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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,084

    Default So You Think You Can Install A Door

    Here's a question for all you hot-shots around here.

    How do you replace a door slab when the opening is hour-glass shaped and there's no straight or square point of reference?

    Details:
    1 - The "X" axis is hour glass shaped, meaning the center of the door is narrower than the top or bottom.
    2 - The "Y" axis - front to back - show's plumb.
    3 - The existing door was a former dutch door, meaning two halves and four hinges. The halves were permanently connected into one door, but the 4 hinges remain.
    4 - The replacement door panel is a full glass door with a 6" wood perimeter.

    Limitations:
    You only have a 48" level, measuring tape, and plumb bob to work with.

    Bonus question: How long will it take you to install the new slab into the existing opening with the existing hardware, and how much do you charge for your services?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    Unless the hinge pins trace a Euclidean line, they will bind. That problem is the hardest to surmount. To get them into a line will require deeper mortises in the proud spots, shims under the hinges in the low spots; meaning that the center hinges in the door's edge will not be mortised at all, but on spacers so they align. Those same hinges will be sunk correspondingly deeper into the jamb, so they line to the top & bottom hinges. Those ones have to be plumb to each other too, not canted to the curvature of the jamb. The remedy of course is to use a rabbet plane to straighten the hinge side jamb and true it up. May be possible to add tapering shims to the jamb and straighten it that way. But at the very least the hinge side has to be true or you get into the goofy mortising to maintain a straight hinge line.
    The odd shape can be graphed by shimming the door blank into place against the opening and tracing the outline, test and repeat.
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    Or you can treat the door like the curved, oddly shaped rear doors on a van. In that case, the hinges will need to be special so they align themselves in a straight line.

    Charge? I'd pay to see it done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    Amateur here, but I fail to see any issues. If the previous door was opening correctly with the hinge alignment and you are keeping the same hardware, i would think its the same as installing any other door. If standard practice is to properly square and plumb a regular door, the same would apply. With the angled sides in this case, top corner to bottom opposite corner should still match the inverse, showing the opening is square. Additionally, the top left length of the jamb should match the top right length, same for the bottom. This would help identify any skew in the side angles.

    Thus practically the same amount of time and cost. Only my opinion.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    I thought of another way: strap & pintle hinges. They have enough slop in the action and are conformable to weird jamb situations as described.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    Put up a curtain rod and use an old blanket?

    If this is an exterior door, use a shower curtain liner or visqueen instead. Add duct tape in windy or rainy conditions.

    I'm assuming that the jamb is not removable, otherwise you'd just pull it out rehang the whole works straight, level, and plumb. As others have stated, the hinge pins must be colinear (sharing the same axis). You might find it easier to install just two extra-heavy-duty hinges rather than trying to align multiple hinges on a curved jamb.

    P.S. -- That's a pretty limited set of tools. No hammer, screwdriver, chisel, or utility knife?
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    first question did you get a call to do this and are stumped?

    the first thing that i would do is fix the old dutch door together with metal strips or strapping locking the two halves together making it one unit

    from there i would make a template from the old door to use and trace onto the new door yet keeping the new door about 1/8" or 3/16 larger. from this the hinges can now be put on based on the template or by making a story pole off of the hinge locations on the jamb itself. now put the hinges on the new door and hang the door in the jamb... after this fine tune the fit by scribing the door to the jamb and plane to door to the fit...

    or do the intelligent thing. remove the door casings. cut the jamb free and replace it with a new jamb which is square, plumb and level. this will easily cut an hour off the time it takes to fit a new door to a out of wack opening
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    You don't.

    You sell the client a new frame and slab and rip it all out starting from ground zero.
    Otherwise you will charge them T&M for custom onsite milling to custom fit their new slab into their out of square opening and make it work as best as possible in their out off square door jamb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    Spruce,

    Can one bring a pocket SWISS ARMY KNIFE w/25 attachments and bypass the limitation?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: So You Think You Can Install A Door

    only if macguyver comes along for the ride dj
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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