Hanging internal doors

12 Jun 2007
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United Kingdom
I'm shortly going to replace 11 old hardboard faced flush doors with oak veneered Morton doors from B & Q. Can someone please tell me the best way to trim them? For example if I just need to take 3mm off the bottom how is this best done? It's too small to use a hand saw so would it be best to use a power circular saw? Or would a power plane be OK? And when it comes to trimming the edges (stiles) can I use a power plane? and if so, is it best to start at one end and go right to the other end or should I start at each end and work towards the middle? My main concern is to be able to trim the doors neatly and not damage the veneer at the edges. Thank you for any advice you can give.
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Always score the veneer with a stanley knife first if you are taking anything off the height of the door to avoid splintering. A power plane will be fine , set it to a light cut and finish it off with a few strokes of a smoothing or jack plane. As to the sides a power plane will be ok again and if it's possible to plane along the whole lenght of the door in one pass then that's how to go. Again take the bulk off with the planer and finish it by hand.
as above,BUT work towards the middle from both ends,do not run straight through as it will split out.
Thank you ladylola and gregers for your kind advice. Can I ask another one please? I'm going to fit handles on roses so is it best to use mortice latches that allow the bolt thru's to be horizontal? Or doesn't it matter if the rose fixing screws are vertical ie one above the other?
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I'm not actually sure what you mean with that question :confused: I'm struggling to visualise it as the bolt through a latch is always horizontal. Does it matter if the fixing screws are vertical ? No not really unless you simply don't like the look.
Sorry ladylola it's my fault for not explaining properly. Let me try again. The handle on rose that I'm using has a cover on either side of the door to conceal the small bolts which go right through the thickness of the door and hold the roses on either side. If I put these two bolts horizontal with one another I will have to use mortice latches that have holes through them to allow the rose bolts to pass through. But if I put the bolts vertical, I won't need pre drilled mortice latches. So my question is; does it matter whether the bolts that fix the roses to either side of the door are vertical or horizontal? I hope that's a bit less confusing. Kind regards.
if im reading it correctly,then no.it wont matter.
the idea is to tie each handle to the other throught the thickness of the door.
Thank you gregers. I asked that question because some mortice latches seem to be specially made for use with rose on handles. I didn't know if you HAD to use them. Anyway, you've cleared that up for me thank you. These doors weigh around 30kg each. I'm planning to use 3" hinges. Do I need 3 per door? or can I use just 2? I'm going for brass hinges, do I need ones with double washers to prevent the doors eventually sagging?
I'd go for three hinges, it's a much better job for so lttle extra work and they do sound relativly heavy doors anyway(half hour fire doors?)
Again go for the washered hinges , never hurts to over engineer .
Better late than never but going back to the planning of the door I would plane right up to the point where the grain changes and never plane right to the end of the door because you will split the end. Sorry its late but thats my advice :D
Thank you ladylola and northernstair for your valued advice. If I understand you right northernstair are you advising I plane right along to the point where the grain changes AND THEN start from the other end? Kind regards to all.
Yes, more than likely you will come across a grain change, this will be visable to the eye, if you hit that the timber will split badly and the plane will jam/kick back, then I would simply start again from the other side and meet myself in the middle, its always wise to scribe to the door frame with a pencil line to follow incase the jambs are out also.
One other thing if you are using a power planer. You will need to be careful at the start (and the end if the grain allows) to ensure the planer doesn't rock and dig in resulting in a shallow gouge or scallop in the edge of the door. It's all about shifting the pressure to maintain the sole plate sits firmly on the timber. It's easy to get it wrong if you aren't used to a power planer, I seen it loads of times and will admit to doing it myself in the past :oops:

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