Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hanging Around

Today I started the first tentative baby steps towards hanging three doors in the kitchen. I am really dreading it. For me hanging doors has to be just about the hardest thing to do. There are just so many ways to screw up. They are heavy, and If they don’t close properly because they aren’t hung properly it will drive me nuts forever.

So you understand, these are not doors that I removed a few months ago when work started on the kitchen and now I’m re-hanging them. These are doorways that didn’t not have doors when I bought the house. For what ever reason the doors were removed at one time. I found many doors in the attic and in the garage and others I have picked up over that last few years at salvage yards and garage sales. It is going to be like a big puzzle to get all the doors re-hung. Stripped screw holes will need to be fixed and hinge mortises will need to be filled and/or re-mortised. I’ve only done one to date and that was the bathroom. That one went ok.

Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this. Once I get rolling I’m sure it will be ok. The big job, as always, will be stripping the doors. Only one side of one door needs to be stripped to bare wood. The other 5 sides (3 doors X 2 sides each = 6 sides) will be painted. The one side that will be shellacked will face the dining room so it needs to look good.

I call the back bedroom The Door Room. This is where I store all the doors I’ve scrounged over the years. I have 18 Eastlake doors in there in varying states. Some have been drilled for modern doorknobs so they have an extra 2.5-inch hole that will need to be filled. Others have minor cracks or major dings that need repair. All have way too much paint on them. I think I need 14 or 15 doors for the house so I may have a few extras. Tonight I went up to The Door Room and started hunting for a 32-inch door that has shellac under the paint. I think I found a good one.

Eastlake Door

Even though it seems like I have extra doors I may not. My house was designed with 6 different widths of doors. The first three were unique. There is the 60-inch double front doors, the 80-inch double pocket doors, and the 24-inch door to the 80s Porn Closet. After that all the other doors are standard doors in 3 widths. All bedrooms and most major doorways between downstairs rooms are 32-inch widths. The 5 closets in the house are all 30-inch doors. The 2 back doors and the door from the foyer to the dining room are 34-inch doors. So you can see that there is a possibility that I may have more than enough 30-inch doors but I could be deficient in the 32-inch door category.

It’s just one big wacky puzzle.


Patricia W said...

You have done a great job collecting the doors you need. My house has at least 14 empty jambs needing replacement doors and as usual, they are all different widths and downstairs they all need to be 82.5 inches high which is hard to find, even at salvage yards as the vast majority are 77 (I can imagine how hard it's been to find the ones for your house). Also, all of the original hardware has been scavenged and huge, gaping holes remain. I don't think I have your patience and I've decided to have french doors made when the time comes. I'm interested in knowing what you will use to fill the holes and cracks and how you do it. This may help me if I change my mind and feel confident enough in doing the patch work myself.

derek said...

I have a few doors to hang in the basement, I bought them salvage through craigslist. They're almost all without hardware, so now I have the fun job of finding hardware. They've been mortised in multiple places most of them. I'll be interested to see how you go about fixing up the doors. I'm planning on varnishing these doors, I think they may be a little rustic though.

Greg said...

The plan to fill the big holes from the modern doorknobs is to start with a round wood plug that be snug and fill most of the hole. I glue that in place. I will then finish with a 2 part epoxy wood filler. On any large dings I will just use the epoxy wood filler. Once it is sanded and painted you will never know it was there.

As for filling the mortises from old hinges, I will probably use wood, glue, and small finishing nails. To fix stripped screw holes click on the link in the blog entry labeled "Stripped screw holes". I went over it in an old blog entry. The method works very good.