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Old 02-10-2013, 06:49 AM   #1
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Need help restoring 100 yr old door


My husband and I want to restore an old door in our home. Its not a standard door size so buying a new door would be costly and loose the character of our 200 yr old farmhouse. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am attaching some photos. Thanks

Need help restoring 100 yr old door-image-2186517129.jpg
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:14 AM   #2
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Need help restoring 100 yr old door


How clean do you want it? Will it be varnished or painted?

How bad is the wood damage? Just some splits and checks?

Is the thing coming unglued?

I suggest removing it and stripping it with a good chemical stripper---doing that while sitting on saw horses will be easier than doing it in place----Might need to wait for warmer weather---

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
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Need help restoring 100 yr old door


Thanks for your reply. We are going to paint it not varnish it. The wood isn't too bad but some cracking,no rot. The trim around the windows feels a little loose so we were concerned about that. The old hardwear doesn't work but would like to get something like it. Many years of different paint though and the metal weather strip around the door jam had to be pulled off. The door was so drafty for years.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:41 AM   #4
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Need help restoring 100 yr old door


Chances are some of the trim may come loose or even crumble while stripping, but it can be replaced. You may have to custom make some of the trim but it is well worth it to keep the antique door. Back in the late 1700s and early 1800s, they didn't remove a whole piece of trim if it was damaged, they would cut what ever was damaged out and replace it.

How you noticed antique doors how there sometimes is a plug of wood of different color, that is because back then they did just what they had to because most work was done by hand and not as easy to reproduce and replace trim and such.

If your door is coming loose at the mortise and tenon you could repair with fair size dowels.

I agree a door that has lasted that long deserves to be preserved.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:44 AM   #5
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The old locks can be rebuilt by and old school lock smith---or replaced with a working antique.

Stripping is a messy job but not a difficult one-----once stripped----an epoxy wood filler will take care of the splits----the loose trim will be removed and cleaned---then repaired if needed---the glass reset and bedded into a butal caulk as the trim is reinstalled.

Proper priming and good paint will make that look fine-----
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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As far as the hardware I've used reproductions from this company many times over the years. Quality stuff and very helpful folks on the other end of the phone.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #7
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Need help restoring 100 yr old door


That moulding looks like base cap.
http://mouldingsunlimited.net/base_cap
It it's to rotten I'd be looking for a local old timey lumber yard not a box store for a replacement. Reason being 100 years ago there was no local box store.
Things were made in what's called planning mill, most made all there own style cutters.

I'd be using something like Peel Away or Safety Strip. There less toxic, and will encapsalate the old lead paint for safer handling.

My guess why those rails and stiles are coming apart would be there's so may layers of paint on there that at some point the door was starting to stick.
As it was opened and closed it was over stressing the door.
It could also be starting to sag.
One trick I tryed and it worked 100% was to strip the door, clean out the gap, take one of this style screw and lay it on top of the door to check how deep I need to counter bore so the threads will in gauge in the rail.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...ectedIndex=241
Counter bore a hole, then use a long twist drill.
Put some Tite bond II in the gap and insert the screw. It will pull it all together and never move again.

To fix the air gaps I've been removing the old threshold and replacing with an adjustable threshold, cut the bottom of the door as needed to fit, and install a new weather stip to the bottom of the door.
On the sides Lowes and HD carry a door stop trim shaped strips with a built in vinyl foam filled seal, or the while aluminum strips with a built in seal that you just cut to size and screw to the dambs in predrilled holes.
Once done the door will never leak again.

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