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Carpenter Question - Doors
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Basically asking BCtriguy1 but opening it out to everyone else here.

I'm hanging some pre-hung doors in my basement, so far I have done 4. 3 turned out great 4th, as good as I could, the walls are out of plane.

Final door is a interior french double door (with top ball catchers). How do I do this one? Currently the top is plumb and un-nailed, do I nail that in then plumb both sides? Or do I leave the top un-nailed and plumb/nail one side, hang the doors and check the reveal other un-nailed side then nail the top/other side in?

Basically I don't want to fuck this one up. If it matters, its on plank vinyl flooring which I already installed so the frame is sitting on the floor.
Last edited by: AndysStrongAle: Jul 14, 17 7:32
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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This is how I would approach it:

1) Check floor level. If floor is out of level, cut the jambs appropriately so when they sit on the floor, the top is level.

2) I like to pre-shim one side of the rough opening first. This is a great trick for hanging all doors. I will use flat (non-tapered) shims at the hinge height locations up the rough opening (so, 3 or 4 sets of shims, depending on how many hinges your door has). This makes hanging doors much faster and less cumbersome.

3) Install the jamb on the side you have pre shimmed. Make sure it's plumb front to back.

4) Shim the opposite jamb so the reveal between the doors is equal. Again, shim just behind the hinge locations. Check to make sure one door isn't sitting higher then the other. Also check to make sure when closed, the bottom faces of the door are planing well with each other (one isn't sitting proud of the other). Install this side of the jamb.

5) Shim and install the top (usually I just do one screw through the header in the centre of the door.

6) Drive a 3" screw through each of the hinges to ensure doors wont sag inward and bind.

French doors can be tricky. Small adjustments can tweak things from looking horrible to perfect (and vica versa). Don't do this one when you're in a rush! Also, pre-drill and countersink your screws. If you need to back one out and adjust a jamb, you can use the same hole without making a mess of the jamb.
Last edited by: BCtriguy1: Jul 14, 17 7:47
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, the top and the jambs all came connected so Ill put the whole frame on at the same time. It also came with 3 inch screws to go into the top and bottom hinges. So I will start that before nailing.

I guess I didn't think of checking if the floor was level. I measured the rough in from top to bottom on both sides and cut the jambs 1/8 of an inch short to give me some wiggle room. The jambs were cut to 79 3/4 and 79 7/8. The top was practically plumb when I put it up there. I added a few shims for very minor adjustments (move that bubble on the level a hair), but I assume based on that the floor is pretty level. I'll double check.
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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Installing a door without checking floor level is something you do once.
We were flipping a house built in the 1930s, I cut in a new opening for the front door, and did not check level before installing.
I got some practice on that door.
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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AndysStrongAle wrote:
Thanks, the top and the jambs all came connected so Ill put the whole frame on at the same time. It also came with 3 inch screws to go into the top and bottom hinges. So I will start that before nailing.

I guess I didn't think of checking if the floor was level. I measured the rough in from top to bottom on both sides and cut the jambs 1/8 of an inch short to give me some wiggle room. The jambs were cut to 79 3/4 and 79 7/8. The top was practically plumb when I put it up there. I added a few shims for very minor adjustments (move that bubble on the level a hair), but I assume based on that the floor is pretty level. I'll double check.

Yes, my instructions were for a pre-built door. If you open both doors to perpendicular, you can lean them on their front edge, so the jamb is positioned in the opening, leaning forward, and follow my instructions. I probably didn't explain myself well this morning, but the technique works :).
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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Thought we were having a thread on 70's music.

_________________________________
I'll be what I am
A solitary man
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Bumble Bee wrote:
Installing a door without checking floor level is something you do once.
We were flipping a house built in the 1930s, I cut in a new opening for the front door, and did not check level before installing.
I got some practice on that door.

Yup. I remember apprenticing and my boss reminding me about checking level, plumb, straight and square for every single thing your piece of work would touch. If you can make a mental map of your area of work ("I know the floor here is out a quarter inch, this stud is out so much and has a bow in the middle..." Etc) it allows you to anticipate problems you may encounter and eliminates all guess work as to how to proceed. Any time Im installing anything, millwork, doors, built ins, I always check those 4 things first!

That's why I like my technique for doors. With the jambs cut for the floor, and the hinge side pre-shimmed, two thirds of the work is already done and you haven't even lifted the door yet. You can confidently screw the hinge side of the jamb in knowing it's already straight and level, then all you have to do is shim the passive side properly and you're done.
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks guys. I got the door installed this weekend and looks great, its perfect. I did exactly as you said, plumbed one side to perfection then shimmed the rest to get the reveal to be perfect. I don't think I would be able to work on your crew though...I didn't win efficiency points. I spent 4.5 hours working on it.

Weekend was hot and humid too, so I did it fairly tight. The ball catches should still catch when the doors contract during the winter.

I will say I did add more shims everywhere because the frame was bowing a lot. Is there an issue with adding too many shims?
Last edited by: AndysStrongAle: Jul 17, 17 7:35
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Re: Carpenter Question - Doors [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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Nice!

No issue at all with extra shims. I'll often shim and screw the very bottom and top corners afterwards.

That first door may have taken you 4.5 hours, but the next one will be 3.5, the one after that 3, etc. I've got that system down, so I usually send my apprentice ahead of me to pre shim all the jambs, I follow him to hang the doors, then when he finishes up he goes back behind me to start putting long screws in the hinges and trimming. With hollow core, paint grade doors we can perfectly hang 3-4 per hour working at a steady pace. With 8' tall, solid fir doors that cost $1200 each we take our time a bit more ;-). But the process is nearly the same.
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