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Door dipping gone wrong (maybe?)

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Tierney

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All,

I got the internal doors on my 1920's house dipped and the joint has come apart on the mid rail, but only on the side where the lock is. It has only come apart about 3mm; but, it's enough to make refitting the hardware a bit of a pain. The joint (mid rail to stile) appears to be a cope and stick joint (I cannot see any mortice and tenon!). Oh some of the doors are also to tight in door frame also.

Please can someone tell me what I should do to close the gap? I was thinking of putting a bit of glue in the gap and putting a few sash clamps on it and hoping for the best.

Thanks,

DT

 

Jacob

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Door dipping is best avoided at all costs and should be banned by law. Your problem is typical.
It's possible that an original rim latch has been replaced with a more modern mortice latch involving a mortice cut right into the end of the tenon on the lock rail i.e. largely removing the tenon causing the door to come apart when stressed by dipping/drying etc.
 

eribaMotters

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When the door is dipped the caustic, or eco friendly equivalent should be hot. This means the door is in liquid for less time and as such the absorption of any liquid is reduced. If the dip is cold, a method that was at times favoured for cost reasons your doors would have swelled up.
Best action following the dipping is a good hose down and scrubbing, then leave to dry out of the sun. Any dark stains left may need to be neutralised by scrubbing with vinegar and water. By now they should have shrunk back enough for you to re-hang and a final dry out in the house. When fully dry lightly sand any raised grain and fill any major damage with a coloured filler. You should not really have to re-glue and clamp joints. Your doors were originally painted and not designed for a fine polished finish. You will have defects .For a finish apply a flood coat of white french polish. This will hinder the penetration of dirt. Finish with wax and a good buffing. PLEASE do not varnish the door.
If you cannot easily repair the damage around the handle and key hole consider a rim lock.

Colin
 

scholar

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I guess it is possible that the gap was there before the dipping and the paint or whatever was there before covered it.

Doors will expand quite a bit when they are dipped (and then pressure washed off). The first thing I would do is leave them rehung for a good long time to dry out - you do not want to trim them up only to find you have a big gap when the door has dried out - I guess they fitted well before being dipped?

As to dealing with the gap, I would assess this when the door is fully dried out. - the options are:
- to glue and cramp the stile tight up to the shoulder on the rail as you suggest - in this case I would consider dowelling through the tenon (two dowels about 1/3rd of the distance from the rail to the edge of the stile/tenon), but you will see the dowels.
- I would also see if the wedges are loose or can be removed easily without damaging the door - they can often be removed by screwing in a fine screw with a good thread and then pulling out the wedge with a claw hammer - then make new wedges and reglue (this is all assuming they are through tenons - except I see you cannot see the tenons).
- if when dry, the door fits the frame well, I would glue in a strip of wood to fill the gap and then cramp up - if the gap is longstanding, the stile may have been trimmed already and you could end up making the door smaller if you close the gap.

My preferred glue for doors is cascamite - gives you a good long working time.

I hope that helps - the above suggestions are based on many door repairs/rebuilds. Yours looks in v good condition, so should be pretty straightforward.

Cheers
 

Phil Pascoe

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If you can squeeze the joint up o.k., you could drill a couple of small holes 2/3 the way down the mortise, and inject pva - just fill the holes afterwards. Don't forget that most old joinery was rough and ready, and meant to be painted, not stained or varnished, hence will have knots, putty filled gaps and splits etc..
 

John Brown

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"Door dipping is best avoided at all costs and should be banned by law. Your problem is typical."
+1
In my 1895 house, all the doors have been dipped and are now totally ruined. The previous owners removed and refixed all the door stops at crazy angles to accommodate the propellor shaped doors, and the overall effect looks ridiculous. I regularly search eBay for reclaimed doors, but they are almost always either too small, or have already been dipped and ruined.

Hanging's too good for them I say.
 

Jacob

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phil.p":6jc1vozv said:
... Don't forget that most old joinery was rough and ready, and meant to be painted, .....
Not so much "rough and ready" more a case of good enough for painted joinery i.e. intelligent and economical use of materials, in terms of species and quality.
 

Tierney

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Thanks for all the replies.

Based on the responses I think I have done reasonably well compared to some of the horror stories.

The doors are going to be painted so not that bothered about how pretty they look and the good news is that none of them are 'propellor shaped' (a great description by the way!)

I'm pretty sure that the joints have opened up as a couple of the doors don't fit.

The mortice and tenon are concealed so cannot do anything with the wedges. I also cannot find any holes to suggest that there were rimlocks in the first place. Could it be that there was no mortice and tenon on the mid rail as I thought that on an 8-9" wide rail it would have a double tenon and that I would still be able to see some part of the tenon in the lock mortice.

Oh, the doors have been hung drying for about two and half weeks now and don't appear to have moved at all

David
 

wobblycogs

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You got luck with your doors by the sounds of it. I've got a dozen doors from about 1820 that all need stripping and I'm doing it all by hand to avoid problems with dipping. It's a tough job but it beats having to find new doors. Personally, I'd stick a nice rim lock on that door.
 

Bradshaw Joinery

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Get as much glue in the joint as possible, mayve try spreading it a little to get the stuff in,

Then get a rim lock. The section that lips over the door edge drill a clearance hole through the width of the stile to the rail, where if wont be seen, (probably have to angle it towards the centre, then clamp the joint tight and screw up, should help hold the joint up. Then if still tight, plane down till they just fit so very little gap. If they shrink over time then it wont be so bad.
 

Jacob

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wobblycogs":351ckf5h said:
You got luck with your doors by the sounds of it. I've got a dozen doors from about 1820 that all need stripping and I'm doing it all by hand to avoid problems with dipping. It's a tough job but it beats having to find new doors. Personally, I'd stick a nice rim lock on that door.
Why not just paint them?
 

wobblycogs

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They are in a terrible state. Nearly 200 years of painting and re-painting means you can hardly see the moulding. To boot the paint hasn't been rubbed down properly between coats so it's chipped all over the place and almost all the doors have been re-hung / had new furniture fitted several times and the old holes haven't been repaired correctly.

Trust me if there was another way I'd take it (and I've tried them all) but the only way to get a good result is to go back to wood and repair from there.
 
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