Need to cross cut some interior doors

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Forum topic by EggMan posted 09-23-2013 08:06 PM 1541 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 1772 days

09-23-2013 08:06 PM

I am helping a friend finish a room in his house. We are going to use some interior doors like these.

But they are going to be knee doors so we need to cross cut them down. We plan on keeping the width untouched, just need to make them shorter. These are light, cheap, hollow doors.

How would you recommend cross cutting them?
I was thinking making a quick cross cut sled, but is there a better suggestion?

Thanks again

7 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 09-23-2013 08:17 PM

Clamp a straightedge across the door. followed by a cut with a portable “Skill” saw. Putting tape on the panel where the cut is to be made will help with a splinter free cut. Once you have the door cut, you have to carefully trim out the core of the door, which is probably corrugated cardboard to a depth that will accomodate a solid piece of wood, cut and fitted between the two face sheets. It will be glued and clamped in place. With a sandpaper block, lightly bevel the cut edge of the door to prevent splinters from being raised.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18713 posts in 2565 days

#2 posted 09-23-2013 08:21 PM

Here is how I always did it.

With a straight edge mark the cut
Use a utility knife and a straight edge to score the cut.
Tape the edge of the door side of the cut to help a bit more with tear out. Duct tape or masking tape works.
Again using a straight edge cut it with a skill saw and fine sharp blade.

You’ll then need to add a new solid piece since it will be hollow. Match the width. Depending on what’s in the door, you’ll need to hog it out. It’s usually some cardboard filler just to keep the sides solid. I always glued the new piece in, clamped it until dry.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4089 days

#3 posted 09-23-2013 08:27 PM

These doors may have a honey-comb of cardboard (most likely) that make up the interior. I’m assuming that you have thought about capping the area you cut.

I’ve never cut through a hollow-core door, but have trimmed lots.

I use my circular saw with a good straightedge. Insure the blade is 90 deg to the sole and use a sharp blade.

I use masking tape and draw my cut line on the masking tape. Then tape the opposite side and insure the blades kerf will cut through the tape. This will reduce splintering.

-- Nicky

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#4 posted 09-23-2013 08:34 PM

I use a Freud Diablo blade in a circular saw. They are available at H.D. for around $10. They make exceptionally clean cuts, without having to use tape, or scoring the cutline.

With hollow core doors, you may be left with a void at the bottom of the door. Usually they are meant to be trimmed on the bottom 1-2 inches only.
You may be better off with solid core, or custom doors. At any rate, a stud finder will show where the blocking is located within the door.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4122 days

#5 posted 10-02-2013 10:16 PM

As the proud owner of a track saw, I’m gonna go with the “circular saw plus straightedge” suggestions. Or find someone with a track saw… This is the sort of thing you might be able to take to your local Festool dealer and say “show me how this snazzy system works, and by the way, I’ve got this door here…”

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2791 days

#6 posted 10-02-2013 11:53 PM

I had a local lumber yard that does millwork make me 2 out of one slab. They were less tan I could have done it. I wouldn’t use hollow doors. They made mine from a solid slab door, prehung with exterior door gaskets. Turned out really nice.
If it’s for a knee wall I would guess it’s going into an unheated space so the gaskets and solid door are worth the little extra money.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2024 days

#7 posted 10-03-2013 04:03 AM

all these suggestions answer the question, but another suggestion is get on Lowe’s email list and watch them for when they offer a free upgrade to a solid core door. I think that is currently running right now.

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