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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Angry sagging exterior door

    My solid wood front door has sagged out of square. Note the door is plumb and the frame is plumb and square. Anybody know how to square up the door?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    Note that this cannot be fixed by tightening hinge screws

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    612

    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    I am not exactly picturing the "sag" if the door is plumb. Is a picture possible (or a thousand words)?

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    3

    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    Good question. Door sides are plumb but top is not level. Due to weight of solid six panel door the shape is now trapazoidal - verified by checking with a framing square. I don't see a noticeable gap in glue joints though.
    Hope this clears up your question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    Depends upon the type of door construction.

    New-ish door or old-ish door?

    Mortise and tenon joints, doweled or ??? (If thru-tenons this should be easy to see on the edges of the door)

    In any event, it's almost certainly gonna require taking the door down and onto some sawhorses to work on it.

    You could probably make some notched wood blocks for two corners to protect the wood while you span a clamp diagonally and pull it back into square........but then how to hold it there? Against gravity, no less....and long term, too.


    Depending upon age of door, etc......I'd likely at least try to tap it apart with a heavy rubber mallet or a "dead-blow" hammer. (Pad door to prevent dents, of course.) A method that works well is to securely clamp short pieces of 2x4 or simlar on either side of the style and then tap on those. Or you can do the same on both top ends of the styles and reverse the fixture on another clamp such that it pushes instead clamps. Push the joint apart instead of hammering/tapping it apart.


    It might come part fairly easy or.....it might offer much resistance requiring much patience....... or it might not want to come apart at all. Gonna depend upon a number of things, not the least of which is what type of glue was used to assemble it. If an old door assembled with hide glue, dribbling very hot water over/into the joints will eventually soften the glue and allow for disassembly. Steam can work too if you have a handy source (wallpaper steamer or similar). One potential problem with that approach though is that the water/steam can swell the wood making things tighter instead of looser. It all depends. If the wood swells tight from the moisture, it should then compression set. When it dries out again, it should be looser........like a hammer handle left out in the rain. And you might end ruining the finish and having to refinish.

    Impossible call from here as to what may or may not work best.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 12-06-2007 at 09:20 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    612

    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    I have the picture now. GH pretty much covered it, good luck. Let us know how it goes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    0

    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    Remove screws at top of jamb and door.Place wooden dowels in each hole,using small drill bit create starter hole,level door as close as possible with help and reset screws in both door and jamb.Repeat these steps for each hinge on door and jamb.Problem should be solved.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    Remove screws at top of jamb and door.Place wooden dowels in each hole,using small drill bit create starter hole,level door as close as possible with help and reset screws in both door and jamb.Repeat these steps for each hinge on door and jamb.Problem should be solved.I got the solution from ideah of toothpicks and matches,they were not tight enough.Thanks to one of the posts

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,558

    Default Re: sagging exterior door

    Quote Originally Posted by jiminnc View Post
    Good question. Door sides are plumb but top is not level. Due to weight of solid six panel door the shape is now trapazoidal - verified by checking with a framing square. I don't see a noticeable gap in glue joints though.
    Hope this clears up your question.
    What you are describing is generally an indication of glue failure and will require disassemble of the door, clean-up, and re-gluing. Don't glue the panels.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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