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Hanging Doors - Any Tips??

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will1983

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Hi all,

A customer wants me to hang some doors for her, a job I've done a few of before but they always seem to take me forever.

Does anyone have any tips tricks for getting faster at them?

There are going into existing frames and I'm using a track saw to cut them down to size.
Also using the small 1/4" router free hand to cut the hinge mortises and then tidying up with a chisel.

I seem to be losing the most amount of time just getting the bloody things to fit into the hole.

I am a bit of a perfectionist so have a tendency to be a bit over critical with how things fit. How good is good enough?

Cheers
Will
 

Jacob

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Much easer/faster to fit hinges by marking up across the grain with a knife, along with marking gauge, then chisel out.
 

Doug71

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Fitting doors into existing casings is totally different to fitting in new ones. I find myself lifting them in and out countless times till I am happy with the fit. Ideally you want a nice even gap round the door but sometimes if casing is a long way out it looks better for the door to be straight rather than planing a big bend in it to match casing.

Some oak doors have really gnarly grained edging laths which are best attacked with an electric planer and router.
 

owen

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Jacob":yd4ckqus said:
Much easer/faster to fit hinges by marking up across the grain with a knife, along with marking gauge, then chisel out.
Is it pineapples, Mark it with a knife, free hand it out with a router, chop the corners out with a chisel and job done. Especially if the doors are poor and you're working with knots etc.
 

owen

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An electric plane coupled with a dust extractor makes easy work of sizing the doors. I wouldn't bother with a tracksaw for doors unless you were taking say 10-15mm plus off.
 

Jacob

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owen":1i89qg8i said:
Jacob":1i89qg8i said:
Much easer/faster to fit hinges by marking up across the grain with a knife, along with marking gauge, then chisel out.
Is it pineapples, Mark it with a knife, free hand it out with a router, chop the corners out with a chisel and job done. Especially if the doors are poor and you're working with knots etc.
Except you can't easily get into the rebate of the frame so you have to do it with a chisel anyway so you might as well do both.
I understand why people are reluctant to use some hand techniques (longer learning curve etc) but it's often worth the trouble.
 

MikeG.

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It's worth pointing out that different areas of the country have different approaches to door linings. In some places, flat linings are standard, and door stops are pinned on after the door is fitted. In other places, rebated linings are standard. Jacob's point holds in those latter areas.

I reckon this argument is much the same as handmade dovetails vs machine made dovetails, in terms of speed. I'll race anyone with a dovetail jig, and beat them to make a dovetail joint between 2 board, using hand tools only. Every time. I might just beat them to the next one, too. But after that, the machine wins every time. Same with chopping out hinge mortices. For one door, starting from scratch with your tools in your vehicle, I'll back Jacob to beat the guy with the router. For 2 or more doors.......no chance.
 

owen

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Jacob":8j4ghlgy said:
owen":8j4ghlgy said:
Jacob":8j4ghlgy said:
Much easer/faster to fit hinges by marking up across the grain with a knife, along with marking gauge, then chisel out.
Is it pineapples, Mark it with a knife, free hand it out with a router, chop the corners out with a chisel and job done. Especially if the doors are poor and you're working with knots etc.
Except you can't easily get into the rebate of the frame so you have to do it with a chisel anyway so you might as well do both.
I understand why people are reluctant to use some hand techniques (longer learning curve etc) but it's often worth the trouble.
I understand what you mean in that case, I'm assuming the o.p is fitting doors in existing linings which will already have the hinges cut in? Otherwise I'd be cursing the person who fitted the linings if hes having to cut the doors down with as track saw.
 

doctor Bob

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Make 2 door holders, Triangular uprights with big slots in to hold the door upright on it's edge.
Cut the slots oversize and use wedges to hold the door tight whilst cutting hinges. I like to use a router but horses for courses.
 

will1983

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Hi thanks for all the responses guys.

I should have clarified in my original post. my hinge sequence is as follows;
Once the door fits into the opening in the original frame I pack it up 3mm and transfer the old hinge locations onto the new door.
I mark the depth and width using a pair of marking gauges and scribe the edges with my marking knife.
I darken up the scribe marks with my pencil and rough out the bulk of the waste with the router.
I trim back to the scribe marks with a chisel and test fit the hinge and pre-drill the screw holes.

If I have had to alter the mortises in the frame I've done it by hand as like someone mentioned you can't get the router in and it makes a fair bit of mess.

As for "does the track saw cut clean enough?" Well a decent Makita track saw with a Freud blade does. A quick wipe with a bit of 240g to break the edges is all that is needed. I have found it is quicker, more controllable and cleaner than using an electric plane to.

Cheers Bob, I made a quick pair of door saddles with wedges but they need redoing as they're a bit lightweight.

Mike, most of the doors here seem to be the sort in rebated frames, pinned on stops would make life a lot easier!

I have spent the most amount of time in the whole process just getting the thing to fit into the frame.
Like Doug71 said it's in and out a half dozen times before it fits anything like right.
So has anyone got any tips for doing that in just one or two goes?
 

MikeG.

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will1983":p2gkoz17 said:
........So has anyone got any tips for doing that in just one or two goes?
Yes, you need someone on the other side of the door. One person gets the door lined up with wedges and so on, and holds it firmly in place whilst the person on the other side of the door marks all the way around the lining onto the door. Rough off the bulk of the timber with an electric planer (about the only thing it is any use for in normal joinery), clean up with a hand plane, offer up again to check, then chop the hinges in.

The best answer for holding the door in position whilst you work on it is something along the lines Doctor Bob described (it doesn't need to be a triangle), but if you don't do this job regularly and you have a Workmate, lay that down and use it to clamp the short edge of the door.
 

Jacob

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Or single handed pull the wedged up door towards you with a temporary knob, or a thin strap around it (allow for thickness!)
See door props here post1253223.html#p1253223
and make some extra wedges to kick under the door etc.
 

RobinBHM

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I seem to be losing the most amount of time just getting the bloody things to fit into the hole.
Shooting a door into an existing lining and achieving an even margin can be frustrating.

Part of the solution is to approach it in a methodical order, using the same routine each time-whichever way works for you.
I tend to do this:
I take the door long edge with the hinges as the datum.

-check if liner 'legs' are straight
-if hinge side of liner is straight go to next stage, if not you might need to plane that side of door to match shape.
-check bot, mid, top
-if parallel, cut door down in width to size....5mm smaller (or whatever margin you like)
-if not parallel, trim to match tapered size, but only trim enough to get door to go in, once in check and trim to size.
- once width is cut, put door in hole, wedge up to head of liner, mark parallel line and trim door.
- wedge door back in opening, wedge up with shims to achieve correct margin at head, mark bottom of door and trim.
 

Doug71

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And you need to bear in mind if the door has 3 hinges you need to keep the hinges in line so if the casing is really bent best to use just 2 hinges, or you need to get a bit creative with the depth you chop the hinges in.

Is the door casing versus door lining a north-south thing? All I ever come across up here are casings but a "chippy" I know down south only seems to work with linings?
 

MikeG.

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Doug71":3j691xg9 said:
........Is the door casing versus door lining a north-south thing? All I ever come across up here are casings but a "chippy" I know down south only seems to work with linings?
When I lived in the Midlands it was all casings (ie rebated), but when I moved to East Anglia it is linings with planted-on stops. Be grateful we're not in southern Africa, where they are all made of pressed steel.
 

johnnyb

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speed and consistancy is really acheived by not hanging a door from start to finish. ie swing the doors. mark all the doors. drill all the doors. etc. use the originals as templates any thing to get a handle of the shape of the opening! i also drill tubular latches with a souber( i like my latches in the middle and level!). i can do 6 a day and be finished by 3.
 

johnnyb

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when i say swing the doors i mean get them to fit regardless of the gap as long as 1. you leave the bottom foot of the door so it has the correct or slightly loose gap.then plane using an electric plane to fine tune. the bottom foot cant be planed in situ(only with a cut off smoothing plane.)
once again do all the doors at the same time.
 
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