Trimming doors

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by GeoffB, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. GeoffB

    GeoffB Member

    I need to take a few mm off some internal doors to get them to fit. This just a one off job so i don't want to invest in expensive tools that i won't use again, i was thinking of using a wood plane however there are a big choice available, is there one that is better suited to this type of job, or is there an option i haven't mentioned.
  2. ibanezman

    ibanezman Member

    Depends how many mm's you're taking off. I had a similar job to do recently and had about 5mm to take off, so as I don't have a table saw, fixed a straight guide on to the door and ran my circular saw along it - then finished with a normal hand planer.
  3. jonfoy

    jonfoy New Member

    Hi. is it a solid wood door. if so just mark all the way round and cut with hand saw making sure to keep straight. keep checking as u go on both sides. even if it takes u longer because u going slow it saves u buying something u wont use again. then give it a sand down to make sure it smooth and striate and cant pluck the carpet.
    if it not a solid door. u will find that the is a peace of wood in the bottom creating the frame take it out and cut the door as above and then replace the wood and make secure.
  4. ilikethislady

    ilikethislady New Member

    Best bet, circular saw

  5. GeoffB

    GeoffB Member

    Thanks jonfoy

    Unfortunately I need to take it off the side and not the top. Thought about sawing but it is less than 5mm which i think is too narrow and will just end up fraying along the edge and end up coming off in fragments. No it is not a solid door to make matters worse, its one of those moulded doors from the diy sheds.
  6. ibanezman

    ibanezman Member

    How many mm's is it? If you have a circular saw, you really can get quite a fine cut with it - to the point where you are cutting virtually no more than the depth of the saw blade. You can't do that with a hand saw of course. The doors that I worked on were also the moulded ones from the sheds and this worked.
  7. was dunc before

    was dunc before New Member

    depends on the door. with solid wood a planer or router gives a neat finish. both of which you can hire.  most cuts feather off to nothing so a saw or circular blade will leave a rough edge.   with the composite doors there may be staples which destroy your cutters and blades.  with routers you need trestles, straight edge and clamps.  with planers a door holder.
  8. GeoffB

    GeoffB Member

    I have three doors to fit and the amount that needs to come off ranges from 2-5mm. The house is quite old and virtually every door frame differs in size.Again i have a jigsaw but i dont think that is right for the job.
  9. was dunc before

    was dunc before New Member

    a jigsaw will mess them up
  10. snezza31

    snezza31 New Member

    Geoff B,

    Do you have a Router?

    If so, just set up a staight edge on the door, and a couple of plunges later, you will remove the excess material and it will be as clean as a whistle. No saw marks, no rough cuts and nice and square. DO NOT USE A JIGSAW, it will leave a c r a p finish.

  11. Systemmaster

    Systemmaster New Member

    I am no expert but have had some problems in trimming doors

    1) In older houses don't assume that the door is square - some of mine were out os square and one door frame was bowed in in the middle - Check the fit before you cut.

    2) Check the door - solid ors are OK but newer less expensive doors tend to be hollow - so there is a maximum you can cut off them before they fall apart

    3) Check the doors - solid wood are OK but newere doors have wooden blocks fitted on the hinge side (they are marked when new), and a block set for you to fit locks and handles etc. Make sure you mark which side is which (re-using a door you will see which side is the hinge and which the lock.

    4) Make sure the frame is solid. One of my doors I was working on hanging it and having problems then I realsied the frame was loose and moving. IF necessary screw the frame to the wall to make it secure and to straighten it up if it needs it

    5) Many doors have some sort of pattern, pannels or something. SO to keep it looking right you have to cut a little of each side of the door - not all of one side or the door will look terrible and off centre.

    6) I marked mine with a pencil line - and used a hand plane I got at the local tool store which cost £19 - hard work but I did it

    Hope that helps

    PS the other option is find a local chippy (carpenter) and get him to do it !
  12. mof

    mof Member

    Dont suppose there are many old timers like me who remember the days before power tools on site, we used to axe the doors with a hatchet to within about 3 mm of finished size then finish off with hand plane, sounds very rough I know by todays standards but all we had was a "Bass" full of hand tools inc brace and bits. Luckily not many doors needed that treatment only the ones going into non standard openings. Ah the good old days plugging the walls for skirting and door frames with your plugging chisel.
  13. jeznotts

    jeznotts Member

    sorry man but if you are really that old school, and you used an axe for fitting doors then you must be as rough as * NEVER would you use an axe on a door, and for all the other 'advice ' on here, well i'm amazed, to the op, hire a carpenter as this simple task will become very tedious, and frustratng without good instruction, if you can't get it.

    Message was edited by: Screwfix.Moderator 1
  14. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Yeah, and when the carpenter has gone, you can re-adjust it and make it fit properly yourself!!!

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  15. jeznotts

    jeznotts Member

    ha! thats right mandy coz a carpenter would just leave the door not operating correctly, wouldn't he!, then to be messed with someone handy who hired the carpenter in the first place, because the diyer could't do it himself!
  16. was dunc before

    was dunc before New Member

    I had a 'small' job making doors meet the inspection approval. They were all original just too small, for the frames that were fitted. So I had to trim off enough to then rejoin enough to make into new doors. which took several days, up and down stairs etc. routering in fire strips and self closers etc. But they passed inspection. Looked nice when painted.
  17. mof

    mof Member

    Why dont you read what I have said, that was in the days before we had all these power tools on sites and I said we used a hand plane to get to finished size. How would you go on without electric drills, planers, etc, just think!!  How would you go on if left in a house with only hand tools and told to fit skirting, doors, windows etc.
  18. was dunc before

    was dunc before New Member

    I have pared down a solid door with a large spoke shave, then finished by hand plane. A lot depends on how you can work the door. that means how its held, space you have to work in, etc.
  19. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    My sister in law asked me to go and sort out her new interior doors, all of them.

    I fkn laughed when she told me that a carpenter had fitted them.

    Hinges not cut in flush, catches the same(scraping the striker plate). Some couldn't be closed at all. Uneven gaps around the doors, rubbing the carpet. Stiff handles(bar not central in hole). Screws not done up tight etc etc.

    Which carpenter, I thought!!

    Karen Carpenter ? (There's a Kind of Hush)

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  20. jeznotts

    jeznotts Member

    i come from an era without the power tools, so what made think that what you said was unusual was why would you, all those years ago, have doors that were so big you just couldn't get the jack plane on them? axes are for making propeller wedges, as you know ,for fixing door linings into brick work, and preparing for fixing skirtings, with cut nails, of course! i did read what you said and it sounded like a load of bull, but then you may have worked for a council at the time.

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