Resizing front door - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-13-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Resizing front door

Hey guys,

I have a bit of a newbie question for y'all.

I'm trying to replace my current external front door with a second hand/reclaimed one instead. Problem is, my current door seems to be unusually short in length, 192cm.

So to stop further time wasting I have decided to buy a door with a more standard length of around 197cm and take a bit off the top and bottom using a circular saw to get its size down to the 192cm I need.

How might this impact on the structural strength of the door and are certain types of door better suited for this kind of work than other types?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 06:04 AM
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size

I was sleeping that day in school. Could you convert the to inches.
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post #3 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 06:25 AM
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about 2"

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/length_conversion.php

Depending on the width of the bottom rail...10" - 12" I'd take most or 1 1/4" off the bottom. Look at the hinge locations for minimum disruption. JMO bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 06:29 AM
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Just be sure that you do not buy a door that has the lockset hole(s) already drilled and the hinge locations already cut out.

George
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Just be sure that you do not buy a door that has the lockset hole(s) already drilled and the hinge locations already cut out.

George
Good luck finding a blank "used" door...
Quote from OP:
I'm trying to replace my current external front door with a second hand/reclaimed one instead. Problem is, my current door seems to be unusually short in length, 192cm.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnray View Post
I was sleeping that day in school. Could you convert the to inches.
http://www.france-property-and-infor..._converter.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dod View Post
Hey guys,

I have a bit of a newbie question for y'all.

I'm trying to replace my current external front door with a second hand/reclaimed one instead. Problem is, my current door seems to be unusually short in length, 192cm.

So to stop further time wasting I have decided to buy a door with a more standard length of around 197cm and take a bit off the top and bottom using a circular saw to get its size down to the 192cm I need.

How might this impact on the structural strength of the door and are certain types of door better suited for this kind of work than other types?

Thanks in advance
Depends very much on what type of door it is. On a rail-and-stile door it's normally not a problem to cut off 2.5 cm (1") on each end.
Also a solid core door would be fine. In some doors the core is made of corrugated cardboard and that could be a problem. The rails are often quite thin and if you take off too much the core will be exposed.
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Just be sure that you do not buy a door that has the lockset hole(s) already drilled and the hinge locations already cut out.

George
Please explain why that makes a difference, George.

Learning more about tools everyday
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dod View Post
Hey guys,

I have a bit of a newbie question for y'all.

I'm trying to replace my current external front door with a second hand/reclaimed one instead. Problem is, my current door seems to be unusually short in length, 192cm.

So to stop further time wasting I have decided to buy a door with a more standard length of around 197cm and take a bit off the top and bottom using a circular saw to get its size down to the 192cm I need.

How might this impact on the structural strength of the door and are certain types of door better suited for this kind of work than other types?

Thanks in advance

Before you do any cutting, take a good look at the existing door and how it sits in the opening. Look at the gaps all around and the clearances when opening and closing.

If you buy a used door, it may have been cut, so, I would remove the existing door, make a note for the positioning of the bevel, and lay the new door on top of some sawhorses, and lay the old door on top, aligning the hinge edge and the top corner of the doors (on the hinge side). With the doors stacked like this, you can transfer marks for hinges, the handle and lockset.

Then just look at the rest of the edges...how the tops are together, if they stay flush, etc. If the old door sat in the opening just fine, then use it to mark the new one. If it's only the height, I would take it off the bottom edge.








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post #9 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 07:10 AM
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Please explain why that makes a difference, George.
They may not line up with the existing mortises, and striker location.







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post #10 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 08:33 AM
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They may not line up with the existing mortises, and striker location.







.
Whenever you reuse an old door, always assume nothing will line up. That just goes with the territory.
I do lots of them and I don't even consider hinge or mortise location.
I'll always work around that.

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post #11 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 08:44 AM
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Yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
Whenever you reuse an old door, always assume nothing will line up. That just goes with the territory.
I do lots of them and I don't even consider hinge or mortise location.
I'll always work around that.
The only consideration would be if the door comes with the lockset.
Then you all you have to do is work around the striker..no big deal.
If the new or existing lockset requires a little paring here or there then also no big deal, but if it's radically different, then a major drill and remortise project after filling the original mortise. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-14-2011 at 09:53 AM.
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-14-2011, 09:00 AM
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x2

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post #13 of 21 Old 10-15-2011, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your answers guys

Suspected there would be more to it....
Haven't bought the door yet, wanted to know if it was a good idea cutting a door to size before I went ahead.
There are a few things to consider, type of door it seems is very important so the fact I dont have it yet complicates things even more,

In that case, any suggestions what type of door would be suitable for the chop?
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-15-2011, 04:22 PM
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traditional construction

Using solid or laminated sidess(stiles) and horizontal members (rails) will be good. The bottom rail is typically much wider than the top, so taking off the 2" from the bottom will be best, it just won't look "right"JMO. An inch off both the top and bottom will keep the proportions in harmony...JMO.
A solid core door with moldings "applied" would also be OK, but as was mentioned you can't see how far up inside the hardwood rails run and you may end up making them to thin, in which case take equal amounts off the top and bottom.
I have even shortened steel faced, foam core doors. Also modified 2 steel shop doors which had started to rust and replaced the bottom 10" with Pressure Treated wood inlet and up into the steel.
Traditional construction:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-19-2011, 05:15 PM
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I think it is a bad plan for you to look for a used door.

As woodnthings said, you will have to work around the lockset. So when looking for a used door you really need one with the correct swing so that the backplaned edge is going the right way. If it is going the wrong way, by the time you re-plane the edge the the right direction , the lockset hole will be 1/4" too close to the edge of the door. By the time you do the hinge side, assuming the original door was even backplaned, the total width of the door will have shrunk up by 1/2 and inch.

If someone had scribed the old door - or your current door - you will shrink it up even more.

As someone who has built hundreds of doors from scratch and hung many hundreds more, I would know what to look for in an old door before buying it , and also know when the juice just ain't worth the squeezing.

To make it way, way easier on yourself, I would try to find one that has neither been bored nor mortised for hardware (ie. a new one that you like). Then you can scrilbe it in so it will fit your opening, mortise the hinges and hang the door. Then re-check it, and when you are satisfied, bore and mortise for the other hardware.

That way, if you screw up, or if it takes longer than you thought (which it will if you've not done this before) you can re-hang the old door and secure the house.

If you don't, and you are married, you will probably be outside in your pj's twice an hour all night long checking on every stick and leaf your wife heard falling or rustling around in the yard.

Cheers,
Jim

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Last edited by clampman; 10-19-2011 at 05:30 PM.
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-19-2011, 05:46 PM
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I think it is a bad plan for you to look for a used door.
There are used doors, and then there are doors that sell for used prices that are virgin. Our local Habitat For Humanity Re-Store has all kinds of doors, and some haven't had any machining done at all. It's worth checking them out if there is a store in your local area.








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post #17 of 21 Old 10-19-2011, 07:57 PM
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Please explain why that makes a difference, George.
Because a door with those items already fixed may not fit into the same locations as your old door.

What I am trying to say in a rather round about way is to stay away from a used door.

George
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post #18 of 21 Old 10-19-2011, 07:59 PM
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There are used doors, and then there are doors that sell for used prices that are virgin. Our local Habitat For Humanity Re-Store has all kinds of doors, and some haven't had any machining done at all. It's worth checking them out if there is a store in your local area.











.
Habitat For Humanity is a great organization. And as Cabinetman says they have many new condition items that have been donated to them.

They get all of my no longer needed material, supplies and tools.

George
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-19-2011, 09:28 PM
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metric dimensions here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dod View Post
Hey guys,

I have a bit of a newbie question for y'all.

I'm trying to replace my current external front door with a second hand/reclaimed one instead. Problem is, my current door seems to be unusually short in length, 192cm.

So to stop further time wasting I have decided to buy a door with a more standard length of around 197cm and take a bit off the top and bottom using a circular saw to get its size down to the 192cm I need.


How might this impact on the structural strength of the door and are certain types of door better suited for this kind of work than other types?

Thanks in advance
Since there has been no response yet from the OP, I'm wondering if all the advice to go to Habitat for Humanity may be out of his geographic area...possibly a Canadaian, UK or Australian location? Just wondering...where are you located?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-20-2011, 12:10 PM
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Good point Woodnthings. He's either not from the US (using centimeters) or is very young.

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