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david330 06-13-2011 11:41 AM

cutting bi-fold closet doors
Can I cut down a three panel hollow bi-fold door in between panels?

oh'mike 06-13-2011 12:02 PM

There is only 1 1/2" of wood around the outside of those--The rest is hollow--so Yes,but the door will be ruined.---Mike---

Nick DIY 06-13-2011 05:35 PM

Just did this over last weekend. It worked with at least 2 different brands of doors.

Clamp a straightedge down and make a nice deep cut with a utility knife at your cut lines. You'll probably want to cut a little off of the top & bottom evenly.

-Move your straight edge the distance between the edge of your circ saw and the blade, clamp it down. This will guide your saw for a straight cut. ***WATCH FOR HINGE LOCATION*** - remove the hinges if necessary. Make your cut with a nice fine tooth blade.

-In your cut-off, you'll find a 1" wide piece of pine with the holes drilled for the hardware(the previous top & bottom edge framing). You'll need to chisel off the paneling & clean up the surfaces with a sander. I used a DA w/ 60 grit and the leftover residue came right off.

-Run a bead of wood glue on all 4 sides and slide this back into the hollow door, making sure that it's flush with the edge. I tapped it in with a mallet. If you push it in too far (like I did) run a drywall screw into the wood and pull it back out to flush.

-You can clamp at this point, but since i was repainting anyway, I tacked it back in with a brad nailer and filled the holes with wood filler. A quick sanding (to clean up the edges), prime & paint.

Worked like a charm.

This works best when taking off at least 1". I also shaved 1/4" off of one set of doors with no problems. It would definitely be more difficult if you needed to take off between 1/4" & 3/4"...

*Edit: Sorry, just realized your said "between the panels". If this means shaving them down to make them skinnier, I'd say you can use the same process, but you'll need to make new holes for the hardware. If they end up being to close to the old holes, you may need to glue in a dowel rod & cut it off flush.
The top & bottom sit inside of the side framing, so to replicate this, you'll need to cut back the top & bottom while still encased in the paneling. Perfect application for a Dremel Multimax or the like.

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