I need advice on Hollow Core Door Slabs

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Forum topic by Pacman posted 11-08-2013 01:05 PM 1365 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 1719 days

11-08-2013 01:05 PM

I am replacing all the interior doors in my house with new 6 Panel and i need to trim about 1/8-1/4 of an inch off each door.. my options are either a circular saw or a router. I am thinking that with a straight edge a router will get me a better finish.. But i cant find anything online about routing the edge of the doors. Anyone tried to do this before? I’m, going to be taking it off of the Hinge side then routing the hinge mortises deeper. Thanks for any advice.

3 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2324 days

#1 posted 11-08-2013 01:34 PM

For a straight edge of that length, I use the factory side of an 8” wide piece of 1/2” ply, ripped from a 4×8, as a fence. I also use a 1 1/2” x 1/2” solid carbide spiral upcut router bit for that kind of trimming. Go for it.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2639 days

#2 posted 11-08-2013 03:22 PM

If the cut is 1/4”, I would prefer to cut it with a 60 tooth blade on a skill saw, add 1degree bevel?, non stop with the big part of the saw base on the door. Then run a very sharp block plane down it, carefully watching for proper direction and grain change the first swipe or you could even use a 3×12 80 grit belt on a sanding block and clean it up. two 45 degree passes on the edges with a block plane, a little sandpaper to finish it off and remove sharp corners for paint adhesion.

A 1/4” of router dust is a lot to deal with and unnecessary. I use a flush bit for clean up, not for large removal.
A router works OK but you are cutting 1 3/8” and the possibility of a bump dig is too great and a PITA to sand out.

If the cut is 1/8” then use a power planer or 4-5 passes with a block plane, if you’re comfortable with it and again, it’s scary sharp. I would use my Bosch power planer.

A good carpenter I know would make the hinge mortises deeper with a router jig before cutting off the excess and having to relocate the mortise. It seems like a good idea although I have never tried it yet. I’d be concerned about going too deep, not knowing the true final size after clean up.

One more thing, you might be able to get away with cutting a tiny 1/8” max. off the strike side which would save a lot of work. Also, you might be able to mortise the jam hinges deeper or remove the casing on the hinge side and rework the opening. Might have to replace the top casing, maybe not. It would depend on if the jams and trim are in need of work and paint too. If they are perfect then this is not the way to go.

Sometimes I take a little off here, adjust the hinges deeper there, use 3” screws on the hinges and suck it in a touch, take a block of wood and give the strike side jam a firm but gentle bump. You’d be surprised how much you can gain this way.

hope this helps.

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2400 days

#3 posted 11-08-2013 04:52 PM

Pacman, I did this all the time when I did maintenance and remodeling for a living. If you’re only taking 1/8” to 1/4” off the edge do as Mark suggested and deepen your hinge mortise with a router by the amount being removed. It’s best to use a template and top bearing mortising bit for this. Then cut off the edge using a circular saw and a straight edge. A little clean up with a block sander and you’re ready to install. If your door is pre-drilled for the handle do not take any off the strike side. By doing that you risk messing uo the backset for the latch. Sometimes you have some play there other times you don’t, so I wouldn’t risk it.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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