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Forum topic by mculik5 posted 229 days ago 449 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mculik5

16 posts in 287 days


229 days ago

I’m a DIYer and new to hanging doors. I need to hang a bedroom door. The door is a Trustile MDF door, so it’s very heavy.

At this point, I have the jamb legs cut so that the head jamb will sit level in the opening. I’ve also pre-plumbed the hinge side of the rough opening with shims.

I’m wondering if there are any downfalls associated with removing the door panel from the jamb and installing the jamb first.

It would be much easier to get the jamb perfectly set without the burden of the heavy door panel. Plus, removing the door panel would allow me to use screws behind the hinges to secure the jamb instead of putting big holes elsewhere that will need to be filled. Additionally, the screws used by the manufacturer to secure the hinges to the jamb leg are too long (they won’t clear the RO), so I have to cut them to hang the door with the door panel in place, and this step would save me the cutting.

So again, any pitfalls? I can’t think of any except that it might be tough to set the latch side jamb leg to ensure a proper gap/reveal between the door panel and the jamb leg (and I could always wait to do this anyway).

Thanks.


7 replies so far

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14879 posts in 1200 days


#1 posted 229 days ago

It sounds like your rough opening is a little tighter than it needs to be, but that’s ok as long as you have enough room.

here what I always did, and I hung a lot of doors.
1. Pop the pins so the jamb was free from the door.
2. Fasten the hinge side. Leave the top unfastened. Shim side to plumb
3. Put the hinges back together.
4. Close the door, fasten the lock side shimming to get an even reveal. Pay attention to the to reveal. If the jamb is plumb and the door is square the top will just go to level, but it doesn’t hurt to check it.

the top jamb doesn’t usually get fastened.
removing or backing out the screws in the hinges shouldn’t cause a problem. Just drive them back in before you rehang.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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mculik5

16 posts in 287 days


#2 posted 228 days ago

Thanks, Don. I removed the door and the install went really well. Much easier than working with the door in the jamb. Appreciate the help.

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BentheViking

1752 posts in 1196 days


#3 posted 227 days ago

I’m trying to actually hang a door right now too and since the OP is all se it seems like I figured I’d ask.

I’m installing a solid pine slab door in an exiting jamb. I cut to height and mortised for hinges. however the door appears to be cockeyed with the tight spaces being by the bottom hinge corner and the top latch corner so that it binds to the point where I can’t fully close the door and when I do it appears to put a significant amount of stress/strain/torque on the bottom hinge and the wood its screwed into. I’ve seen some tips online that discuss using cardboard to shim it out. I tried that but couldn’t find the sweet spot where it was enough to make a difference, but not so much that ended up pushing the door out so far that it hit the jamb on the side. At this point the only solution I have is to rout the top hinge mortise on the door a smidge deeper (1/32-1/16 probably). By insetting it moreso I think it would bring the top corner over a bit and eliminate my two binding spots. Do you guys think this would work or am I just going to be doing more harm than good to my $90 door. Thanks

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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mculik5

16 posts in 287 days


#4 posted 227 days ago

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve hung only two doors in my life. As is evident by the fact that I started this thread, I’m not the best guy to answer this question. However, I had the EXACT same problem with the first door I hung, so I felt the need to comment.

The doors I hung were pre-hung. Based on my cursory check before I started, all the different preps were done correctly (square doors, hinge mortise depths correct, etc.), thus ruling out the doors and jambs as causes for problems.

I hung the first door using a 48” Stabila level taped to a ~78” 2×4. I shimmed the hinge side jamb plumb and tacked it in place. Checking the level after tacking, the bubble was definitely in between the lines, but closer to one line than the other. I played with the level to see how far off I was. Over the length of the jamb, it couldn’t have been more than ~1/16” according to the level. Feeling pretty good about this, I continued the install. After tacking the latch side jamb in place, I started testing the door.

The “let go” test was fine – the door didn’t open/close on its own, and would stop wherever I let it go. However, when I tried to close the door all the way, it would spring back several inches. After doing this several times, I noticed the same thing you did – the door was tight at hinge side bottom and latch side top. In my case, it was so tight that I could actually see the hinge side jamb twist a little at the bottom when I pressed the door closed.

Confused as to how this could happen if the door edge is straight and the door jamb is plumb, I got out my laser level and started checking for straightness and “plumbness” that way. The laser told a significantly different story than the level. According to the laser, both jambs were off by ~3/16”. Fearing my level was somehow out of whack, I shined the laser on the wall and lined the level up with it. Sure enough, dead on.

In the interest of avoiding getting overly frustrated, I decided to call it a day at this point.

Fast forward to this weekend, and I decided to hang the other door, this time using the laser level. To make a long story short, this install went great. The door closes perfectly, and the reveals are pretty consistent.

My point is that I think your hinge side jamb isn’t plumb. Based on my (very limited) experience, it seems that getting plumb absolutely dead on is essential. In my case, using a seemingly accurate level (albeit taped to a 2×4) wasn’t accurate enough. I’m not sure if a door hanging (i.e., longer) level would have made a difference, and none of the articles I read talked about how picky the pros are when it comes to getting the bubble dead centered between the lines on the level. For all I know, my “bubble is between the lines but closer to one side than the other” would be considered majorly out of whack by a pro.

So, if you have the option to adjust the jamb, I would try that. If you can’t, then I guess you have to play with shims and/or hinge mortise depth. My only concern (again, keep in mind my lack of experience) is that if you mortise the top hinge deeper, it will only make the top tighter and not “pull” the bottom out.

Other things I learned:

- Check your stops. Despite that both doors were pre-hung by the manufacturer in my case, my stops weren’t straight on either door. If the door is hitting the stops unevenly, that can cause some spring back.

- In my case, my jamb thickness is 5/8”. This is thin enough that the jambs flex a bit. Even if your hinges are perfectly plumb, it’s possible the parts of the jambs above/below/in between the hinges are flexing and causing uneven reveals and/or pinching.

Apologies that I can’t provide more definitive tips. I’m as interested as you are to see what the pros say. In my case, I will be cutting out and re-installing the first door using the laser level.

Also, I posted about this issue on Fine Homebuilding. Reading through that thread might give you more info:

http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/breaktime/construction-techniques/help-door-hanging-issue

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BentheViking

1752 posts in 1196 days


#5 posted 227 days ago

thanks for the info and link. I was just about to go start and then saw that you responded so took some time to read. Now time to go see if I can do a little shimming (worried about the constant in and out of the screws chewing up the wood too much and then if need be deepening my upper mortises (mortisi’s?)

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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Don W

14879 posts in 1200 days


#6 posted 226 days ago

If the bottom of the door hit before the top, or vice versa, it typically means your wall is out of plumb. The easiest way to fix it is remove the stop. Close the door and reattach the stop to the door.

sorry if I repeated, I didn’t read the whole response above.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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BentheViking

1752 posts in 1196 days


#7 posted 226 days ago

I got it in much better shape by deepening the upper hinge mortise and shimming the bottom hinge. Is it perfect? Nope. But it does stay shut once I close the door with the knob on it. Got it good enough for SWMBO so off to paint. Figured I’d pop the hinge pin out and take the door. Not so fast my friend. Couldn’t get it off and didn’t want to destroy the kitchen/door in the process so I tried a spare one in the garage. Tried to wail on it and still nothing so I took an angle grinder to it and once I was able to cut the whole thing apart I was able to remove the pins but the hinge was destroyed in the process.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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