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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
House was built in 1943. Has a walk-out basement and the door needs to be replaced. It is wood and has now come apart to where during the summer, warm humid weather, it swells so bad at the bottom I cannot get the door shut.

The foundation is block and it looks to me that the door frame here is actually a hollow metal that was filled in with concrete to set it, but am unsure.

As you can see in the picture of the hinges, they are not mortised in, they are instead embedded in behind the metal door frame through a slot designed for them and, I assume, were also in place when the concrete was poured in.

Why can't I just replace the door itself and keep the frame you may be asking? Well, there is a reason. 2 of the hinges are not longer secured in their slot and move in and out and I see no way to reasonably correct that problem, unless there is something I could do that I am not thinking about.

I have no problem removing the door and frame completely and using some 2 x 6 pressure treated to build out a new frame. However, I want to be absolutely sure what I am going to need to do before I start as I need to start and finish in a single day as I have a lot of expensive stuff in the basement that I don't want to be just open to whomever.

I am thinking that I will just need to rotary hammer and chisel out the concrete frame (being careful to not damage the block around it) and then frame in the door. Is this the correct assumption?

I suppose I could pull the hinges out and clean out the hinge slots then use some sort of cement and pack it in there and reset a new door with new hinges in there. My concern with doing this, though, is that I have no opportunity to shim the frame and make sure it is all square (due to settling). Though, I suppose it is worth me checking plumb, level, and square and I might get lucky. If I went this route, should I use like a quick drying cement or some other type of strong epoxy.





(Interior Shot)

 

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Naildriver
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I did the same thing on the man door of my garage. Metal frame, and set hinges. I bought a fiberglas door from our salvage company and trimmed it carefully to fit the opening. I had to add a sweep and a reverse out swing threshold so the door butts up against the tall part of the threshold. It works famously.
 

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Can you just predrill a smaller hole than a screw, countersink and refasten the hinge? Door can be cut, painted and new threshold added so moisture is not a problem. A small sheetmetal "roof" over the door would keep away most of the rain. Metal buck can be cut away with a sawsall in pieces and removed if you want a new door. Prehung insulated metal door is fairly cheap. Fiberglass even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can you just predrill a smaller hole than a screw, countersink and refasten the hinge? Door can be cut, painted and new threshold added so moisture is not a problem. A small sheetmetal "roof" over the door would keep away most of the rain. Metal buck can be cut away with a sawsall in pieces and removed if you want a new door. Prehung insulated metal door is fairly cheap. Fiberglass even better.
That's the thing though. The original hinges aren't set with screws currently but they are solidly affixed. Well, they were until 2 came loose so how are they fastened to begin with.

And THANK you for the actual name of what this frame is called. Never heard of met buck before . Now I can actually do some research. That being said, so this frame is actually hollow!? It feels super solid, and very dull when struck so I assumed it has concrete inside of it, but maybe not.

There is actually already a roofing system, sort of, by way of the deck above. So the door doesn't ever get soaked really, it just swells because it is so old and the various components of the door are no longer held together very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did the same thing on the man door of my garage. Metal frame, and set hinges. I bought a fiberglas door from our salvage company and trimmed it carefully to fit the opening. I had to add a sweep and a reverse out swing threshold so the door butts up against the tall part of the threshold. It works famously.
Do you mean you took the metal frame put and reframed with wood?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would just replace it with a pre-hung door with the lights up top only

Exterior metal doors with wood jams are cheap these days.

"" 36 in. x 80 in. Craftsman Primed Right-Hand Inswing 6 Lite Clear Steel Prehung Front Door w/Brickmould
$283.00

https://www.homedepot.com/p/JELD-WE...nt-Door-w-Brickmould-THDQC228200011/202604166



I appreciate the advice. I guess my issue is less about replacement a d more about removing existing. It is definitely not hollow and filled with either concrete or mortar. The metal buck that is.

If I can just figure out the hinges, I think I can reuse the frame. It will need some refinishing and rust repair, but less work IMO than removing the entire frame. The frame is level, plumb, and square still.

If you look at the picture of the hinge, you will see that it is tucked in a pocket behind the frame as opposed to mortised in. The rabbet for the stop on the hinge side is 1/4" so I think I may be able to shim that space and then use tapcons to see the hinge from the inside. I'll have to get creative and think about it.
 

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Naildriver
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Do you mean you took the metal frame put and reframed with wood?
No, I took the goofy rusted door off the hinges and mortised the new fiberglas door blank to fit the existing hinges in the metal frame. Then I punched the door so the lock would line up with the existing latch holes in the metal frame. Not too difficult, and not as near a pita as removing that steel frame, as it is most likely filled with concrete.
 

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I appreciate the advice. I guess my issue is less about replacement a d more about removing existing. It is definitely not hollow and filled with either concrete or mortar. The metal buck that is.

If I can just figure out the hinges, I think I can reuse the frame. It will need some refinishing and rust repair, but less work IMO than removing the entire frame. The frame is level, plumb, and square still.

If you look at the picture of the hinge, you will see that it is tucked in a pocket behind the frame as opposed to mortised in. The rabbet for the stop on the hinge side is 1/4" so I think I may be able to shim that space and then use tapcons to see the hinge from the inside. I'll have to get creative and think about it.
On a lot of Commercial metal door frames the frame hinge is an intergral part of the frame.
 

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When I worked at the public school we had a door to a roof replaced. It was steel in a concrete wall and it had a solid grouted frame. It was replaced frame and all and the frame was grouted full, and it cost $3000. That is what happens in public construction paying prevailing wages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So after some serious searching (bc apparently not many people have or post about this problem) it looks like the hinges were originally welded probably from the factory, as someone mentioned above.

Clearly I can't weld another one in; however, it appears I should be able to use a riveter with flat head rivets. Essentially drill holes in the steel that match with the hinge holes. Slide the hinge in the slot of the door frame, then rivet it in. As far as I see it, it is at least worth a shot anyhow considering the alternative of replacing the frame sounds like a nightmare I don't want to get into. Worst case, it doesn't work and I will be forced to do just that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Being the door frame is grouted drill & insert a drop in anchor than use the counter sunk screws in the hinge.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding the suggestion. I think I know what you are saying, but this would require me to move the hinge to the inside of the door frame and since there isn't a mortise, there would be quite a bit of reveal space on that side. I suppose, so long as it doesn't push that side of the door beyond it's rabbet stop then it's all good. However, I'd still have a similar issue with some interference using rivets unless Incan find flush blind rivets. I can't really use countersink rivet heads (which would be the best option) because the steel between the frame and the hinge slot is quite thin, unless there is a way I can create a counter sink, not by drilling, but my sort of dimpling the steel on the frame in enough so the countersink head is flush.
 

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Rivets may come loose over time. I meant you can drill through the jamb and the hinge beneath, then make a countersink with metal countersink bit, then use sheetmetal screws through both. Sheetmetal screw cuts it's own thread through the metals and fasten the hinge leaf to the jamb. Last few turns, hand turn the screw so you don't strip the hole. If you meet cement, take a masonary bit and make some space.


https://www.instockfasteners.com/My...MI_tnd7LfR6QIVCcDICh30twj0EAQYASABEgI6zvD_BwE


Screw has to be strong enough to cut its own thread and a bugle head for countersink. Regular fine thread screw may or may not work, depending on thickness and softness of the metals used there.


https://www.rockler.com/3-non-morti...MIp-qturnR6QIVFbbICh38GANlEAQYBSABEgI1XvD_BwE


Wondering if no mortise hinges may work? Use 4 instead of usual 3 and screw directly on jamb? Can't even guess if these will work.
 
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