New jambs for old doors

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Forum topic by bdresch posted 08-01-2016 02:53 AM 218 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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113 posts in 1032 days

08-01-2016 02:53 AM

I’ve got a stack of 100+ year old interior maple doors that I plan to start putting in my house. When I salvaged them I foolishly left the jambs so now I need jambs. I think I have 2 options.

1. Mill up my own jambs from solid maple.
2. Buy pre made solid maple jambs.
3. Buy pre made wood core maple veneer jambs.

#2 is a bit pricey. #1 is the only way I can afford solid hardwood jambs, so if there is some big benefit to using solid, I will probably do that. I am leaning towards #3 for both time and $$.

Second part of my questioning is how should I hang them. Should I prehang the doors and then hang them like a prehung, or should I build the door frame in place and then hang the door?

I also have 2 exterior doors to do. Any recommendations for exterior jamb material?

1 reply so far

View mike02130's profile


64 posts in 97 days

#1 posted 08-01-2016 01:31 PM

I haven’t seen many maple doors. Why not just paint the jambs and use maple trim? Maple on maple is like white on rice. Painting the jambs would not only save you a ton of money and headaches but would also add contrast.

When I hang a door, instead of bothering with a level checking the framing for plumb, I use my laser eye and usually nail a piece of 1/4 to 1/2” plywood to the top of the rough hinge jamb. Pop a nail in the top, then another in the middle and down toward the bottom hinge. The middle and bottom is nailed with out a shim and into the framing. I then take my level and pry out the jamb close to plumb. I then stick shims near the nails and tap the shims in till plumb and nail it off. It is much easier to tap shims in than to pull tem out.

Now that the jamb is up and plumb, I hang the door. I close it and then adjust the head and strike side accordingly and shim and nail it off.

If your floor is out of level, after you’ve hung your door to the hinge side, you can easily knock out the strike jamb and cut it if too long or adjust the head if the leg is too short. There really is no need to rabbet or dado the head into the jamb, it will be shimmed tightly in the frame, nailed to the rough framing and cased. Plenty of strength.

Old doors are often warped or twisted and have been trimmed and planed over the years. Keep this in mind when making jambs. I like to make my jambs slightly wider than the thickness of the wall.

Not for nothing, but woodworking and door hanging are two different ball games. Be carful but show no fear.

-- If the tool was invented after the Depression, I don't need it.

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