Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Replacing an interior door.

Louuuuu's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 247

02-17-14, 07:34 AM   #1  
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...)

Sponsored Links
Pilot Dane's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,680

02-17-14, 10:32 AM   #2  
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.

Wirepuller38's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,188

02-17-14, 10:49 AM   #3  

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.

joecaption1's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,297

02-17-14, 01:02 PM   #4  
A whole lot faster and simpler to just install prehung doors.

XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 19,285

02-17-14, 03:54 PM   #5  
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.

Louuuuu's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 247

02-18-14, 06:01 AM   #6  
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.

DisneyFan's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 41

02-18-14, 06:25 AM   #7  
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.

Norm201's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,423

02-18-14, 07:21 AM   #8  
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.

Louuuuu's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 247

02-18-14, 08:38 AM   #9  
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...

Woodbutcher's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 995

02-20-14, 04:39 PM   #10  
Hi, You may need a plane also.

Search this Thread