymen should take care not to cut away too much of the edge of the door, which may shrink at some later date. Only sufficient wood should be removed to allow the door to close easily. The exact position of the friction may be determined by inserting a sheet of carbon paper between the edge of the door and the framework. When the door is closed the carbon paper will mark the jamming wood at the exact spot.
There is nothing much that can be done to straighten out a warped door, but the condition can be alleviated by simple alteration to the framework to prevent the entry of. A door closes against a thin piece of wood which is nailed to the framework all round on the inside. The thin strip of wood, which is known as the ‘stop’, should be removed by gently easing it away from the framework with a thin-bladed tool — a wood chisel will do for this. With the stop removed the old should be pulled out with pincers and the door closed. The stop should then be replaced to fit snugly against the edge of the door and renailed to the framework, using oval nails of a length equal to double the thickness of the stop. The heads of the nails should be punched just below the surface of the wood and the paintwork should be touched up.
Cracked Door Panels:
If the crack is not extensive, the damage can easily be repaired by using a patent filling powder of the type for repairing cracks in plastered walls. Theshould be mixed in the usual way, but the wood should not be dampened before applying the . A putty knife is used to press the wood filler firmly into the crack, where it should be left to thoroughly harden before sanding the repair level with the surrounding surface and then retouching it with paint of the appropriate colour.
If the panel is badly cracked it may be replaced by a new one of the same size and thickness. To replace a panel it is necessary to ease off the moulding from the framework of the door. This should be done with extreme care to avoid damaging the moulding and the best material for the replacement panel is resin-bonded.