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Old 01-10-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
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adding height to a wood door


I was given two matching 10 light french doors. For some reason, they were cut off and are only 76 in tall. I want to add 4 inches to the bottom to get them back to standard height, since they'll be installed in a room with a 9 ft ceiling. Since I plan to paint them, I want to add the wood on the bottom with glue and countersunk screws, then sand, prime and paint. Do you think this is the way to go?

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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adding height to a wood door


That should work. The only potential issue you'll have is that the bottom of the door is comprised of the endgrain of two vertical stiles, and the edgegrain of the horizontal rail, mortised into the stiles. You propose to glue and screw a strip of wood along it's edgegrain to those three boards (which is how I would do it too.)

With seasonal changes the stiles will expand and contract somewhat (probably 1/16 to 1/8" total width) and that will cause the glued on piece to be shorter or longer during the summer or winter. (Probably since it's the dry season now, the door is at it's narrowest, and will swell slightly in the summer.)

Other than a slight visual issue of the shorter add-on piece, it's conceivable that your glued on piece could split the door apart, as it shrank. Probably less of a problem when doing the repair in the winter, but still a consideration. You could minimize this possibility by using yellow glue (aliphatic resin - regular carpenter's glue) instead of something like epoxy or gorrilla glue, as yellow glue is more flexible than epoxy or polyurethane glues. You could also slightly enlongate the pilot holes drilled through each end of the add-on piece, where the screws will go into the stiles. Just drill straight through, and then with the drill all the way through the wood, tilt the spinning drill bit about 15 degrees right and left (along the length of the workpiece. That will give the screw a little room to move seasonally if it needs to.

Maybe this is all overkill. The repair would more than likely be fine without these measures. But if you're concerned about the possibility of cracking, that's the way to address it.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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adding height to a wood door


Thanks Nate. I live in Denver with very low humidity, so that should help, too. I appreciate your additional tips.
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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adding height to a wood door


Nate as always has some great advice. You might consider toe kicks on both sides of the door. Also if you have other old doors available cut your 4" from them. good luck
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Old 01-10-2008, 05:19 PM   #5
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adding height to a wood door


Thanks Bob. Toe kicks are a great idea. I didn't tell the whole story. These will be converging pocket doors to a basement office so toe kicks may not fit, but they sure would look nice! I'll consider them.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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adding height to a wood door


Quote:
Originally Posted by RKHI View Post
I was given two matching 10 light french doors. For some reason, they were cut off and are only 76 in tall. I want to add 4 inches to the bottom to get them back to standard height, since they'll be installed in a room with a 9 ft ceiling. Since I plan to paint them, I want to add the wood on the bottom with glue and countersunk screws, then sand, prime and paint. Do you think this is the way to go?
Four inches is a pretty tall piece, and is going to be hard to keep flat in the plane of the door . Having nice square cuts on both pieces where they butt will help a lot, and a couple of nice straight edges clamped so they extend past the bottom of the door will also give you something to clamp the extensions to , and help hold them flat. Try to use the same type of wood as the door for the add on, and select for grain also. It is going to take several tries with filler to visually get rid of the "seam" four inches up the door. After I am satisfied with the seam, I use a framing square to extend the joint of the rail and stiles across the new piece, and lightly incise the "joint" with a razor knife across it. A piece of 80 grit sand paper wrapped around a block of wood can then be used to extend the vertical grain of the stiles across the new addition. With a couple of coats of paint, it will take a pretty sharp eye to detect the added pieces.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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adding height to a wood door


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Originally Posted by troubleseeker View Post
After I am satisfied with the seam, I use a framing square to extend the joint of the rail and stiles across the new piece, and lightly incise the "joint" with a razor knife across it. A piece of 80 grit sand paper wrapped around a block of wood can then be used to extend the vertical grain of the stiles across the new addition. With a couple of coats of paint, it will take a pretty sharp eye to detect the added pieces.
Great tips troubleseeker. I've made false seams like that before, but hadn't thought of the "extra mile" of creating cross-grain in the piece.

When RKH is selecting the add-on piece, try, if possible to find a quartersawn board. You want the growth rings to be running perpendicular to the face of the board. If they are parallel to the face, the board will cup away from the center of the tree. If they are diagonal through the board it will also be a bit more likely to warp. Best bet is if those rings are running the short thickness of the board when you look at the end of the board. That's the most stable piece of wood.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:26 AM   #8
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adding height to a wood door


Great finishing tips. I remeasured and I'll only have to add 2 inches on, so that will alleviate a few problems. I've also selected the fir pieces I'll use and I'll be careful to orient the grain appropriately. Thanks again to all!
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:21 PM   #9
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adding height to a wood door


I replaced 6 inches to the bottom on a 15 pane single door that was a rear exterior door, I used Bondo to fill the seam at the advise of a neighbor. The door was split at the bottom from water damage. I replaced the exterior door with a new one and moved my repaired door to replace the garage entry door ( to show off my cars, lol) It's painted and been almost 3 years since repaired, you would have to get on your hands and knee's to find the seam.

Has anyone else heard of using automotive bondo as wood filler ?

Rick

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