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Old 03-05-2014, 08:57 AM   #1
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Door frustration


My home was built in the 40's and has more than its share of issues. Most annoyingly are the exterior doors. Weather or not they will close is entirely dependent on the season, temperature, and what with this being Alabama humidity. I have checked the hinges and the holes were stripped so I replaced the original 1" screws with 2"ers but the latch is now giving me problems. The door has separated from the surface with the strike plate by almost 1/4". It has a considerable amount of play when latched, and now can be pushed open by my dogs.

I did some research and was frustrated by the suggestions of "just move the strike plate by 1/8" or so." because when I try to do that the screws seat in the original holes putting the plate back in the original place. Moving the plate has obviously been done a few times because the frame and studs behind it are splintered to hell.

What with the plentiful issues I'm wondering if I should just replace the whole door frame. I have full wood shop but mostly build furniture and have never done this before. Would anyone have suggestions on if I should replace it and if so where I can find a good how to.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:11 AM   #2
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Door frustration


If it's in that bad of shape I would replace it.If your not willing to do that,take some toothpicks or wooden matches and some of you tightbond or elmers glue and fill the old hole with them.Then take a chisel and cut them off flush.This will give you a new surface to screw into.

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Old 03-05-2014, 09:21 AM   #3
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Door frustration


If your going to replace it use a prehung door.
Older homes may need extension jambs because of the thickness of the plaster.
If it's not catching then the jamb needs to be reshimmed.
2" screws where not long enough in most cases to do much good, they need to be able to go into the stud behind the jamb and in an old house you may need to go with 3". Predrilling a pilot hole works better.
Door expansion and contraction is often caused from no one taking the time to prime and paint the top and bottom of the door.
I'd never suggest relocating a latch plate, for the reasons you state. A door latch can be raised or lower by using longer screws in the top or bottom hinge.
Removing and relocating the door stops can tighten up the latching and reduce air leaks.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:34 AM   #4
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Door frustration


It seems like the existing door is still good. I would like to avoid having to spend the several hundred bucks on a prehung exterior door. Could I not just replace the part of the door frame where the plate is?
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:37 AM   #5
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Door frustration


... By that I mean the entire side of the door frame.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:08 AM   #6
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Door frustration


To do that you would have to remove the whole door jambs and all, then custom make a whole new jamb.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:12 AM   #7
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Door frustration


Quote:
Originally Posted by giser3546 View Post
I did some research and was frustrated by the suggestions of "just move the strike plate by 1/8" or so." because when I try to do that the screws seat in the original holes putting the plate back in the original place. Moving the plate has obviously been done a few times because the frame and studs behind it are splintered to hell.
To fill the holes, put glue in the holes and then shove toothpicks into them. When dry, either break off or sand the toothpicks. Then your screws wont fall into the hole and you can move the catch plate over. I had to do it for a door at my house as well... very annoying when the screws wont cooperate. :-(
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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Door frustration


Personally, I wouldn't replace the whole jamb. Fabricating new jambs to fit existing can be a problem due to wood movement when it dries. I'll make up two sets of jamb stock, let itall reach equilibrium moisture content for the area while keeping it stickered and weighted. Then I choose the best pieces for actual use / final finish.

There are two easy approaches:

Drill out the stripped holes with a 1/4" bit all the way through the jamb - probably 1" deep, then Titebond III glue and insert 1/4" dowels the same length. Let dry, then mark and predrill your new screw holes.

or

Chisel out a ~ 1/2" deep section where the hinges mount, overlapping the surrounding area. Put in a patch.

2" screws aren't normally long enough to do much more than 1" screws. If you want to get into this some, pull off the inside casing so you can see if the jamb was shimmed at the hinges. It may be you just need to shim or re-shim at the hinges to get the frame back where it should be - an even gap all around the door. Sometimes you'll find that a couple of #12 flat head screws were put through the jamb into the framing, with the heads under the hinge. This takes the place of shimming, but the hinge can crack.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:48 PM   #9
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Door frustration


A original door that old probably has worn hinges/hinge pin... Hold the strike edge of it and lift for movement there (also watch for jamb movement). May need new hinges also when you buy the finish-coded longer screws at the box store. The strike hasn't moved, only the door itself may have settled.

Gary

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