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Replacing doorknob at front door?

 
 
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 02:39 pm
Hi, I hope you can help me out. I need to replace the doorknob and lockset in my front door.

I know the mechanics of the replacement itself, but I have a problem I need help with.

The door and jamb are old wood and busted up pretty badly. There have been many locks put in the door over the years, judging by the messed-up screw holes and cutout for the latch.

I need to find out how to fill and repair the door so I can secure a latch into it.

Also, the jamb by the strike needs repair. I'll take some photos and put them up so you can see what I have to deal with.

Thanks,

General Tsao
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,288 • Replies: 19
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 03:06 pm
Hey. It's real easy. Once I worked on a 200 year old house and had to repair 10 doors. I bought a couple of cans of Bondo filler and it's stronger than the wood. The wood fillers might work...they might take the screws better.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 03:10 pm
Hello General Tsao --
Mr.Piffka is a union carpenter/commercial superintendent and offered this advice:

"The best thing would be to completely fill every void in the door and jamb with plastic wood.

"Many kinds of "Plastic Wood" (that's a brand name)... it's wood in a resin -- not putty! -- and liquid enough to fill all the voids.

"Very important step -- let it completely dry, several days if possible. Obviously, you'll be having a security problem.

"On a commercial job, we'd put in a temporary door made of plywood while working on the restoration of the real door.

"If it has that many voids, it is going to be extremely hard to do in place."

Mr.P is waiting for photos. He wants to know what kind of hardware you're installing and the reason that you need to make the change.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 03:17 pm
I bow to the union-commercial-superintendent
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 03:38 pm
Hey, no bowing --- just scraping and sanding. I didn't see your answer, Pan, or I wouldn't have asked Mr. P. -- I was just trying to give his bone fides, since obviously I'm no expert.

Mr.P says that Bondo would work fine for the frame and smaller stuff, but questioned if it would work if the lockset hole needed to be plugged... & went off from there into an arcane description of the proper-sized wood plug, 2-part epoxies and whether or not General T. would have the right tools. Now he says if the General needs more than Bondo Very Happy he ought to consider just taking the problem to a local wood-working cabinet or millworking shop... or getting a new door... which is what we'd probably do.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 03:52 pm
mon general : depends a lot on the general condition of the door. how much protection do you expect the door to give against break-in ? is it an antique door that you need to preserve ? you might be able to cut out a section and replace it with a sound piece of wood - glued and screwed in as a replacement ; you could reinforce it with a metal plate if need be. for the jamb also your best bet might be to cut out a section of the old wood and replaace it with a new piece of good lumber. while you are at it : how well are the hinges secured in the doorframe? is the frame getting soft ? your hinges should probably at least be 2 1/2 to 3 inches; however before you do the work assess the general condition of the whole door and frame. hbg
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GeneralTsao
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 04:39 pm
OK, thanks for your help. I'm sorry it's taken so long to get the photos up; I had a computer crash.

Photos are here:
photos of door and jamb http://imaginarycolours.com/misc__photos_9.htm

The door is old, and I really like it, so I don't really want to replace it.

Security isn't a dramatic issue since the dead bolt is reasonably secure, and I live in a fairly safe area (rural suburb).

I have a large variety of mechanics tools at my disposal, and am not opposed to buying tools I need (that's how I got all my other tools, ROR).

The door jamb is about 2" from the counter/cabinet. I dont' know how practical it would be to add wood to that frame. Any hints are appreciated.

Thanks very much for your help.

General Tsao
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 05:34 pm
Herr General : since you seem to be determined to rescue your beloved door, i think you might be able to cut out the 'diseased' portion and replace it with a piece of clean lumber. you could use a V or notch cut and securely replace the rotten portion. i would think you might still want to reinforce it by placing a piece of reinforcing metal over the 'replacement' portion and extending for perhaps 6 inches or so over the door. you could also 'rebuild' the door by removing the section that's beginning to rot away and replace it with an 'aged' piece of lumber. no doubt you'll have a lot of work ahead of you if you want to do a decent repair job, but i'm sure it can be done - don't forget, your library likely has a few books/magazines containing advice on such repair work. GOOD LUCK ! hbg
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 06:49 pm
Thanks for posting the photos. Mr.P looked at them and says it still depends on what your goal is -- are you hoping to use the old hardware or do you have new?

If you have new stuff, then it is best to fill in all the voids with a combination of a wood plug for the biggest part that is carefully fitted and epoxied (two part) into place and use the wood particle/resin material to fill it out. In effect, you'll have returned the door to a solid state. Then, after the proper curing time, you cut the new holes for the new hardware. One of the things he wondered about (in terms of new tools) would be if you had the bit that cuts the proper-sized plug from another piece of door wood. Usually, I think he said that's a 2 1/8, but it depends on what you need. Mr.P has left the building just now, so I can't ask.

He said if you possibly can, you should get a new piece of wood for the jamb. Some local shop likely "owns" the knives for cutting the exact shape. Usually you can figure out who did the original work and they'll still have the knife on file. If you can't do that, then the same deal is true as you'd need to do with the door -- if you are getting new hardware, you need to build it back up with the resin stuff. If you are able to re-use the old hardware, he says that you could shim it into place on both the door and jamb* and then repair the damage around it with the wood/resin stuff. He also said that as far as he knows, the Bondo won't take your finish wood stain color as well as the wood particles in resin.

*you can use wood splinters, washers (if it's too deep) and regular shims to set it in place. I'm pretty sure he said that the screw holes need to be filled & cured first.

Is this making sense? <rolling eyes>

Here's an article that describes what (I think) Mr.P was trying to explain how to do:
http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/library/OHJEpoxy2004/OHJEpoxy2004.htm
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 06:59 pm
Mr. P's advice is solid, but so is Bondo, "the carpenter's friend". Mix it right and wait till it's cured and that door will be with you another twenty years.

Joe
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 07:15 pm
general : pls don't forget to post a pix of the completed job (including any bruised knuckles). hbg
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GeneralTsao
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:13 pm
Thanks for the great responses!

Ms. P, do you mean that I should fill in the whole hole in the door, not just the part where the latch comes out the edge?

I can get a 2 1/8" hole saw. The hard part for me would be to drill it straight. Smile

To clarify, I love the old door, but the hardware is new. The original hardware was gone long before I moved here. So, I'm putting in a new Kwikset lock with lever handle so it's easier to open the door with two armloads of groceries. Surprised)

By "Bondo," do you mean the very same Bondo used in auto body repair?
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Nov, 2004 01:45 am
Yes indeed...the very same. Good luck
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Nov, 2004 06:03 am
GeneralTsao wrote:
Thanks for the great responses!

Ms. P, do you mean that I should fill in the whole hole in the door, not just the part where the latch comes out the edge?

I can get a 2 1/8" hole saw. The hard part for me would be to drill it straight. Smile


I think he meant that you'd be filling in the the whole hole, yep. That's where that wooden plug comes into play.

He did say that it had to be the right measurement for the plug. Wink Also, do you have any door wood that you can use? You may need to cut more than one plug if you <ahem> don't get the first one quite right. I think that the wood-plastic stuff is supposed to go inside there first and cure. Then the plug is put in & epoxied into place. (But Mr.P fell asleep so I wasn't able to ask him.)

Quote:
To clarify, I love the old door, but the hardware is new. The original hardware was gone long before I moved here. So, I'm putting in a new Kwikset lock with lever handle so it's easier to open the door with two armloads of groceries. Surprised)


Wise idea, I like those lever handles. I will try to get Mr.P online tomorrow.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Nov, 2004 06:38 am
You guys make me almost want my own home repair job to do today...

There has to be something around here that could use some Bondo....
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Magus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 02:01 am
I live in a 200-yr.-old house, and have dealt with the conservation vs. replacement issue many times.
I know how much time, money and effort it can take to restore items that are seriously deteriorated/damaged.

Considering the costs and benefits... I suggest saving the hours of labor and replacing the door with something new.
There are products available in a variety of styles that are much more secure and airtight/energy efficient.
A new unit, properly selected and installed, would probably afford you much more satisfaction in the long run.

Probably NOT what you wanted to hear, but I've been there...
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 05:29 am
squinney wrote:
You guys make me almost want my own home repair job to do today...

There has to be something around here that could use some Bondo....



LOL! I hear ya Squinney. I watch those fix it yourself shows all the time and they get me all wired up to fix stuff :-D
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 10:48 am
magus : good advice, but the general might want some free airconditioning. i've tried to fix some old windowframes ... i said, I TRIED TO ! i've seen on some antique show where they used some kind of chemical/mineral bath to strenghten rotted wood. apparently it works, but costs several times what a new item would cost. actually a scrapyard/lumberyard might have a used door for a few dollars. in our city one of the highschools operates a 'recycle' shop and they sell 'almost new' material for a fraction of the cost of new material - anything like that in your neighbourhood general ? hbg
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Magus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 01:53 pm
Free Air conditioning sounds fine... except in a winter when home heating oil prices exceed $2.00 per gallon.
The replacement doors available at recycle shops can be a good deal, but at issue is the door jamb, or casing... which are seldom provided with said "re-cycled" doors. We don't often think of it as such, but the casing is an integral part of the installation. Over time, the screws that hold the hinges in place get loose, the striker plate ditto... and then the door sticks and fails to open/shut/lock/unlock easily.
Once that doorjamb has been damaged, security is compromised.
Pre-hung doors, which come with a new casing, install fairly easily, and (when properly installed, plumb and square) provide a clean, fresh finish and an uncompromised fit which is hard to discount.
I noticed from the pix posted that the window in the door afforded easy access for a house-breaker (they smash a pane, reach in and unlock the door)... which is why the deadbolt had to be installed above the doorknob assembly.
That deadbolt, to prevent the erstwhile house-breaker from simply reaching through the broken pane and turning a knob to gain entry, requires a key to lock/unlock the door from the interior.

I have a similar door, but have replaced the glass with an impact-resistant plexiglas pane...
From MY perspective, a door should be designed/chosen in such a way as to may the aspiring house-breaker's job difficult, rather than a snap... as well as to provide a barrier between the indoor and outdoor temps/environment.

It may cost $200-300 for a new door+installation... but, once done (properly) it will achieve those objectives for years to come.
0 Replies
 
CarpentryExperts
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2004 07:59 pm
door jam
Have you seen. Bondo with the fiberglass strands?
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