All hinged doors have the same basic framework, sometimes hidden under
a solid veneer. The framework consists of two stiles that run vertically,
and two or more rails that run horizontally. The hinges are on one side
and the latch and lock are on the other.
The two types of wood doors are paneled and flush. A paneled door has
a visible frame of stiles and rails that supports two or more panels.
If multi-paneled, the door has mullions and extra rails.
A flush door is faced with hardboard or wood veneer covering the frame.
A flush door for exterior use should have a solid core made from several
layers of hardwood or particle board. An interior flush door usually has
a hollow core formed from a frame surrounding a grill-like structure.
The door is hinged to a frame, consisting of jambs, casing, stops, sill
and threshold. The jambs form the sides and head of the frame. The casing
acts as trim and as a support for the jambs. The stops are wood strips
the door fits against when closed. In exterior doors, a dill fits between
the jambs, forming the frame bottom. The threshold, or saddle, is fastened
to the sill.
Repairing Loose Doors
If a door is too small for its frame, install weather-stripping.
If a loose door is causing latch problems, you may be able to adjust the
Repairing Binding Doors
Check for a buildup of dirt or paint.
Adjust the fit of a sagging door.
Repairing Warped Doors
If the warp is minor, adjust the stop or hinges to compensate.
Repairing Latch Problems
When a latch refuses to work, check either the fit of the door or of the
Removing a Door
Remove the hinge pins by closing the door securely (place a wedge under
it or have a helper hold the door.)
Gently tap on the bottom of the lowest pin or on the underside of its
head using a hammer and a nail or nailset. This drives the pin up and
out of the hinge barrel.
Remove the middle pin and then remove the top pin.
Lift the door off its hinges.
To reinstall the door
Replace the top pin first, then the middle and then the bottom.
Drive the pins home only after the hinges are correctly aligned.
Leave the pins a little loose so they'll be easier to remove in the future.
Quieting Squeaky Hinges
Coat with silicone spray or light penetrating oil. If squeaking persists,
remove the pin and clean the pin, barrel and hinge leaves with steel wool.
Coat them lightly with silicone spray or light penetrating oil and replace
Tips to Keep in Mind if Replacing a Door
Sand or plane any excess wood up to 1/16 inch on the door's top and bottom,
up to 1/4 inch on the sides. Saw off any excess that's greater and sand.
Leave a 1/16 inch clearance around the door on the top and sides. Bottom
clearance should be at least 1/2 inch, more if you want to clear a rug.
Bevel the lock side of the door 1/8 inch so the door will clear the jamb
as it opens and closes. If the door is already beveled, install it so
the beveled edge is on the lock side.
When installing a hinge on the door, leave at least a 3/4 inch margin
between the door edge and the hinge leaf edge.
If you're hanging a new door in an existing frame, use the existing hinges
Place the top hinge about 7 inches below the top of the door, the other
one 11 inches above the bottom of the door. If you're installing a third
hinge, center it between the two.
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