Saturday, April 9, 2011

29 7/8 is not 30...

So the boys had pretty much made a mess of their bedroom door thru their antics, using it as punching bag when they got angry and generally being turds when it came to the door.

The outside was the better face, the back side had the top two squares beat in.
So I pulled it off of the hinges, drug it into to the garage and with an idea from a DYI mag started stripping it down so I could use it to map the hinge mortises from the old door to the new one.

Believe it or not, you cannot get two doors to lie face to face if one still has what's left of the doorknob still attached. Important tip that...

As I have a pretty nifty hinge mortise bit for my routers and an equally nifty trim router, I thought a quick little jig to cut the mortise on the door would make short work of this project. So I cut the first template out of 1/4 hardboard as that's pretty good stuff for templates and such right?

Well that would have been right IF the mortise on the door was deeper. Futz. On to jig two. This time out of some left over 1/2 in poplar. Mounted to a left over chunk of 1x2 oak this made a pretty sturdy and dependable jig. It made short work of the three hinge mortises, couldn't have been happier with that! But what's that sense of foreboding I have in the pit of my stomach then?

That materialized when, after turning around the middle hinge (they don't match up so well when they're backwards...), I realized what was bothering me. The door I bought is 30" wide and the door I was replacing was 29 7/8" wide. At that point it might have been a mile. Well FUTZ! I can't run it thru the planer (as appealing as that idea was...) and the table saw option (that came to me later) might have worked, but shaving off a blade's width from the "showing" edge of the door didn't sound like a good idea.

So I unpinned the hinges (As nice and symmetrical as the spread of normal hinges are, how the @#$!%^&!! do you get something under the bottom one to pop it out. Me, I'd make it look wonky so I could maintain it better.) and brought it back out to the garage and broke out my bench plane. Not a plane for hogging of huge amounts of wood, I settled in for some quality with with it as a peeled of one tight curl of wood after another. I measured as I went and when I finally got down just below 29 7/8, back to see if it fit. FUTZFUTZ. It's binding. Back to the garage.

By this time Tina came down to see what I was up to, and noticed that my planing was less than square, like WAY out of square. FUTZFUTZFUTZ. Ok, learn by doing I guess. Broke out the trusty combo square and checked regularly to make sure it squared up.

All done with that and a good thing too, my arms had just about had it. I wasn't keeping any real pressure on the plane and wasn't tracking straight either. Let's hope this is it.

Back in the room the door get hung again (for the last time today...) and YAY it does close!! But the handle and latch plate aren't in just yet. So I finish attaching the hinges (self centering drill bits are THE BOMB!!), and mount the handle and latch plate.

Well it does close. Not a nicely as I'd like. It's binding at the latch plate and that will mean some work with a chisel to make it fit the mortise better, and some touch up work with the block plane on the door wouldn't hurt either.

But for now it closes, and looks a whole lot better. Can't say as much for the shop tho...


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