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Old 02-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #1
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Upgrading/Fixing old doors


Hi All,

We recently moved into a new house that was originally built in 1943. The doors upstairs are original, including all the hardware. Most of them no longer latch closed.

I want to put new knobs on all the doors, but new knobs are not the same as the existing knobs, the hole through the door is much smaller and the hole for the latch is much smaller as well. And "I think" the doors aren't as thick as standard doors in newer homes. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Will I be able to drill bigger holes and put in new hardware or will I just end up ruining the door forever if I do that?

Also, through the years the doors have sagged and the latches don't line up with the wall anymore. If you hold the knob and forcefully pull the door up while it's closed it will latch. Do I just need to replace the hinges to fix this?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-01-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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Upgrading/Fixing old doors


There are a few scenarios you could have. You could have doors with mortised locks installed. If the edge of the door with the latch on it is incorporated into a rectangular metal box about 3/4" wide and 5-6 " long, it's a motised lock. They usually have a key hole under the knob and an escutcheon plate that incorporates both.
If you only see the latch sticking out of the door, it's simply a cylindrcal latch mechanism through which a spindle attaches the two knobs.
Interior doors are 1 3/8" thick. If anything some older doors were thicker not thinner.
The latch and the strike plate do not match up because the house has settled. The mechanisms you have could possible be restored and the strike plates shifted to make the doors operate as the once did.
You need to post specifics. Generallities will not help determine what you have and what it will take to convert to a new system.
Ron

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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Upgrading/Fixing old doors


If they are not mortise type locksets, you can build a jig for reboring the hole. Most modern locksets need a 2 1/8 hole with a setback of 2 3/8. A jig that you can clamp on the door as a guide for the hole saw, will make quick work of reboring for the new locks. A piece of 1x6 with the hole laid out at the proper setback, that aligns with the edge of the door. Some lines on the jig to align it with the existing hole and latch bore will help.

For mortise type locks, there are brass plates available at home stores to cover the mortise and strengthen that section of the door.
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