Thursday, April 28, 2005

New closet door

I have a new closet door! Installed even!!

Guys who do this stuff for a living will buy a special template to use with a router to cut the recesses for hinges on a door and a door frame. Since I don't do it for a living I did mine the old fashioned manual way. I carefully lined up the old and new doors and transferred the hing locations onto the new door. Then I held a hinge leaf in place and traced around it. Carefully, I scribed the lines with a razor knife, then slowly deepened them.

The next step was to chisel out the recess, but only to the correct depth. So, on the old door I set a chisel into the recess and marked the depth on the chisel with masking tape. Using this chisel and a mallet I tapped a "grid" into the wood and pried out all the little pieces...approx 1/16" square pieces. Then using another chisel I smoothed it all and test fit the hinge leaf. When I was satisfied I did the second hinge recess the same way.

Next I marked the door for length using the old door as a guide. MANY guys have messed this step up by marking from the bottom up, then triming the top of the door instead of the bottom. Since I knew of this mistake, I didn't make it. Using a circular saw I trimmed the door. That "exposed" the next little item, which was an opening at the bottom of the door, due to it being a hollow core door. Basically, I had cut off the solid part, which was necessary to make this door look like it's twin, since the closet has a double door opening.

I used scrap wood to fabricate a patch for the bottom, then fastened it in place with nails and a finish air nailer. That leaves little impressions to be filled in. I installed the hinge leaves and hung the door. It looks "pretty good" but can be made a lot better by paring a little more wood from the top hinge recess. 10 minutes work and the door should be great.

If you look closely you can see that the two doors on the closet are different. They are the same style...colonial, raised panel, hollow core doors. But one is over 30 years old and the other is brand new. Apparently the design has changed slightly. With paint and the door handle installed, I don't think anyone will notice. But if it bugs me enough I will change out the other door to have a perfect match.

The room will be finished after I paint this door and do some touch up baseboard work.


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