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Thread: Tools do not a carpenter make

  1. #1

    Tools do not a carpenter make

    Our house was damaged back in 2005 by Hurricane Rita. We contracted
    out all of the necessary repairs- replacing fourteen roof rafters, several pieces
    of decking as well as new shingles. Inside we had a lot of new drywall put up.
    I decided to handle all of the interior trimwork. Naturally, we decided to re-
    model beyond the necessary repairs. I installed seven new colonial style
    doors in the house and decided to trim it out the doors and windows with
    trim I made from 1x lumber rather than utilizing the trim that came on the
    doors when we bought them. My problem is the fact that the door jambs are
    not wide enough to span the width of the rough opening and a couple of the
    rough openings are actually scissored in that one side of the rough opening
    is not in line with the opposite side. I installed the door jambs plumb rather
    than following the plane of the wall leaving gaps at the bottom of one side
    and top of the opposite side. Some of the gaps are one quarter to three
    eighths inches in width. In other cases the sides of the rough opening are in
    the same plane but the door jamb doesn't isn't wide enough to span the full
    width so I split the difference in putting the jamb in ending up with a small
    gap between the jamb and trim on both sides of the door. I've gone to far
    now to rip everything out and start all over again so it looks like I am going
    to have to use an awful lot of caulk to fill in these gaps. I have a nice
    shop filled up with all sorts of good tools and have built several pieces of
    furniture for our house that my wife was very pleased with, but intalling the
    trim is eating my lunch, hence the title of this thread. Do any of you guys
    have the same problem as I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Grove City, Ohio
    Posts
    57
    I am not sure exactly what your are saying. A rough opening for a door should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches over the size of the door. You then plumb and shim the door to work properly. The scissored wall is tougher. You may have to move the base plate of the wall back in line with each other.
    Pictures of the problem would be a big help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    936
    If I understand correctly, since you didn't mention any, you did not use shims between the rough opening and the door frame. They go at least at each hinge and the lock position, but at least three per side and on the top. If the problem is that the wall is not plum, the only way I know to handle it, is to use spackling compound to level it out to the frame.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Robert, Are the pre-hung jams the kind where a finished fram slides intop a groove in the part where the door is hinhged? If so, then you can plumb the hinged side and jostle the sliding side to meet the wall (so one side is A-ok but the other roomhas a bit of gap. 1/4" is not a great deal and the molding will skew and lay down a good deal of that space and caulking the rest. As for the rough opening being 1.5 to 2" is a bit of exageration. 3/4" to 1" at best is the norm. in width anbd enough to tilt and lift is for the height.

    Plumb the door at the hinge side as it will swing about if you do not. too far out will cause it to drag the floor if it leans in. etc. Cause it to swing open on its own, or slam shut on its own if it is out of plumb.

    Adjusting setted or racked walls to new fixtures is difficult in deed but

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Farmer View Post
    I decided to handle all of the interior trimwork. Naturally, we decided to re-
    model beyond the necessary repairs. I installed seven new colonial style
    doors in the house and decided to trim it out the doors and windows with
    trim I made from 1x lumber rather than utilizing the trim that came on the
    doors when we bought them. My problem is the fact that the door jambs are
    not wide enough to span the width of the rough opening and a couple of the
    rough openings are actually scissored in that one side of the rough opening
    is not in line with the opposite side. I installed the door jambs plumb rather
    than following the plane of the wall leaving gaps at the bottom of one side
    and top of the opposite side. Some of the gaps are one quarter to three
    eighths inches in width. In other cases the sides of the rough opening are in
    the same plane but the door jamb doesn't isn't wide enough to span the full
    width so I split the difference in putting the jamb in ending up with a small
    gap between the jamb and trim on both sides of the door. I've gone to far
    now to rip everything out and start all over again so it looks like I am going
    to have to use an awful lot of caulk to fill in these gaps. I have a nice
    shop filled up with all sorts of good tools and have built several pieces of
    furniture for our house that my wife was very pleased with, but intalling the
    trim is eating my lunch, hence the title of this thread. Do any of you guys
    have the same problem as I do?
    Hi Robert,
    The fact that you are trying your best to do this and also creating your own trim to work is exciting too. Can you share with us some photos of your situation and the trim you made. With this information we can best offer suggestions that may work out better than the plan you have now. We are here to share ideas and we will all get into places were fresh ideas may be the best solution. Don't give up hope, you have come this far, now let us see if we can help you.
    Shaz
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Shaz
    Here is how

  6. #6
    Brother I am laughing with you, not at you. I know the situation you are in and I feel for you. Please don't beat yourself up over this...I am sure you are an accomplished woodworker, just as I am, but trim and doors can kick you in the hiney sometimes.

    Over on the Wood Forum a few months ago a guy was asking about building a front door. He got a quote of 2 grand for a new custom made mahogany door. He was asking if he should make his own.

    I was a stout voice in saying no way. The reasons are simple, to build a door is tough business. It must swing, move, get slammed shut, pounded on and still keep out wind and rain even through ten thousand cycles of opening and closing. It often better to let someone else who knows what they are doing make doors. I tried it once and was not happy with the result. To be honest with you, getting the trim to seal and fit tight against an already built door is trying enough.

    About the only help I can offer you is to take you back to physics class. Remember the phrase "Three points in space make a plane?" Well that is what you have to do. No matter how hard, the two hinges and the latch must be co planer. That will give you a door that shuts and latches. The rest of the area around the door must be shimmed or filled in so the trim can be attached and seal and cover things up.

    By the way, you came to the right place. With a few pictures, a willingness to try new things, and some thought and help from everyone, you'll get the door to look great.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    711
    Part of what a carpenter is able to do is make things fit, and I know for myself the first time I had to understand that corners are not always 90 degrees, or that walls do not form right angles exactly to the floor, you realize you must compensate as a carpenter.

    Sure, tools do not a carpenter make, but knowledge of how to do something does. You just can't replace experience in the case of a carpenter.With that said, the best carpenters know how to work though the worst of problems.
    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 09-03-2007 at 12:37 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Posts
    688
    Don't feel bad. I know an extremely accomplished furniture maker that makes exquisite studio pieces that are perfect in every detail. He recently took a commission to build an entrance door on the condition that the client would get someone with experience to install it. A wise man indeed.
    Don't believe everything you think!

  9. #9

    Tools do not a carpenter make

    Let me explain how I went about hanging the doors. I remove all of the trim,
    hinges, and even the doorstop so that I am left with just the door frame itself. I then measure the width of the rough opening and try to center the
    frame in the rough opening. I shim at each hinge location first and then check with a six foot box beam level to make sure that the hinge jamb will be
    plumb when I attach it to the shims. I then place the hinges back on and
    hang the door. I then go to the latch side and shim top, center, and bottom
    to get an even reveal all the way around. Then I re-install the strike plate
    and close the door. I take a thin aluminum ruler and use it as a spacer when
    putting the door stop back on. This procedure for hanging a door was taken
    from an issue of Fine Homebuilding back about 1995 I think. I kept the issue
    but am not looking at it right now so am guessing as to what year it was.
    The trim carpenter who wrote the article was Jim Britton. As I stated in my
    first post, in just about every case with all seven doors, the width of the dry
    wall plus the trimmer stud was slightly wider than the jam width. I suppose I
    could have placed the jambs flush with one side of the opening but that
    would have left a wider gap between the jamb and trim on the opposite
    side to deal with. It surely would have necessitated jamb extensions. In
    hindsight that is what I should have done but was being pushed along by
    an impatient wife. After all, it's almost two years after the hurricane. As
    to the situation whereby the rough opening is scissored, I could have made
    by own jambs wide enough to scribe to each side but I thought I could work
    around the problem without going to that much trouble. Unfortunately, I am
    not paid to think. I would post some pictures but I am afraid that if ya'll
    saw them, I would be unceremoniously kicked out of family woodworking
    and barred from ever joining again!

  10. #10

    Tools do not a carpenter make

    I forgot to mention in my previous post that my trim is 1x lumber so it is not
    nearly as flexible as the trim that comes on the factory door. I did try ripping
    some kerfs on the backside in the hopes that that would give the trim some
    flex but the idea didn't work. I would go any deeper than about a half inch
    for fear that the trim might split on the face side.

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