Cutting width of interior doors

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  #1  
Old 03-26-12, 01:17 PM
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Cutting width of interior doors

Ok I have one those odd sized closet openings - 47". As you know, no one sells a 23.5" door. Currently I have sliding doors (standard 6 panel) in place and I hate them. I was going to replace with bifolds but I figured I would try to cut these to make french door styled.

My question is how much of these doors can I cut? Will I be able to cut a 1/2 inch off each door?

I realize that I can buy solid doors and cut as much as I want but why buy something when I might not have to.

Additional, if this works, can I just use stand door hinges (3 on each side)? I plan on using a magnetic catch in the middle and 2 drawer knobs for handles.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-26-12, 01:36 PM
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Once you get into it, you will probably wish you hadn't. The reason I say that is that you are at the mercy of the person who installed the head and jamb. Double doors need to have jambs that are perfectly parallel and plumb, and the head needs to be dead level, or you will be fighting with those doors to get them to hang correctly. If you have a lot of patience and skill then you could probably tackle it, but if you have no experience hanging doors this probably isn't the time to learn. (just warning you)

If you wish to proceed, then what you would want is a couple 24" doors that have not been prebored for handle sets. If the hinges are mortised that is probably fine. You should be able to cut 1/2" off the latch side of either a hollow or solid core door without any problem. Keep in mind that it's often nice to bevel the leading edges of the doors 3 or so, so that they don't rub on each other as they close. You should probably dry fit both doors, shim them in place, with an 1/8" shim around the outside perimeter of both doors and in the space between both doors. If the reveal on top looks good you are lucky. If not, you can now mark it and scribe what you need off the top, then test fit again, raising the doors to their final height so that you also have a 1/8" gap above the doors. Then transfer your hinge locations from the doors onto the jambs, and mortise the jambs to accept the hinges. Hang the doors, and install a door stop around the interior perimeter of the door. Mark your ball catches on both doors on top 2" off center (not magnetic catches!) and install. Sounds easy but it's not.
 
  #3  
Old 03-26-12, 01:37 PM
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Since you won't have knobs or latches....I'd cut 1/4" off each side. Either that or 1/2" off the knob side. There's only about 1" of solid wood on the edges IIRC. You want the most possible for the hinge screws. If they are paneled doors, cutting off each side will also keep the proportions of the stiles to panels correct.

If you don't have a table saw...you'll need a straight edge to guide your circular saw.
 
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Old 03-26-12, 03:38 PM
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And use a brand new plywood blade.
 
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Old 03-26-12, 03:47 PM
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This is the blade I prefer for door trimming. Super smooth cuts and the price is right.


image credit: home depot dot com
 
  #6  
Old 03-27-12, 05:16 AM
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Thanks everyone. I think I'm in good shape to tackle this project tonight. Last night, I actually found a set of prehung french doors (solid too!) that with the casing measured 46 3/4". This will work great as I can slide it in and nailed to the door jamb and then just put some molding around the casing.
 
  #7  
Old 03-30-12, 11:37 AM
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FYI, the doors came out awesome! I finished securing it last night and will post a picture once I get the casing on. So much easier than trying to cut doors, especially cause I found out that my walls are pretty level but the floor is off slightly.
 
  #8  
Old 03-30-12, 04:40 PM
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Those doors were a great find... glad you got it done.
 
  #9  
Old 03-30-12, 04:51 PM
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Sounds like a great deal. Waaaay easier than fitting new doors. Nothing like the markdown section or the Habitat stores.
 
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