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Trimming down cheap interior doors

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profchris

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I'm selling my late parents' house, part of a retirement complex. One of the internal doors has a damaged panel, so I need to fix that.

The door is 1972 X 632 mm, 6 panel, and made mainly of cardboard it seems. It's cheaper and easier to replace than mend, except this seems not to be a standard size.

B&Q seem to offer a 626 mm door, which is close enough. But those are 2040mm tall.

Can I reasonably trim off 65 mm or so? Will it look even more awful? Is there enough wood?
 

harryc

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Just cut off 32.5mm from both ends, pretty easy if you have a track saw.
 

MikeG.

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It's not as easy as that. These doors are hollow, with a cardboard matrix internally and a narrow band of timber around all the edges. This timber can be as narrow as 15 or 20mm, so cutting the door 33mm shorter each end will remove it all. The door then goes a bit floppy, so you'll have to plane up a piece of wood to fit, and mess about trying to clean the cardboard and the glue off the inside of the door edges in order to glue the new pieces in. The glue is rock hard and damned difficult to remove, and the job turns into something of a bodge. You might end up with a coarse rasp trying to clean up the hardboard internally.

Just a tip for the piece of wood you offer into the door ends. Screw a couple of screws part way into it beforehand so that you've got something to get hold of to manouevre it into position.
 

Doug71

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You have some strange sizes there. I would check the thickness because some of the 2040 high are 40mm thick where most internal doors are 35.

I would cut most of it off the bottom, will look better and leave the top more solid.
 

marcros

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That is an odd size. It is a few years since I bought any but 2040 is the metric size, with the imperial being 1981 tall. 610 or 686 are the standard imperial widths, which may give you a similar issue to the one that you have with a metric door, but on the long side.
 

profchris

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I'm going to measure again (though I did measure each dimension twice, but ...).

The damage is a triangular piece punched into the panel - I have the ability to extract that bit (maybe 100 mm x 60 mm), reinforce inside, reattach, fill etc. But that's hours to do properly! And it's hardboard I think, so no strength at all just glued in place.
 

TheTiddles

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If you do buy one of those pressboard doors, they are glued together with hot-melt glue, so you can pop them entirely apart, put a new strip of softwood on all edges and make a new door (in my case I made a bifold out of a single) that would give you as much trim allowance as desired

Aidan
 

profchris

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Helpful advice all round, thanks folks.

I see that the Imperial sizes include 533 mm width, and I was starting my tape measure at 100mm for accuracy - surely I couldn't have forgotten to subtract 100? If so, problem solved.

The Travis Perkins website tells me their doors can be trimmed a whopping 5mm, which I take as a hint not to mess around. If I didn't mismeasure, I'll definitely fix the old door.
 

Doug71

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You are normally best measuring doors in imperial as standard sizes come in 3 inch increments e.g. 18" , 21" , 24" , 27"etc.

Generally speaking the more you pay for the door the more you can plane off the edges.

Howden Joinery often have the style you want on sale for £10-£15 + vat, not great but they fill the hole.
 

owen

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If I've got a lot to cut off a door, I normally cut it off the bottom (upto about 40-50mm) using a tracksaw, or a handsaw, then resuse the bottom piece of tinber, using the offcut you can break the side pieces off, clean it up with a sharp chisel and glue it back into the door. You should be able to get a shorter door than that though.
 

Trevanion

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I wonder whether it's a standard 2' x 6'6" door with a couple of 1/2" pieces glued on each side to make it 2'1".
 
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