Replacing an interior door.


Old 02-17-14, 07:34 AM
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Replacing an interior door.

I just need the replacement "slab" door.

Obviously, I need to cut the hole for the knob. No problem.
As far as notching out the edge for the three hinges; do I need a router and one of those template-gizmos? Can I carefully trace the hinge pattern and remove the wood with a chisel? Or is there a better option?

I don't mind spending a little money, as eventually I'll be replacing every interior door in the house. (I DO mind spending a LOT of money...)
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Old 02-17-14, 10:32 AM
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Yes a jig/fixture and router is probably the easiest way to get professional results... and also the more expensive option especially if just doing one door. Careful work with a hammer and chisel can do the same thing. It's what's been done for a thousand years but it can be slow work. If you will be replacing all the doors in your house it may be worthwhile investing in the tools. By the time you multiply the number of doors by 2 or 3 hinges each it ends up being a lot of careful chiseling.
Old 02-17-14, 10:49 AM
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If you go with the router option and if your hinges have rounded corners, make sure your router bit radius matches the radius of the hinge corners.
Old 02-17-14, 01:02 PM
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A whole lot faster and simpler to just install prehung doors.
Old 02-17-14, 03:54 PM
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If you decide to use a hammer and chisel, measure and mark where the hinges go drill some 1/8" pilot holes and screw the hinges onto the door. Then take a sharp utility knife (use a new blade) and carefully scribe around the hinge with the knife, cutting about 1/8" deep. Once you do that, remove all 3 hinges again and chisel your mortise. A brand new sharp chisel will save you some trouble. Chisel at a low angle with the flat side facing up and the bevelled side facing down. Don't take too much out. Once the mortise is chiseled out and the hinge is installed, you usually want the hinges to end up being flush (not recessed) with the door edges once they are screwed down.

If you had a lot of doors to do I'd say get a palm router and a template. If it's just one, I'd chisel it.
Old 02-18-14, 06:01 AM
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XSleeper, thanks for the advice. I remember seeing that done on TV a long time ago.

JoeCaption1, you are correct. But pre-hung are more than double the price of a slab - and I'd just be throwing the frame away. I don't mind doing the extra work to save money. Thanks.
Old 02-18-14, 06:25 AM
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For prehung, I never understood why it's better unless you're having issues closing the old door. Doesn't it take a lot of time to break out the old door frame, possibly calk and repaint it along with any wall paint you screwed up? I'm in the same boat as the original poster. I think I'll go with the router method myself, since I think I'll find other uses for it. I'll practice on the old door.
Old 02-18-14, 07:21 AM
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Don't dismiss the pre-hung option altogether. How many doors are involved and what condition are the frames and jambs? Will you be doing painting and staining around the door? If so it's easier if the old frame is out of the way and much of the prestaining can be done before hanging. If you go with keeping the old frames then definitely buy the jig and template. The big problem is location, location, location! Accurate measuring is a must. With pre-hung no measuring is necessary.
Old 02-18-14, 08:38 AM
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In my case, everything is in great shape. The finish is deteriorating because it's been exposed to direct sunlight for many years, and we've never been 100% happy with the original material (birch). So oak slabs appear to be the way to go...
Old 02-20-14, 04:39 PM
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Hi, You may need a plane also.

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