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Old 12-14-2009, 09:46 AM   #1
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Solid Wood Door Repair


The bottom of the door in the picture is splitting and has some evidence of someone trying to fix it before (blue wall anchors.) I'd like to keep the door but it needs some fixing before it is really usable. Is there even a way to fix it short of replacing the rail? The door itself is solid wood and as far as I know original to the house.

http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/5158/house079.jpg

Thanks.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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Solid Wood Door Repair


"Is there even a way to fix it short of replacing the rail?" My answer, based on experience with this, (depending on your skills and tools) is YES. The first thing I note is that the door is painted. If you're wish is to continue to have the door be painted, then repairs are certainly easier, as the repair evidence can be painted over. IMO: The wall anchors certainly have to come out. I would remove as much paint as possible short of using a chemical stripper, which could be done later to restore the entire door. The holes for the wall anchors may have to be re-drilled for dowels, which should be glued in. I open the cracks as much as possible with wooden door shims, clean them out using compressed air to prepare for gluing. I cross-drill the door at the cracked areas for dowels also, but- I prepare my dowels by slitting them with a thin band-saw blade, a coping saw blade will work. This allows me to install home-made wedges into the dowels to spread them after installing. When everything, and double-check everything, is ready-add a good wood glue (Woodbond II ?) into the cracks, pull the cracks together with clamps (use weight if you don't have clamps), add the dowels (with glue), then tamp the home-made wedges (made from paint stir sticks) into the dowels to keep them in. After all is done and the glue has dried, hand sanding is my preference to prepare for painting. It is a little more complicated than as I write, but is a do-able project. I, personally, like older wooden doors and get calls in my area to repair such as pictured here, rather than replace the door with something with "no character or appeal". As we've all heard before: "They just don't make them like they used to" Good Luck, David

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Solid Wood Door Repair


hrm. sounds like an interesting project. i guess the good news is i have extra doors laying around for when i mess this one up

when you say I cross-drill the door at the cracked areas for dowels what exactly does that mean?
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:28 PM   #4
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For the hinge area, I'd just drill out the holes and glue dowel plugs into them. Sometimes when I'm in a hurry I just stick a few toothpicks into the holes with glue, which seems to work indefinitely.

The part that's cracked at the bottom. You could either square off the area with a router or chisel and glue in a new piece, or leave it the way it is, depending on how visible it is in the location where it's hung.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Solid Wood Door Repair


I am not as convinced as others you are going to be able to rescue that door frame. It looks like something fairly severe happened and structurally all the way back through it?

I am a big Guerilla glue fan.

The wood restoration products from Abatron are expensive but will be as strong or stronger than wood when your done.

http://www.abatron.com/cms/

I personally would rebuild a door frame so shattered and start over. What is it like on the side opposite the hinge side, on top and so forth. What fractured it? Or am I seeing the pic wrong?
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:01 PM   #6
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the damage is really only at the bottom 6-9 inches at the hinge. the rest of the rail and the door proper is in good visual shape. what's under the paint is anyone's guess. the hinge on the door frame was securely mounted - the only apparent damage is on the door itself.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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Here's something I did once in a similar situation:

I took a saw and cut a 1x2 off the edge of the door from the bottom to the top of where the hinge goes, and then I scabbed in a 1x2 with glue and screws. A little wood filler and some sanding and paint and you'd have a hard time tellign the difference.

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