Door Defects

DEFECTS to doors, in so far as they are due to faulty binges, can be corrected by alterations described in the section referring to HINGES. Most other defects are-caused by the frame dropping at one side, or by warping of the door. When the frame drops, there will be points diagonally opposed, at top and bottom, where the door sticks or jams ; at the opposite side to this point the door will show a gap between it and the frame or the threshold (B), so that draughts may get through and cause annoyance . Normally nothing can be done to the door frame, so that it is a case of making the best of a bad job, which means that we must adapt the door itself to overcome the altered conditions.

The first thing to do is to prevent the door from sticking; probably it will stick at both top and bottom, at diagonal corners. Plane off the high place at the top until the door is free-here; it will be easy to locate the point at which the material should be planed from the edge of the door, by looking for the place where rubbing between door and jamb has taken place. With care, standing on a pair of steps or on a chair, a smoothing plane can be brought to bear on the door when open, but the end grain at the door stiles, may be difficult to plane in this position. In such a case the door must be taken down by unscrewing the hinge plates attaching it to the door frame. Instructions for doing this are given in the article on HINGES First note also where the door must be eased at the bottom.

Remove the door and place it edgewise on the floor, with the faulty top edge to the left, and take off the high corner by smoothing plane. Then rectify the bottom corner if defective, and rehang the door. The next thing is to fill any gap caused by the dropped frame. Plane down the surface of a thin piece of deal, of the same width and thickness as the door, so that a long feather-edged piece results. It should not be a tight fit between top of door and top of- frame; all that is wanted is to exclude draught and make a tidy finish. When the wedge slip fits, open the door, and nail it on top with veneer pins. Drive in two only at first, just enough to keep the slip in place for a test. Open and close the door, and see if it works easily; if not, take off the slip and plane off its top edge slightly; another way is to cut an inch or less off the thick end of the slip and then replace it so that it is now farther back than before. Tack it on again and try the door. When satisfactory, glue and nail the slip securely.

If an outer door shows daylight at the bottom , a similar feather-edged slip can be nailed there to the threshold, but should be of hardwood. A better job is to nail the bottom slip to the edge of the door itself, after cutting and fitting while the door is hung. Of course, if it is tight, the job of taking the door down must be repeated to ease the slip, but this cannot be avoided.

Much of what has just been said applies to outer doors. Room doors can generally be adjusted by manipulating the hinges . The bottom of a room door is seldom a close fit to the floor, in order to allow for passing over floor coverings, so that it is the top and sides that have to be eased. Side tightness can often be remedied by adjusting the hinges.

Warped Doors

Sometimes, as a result of warping, a door will not come close to the stops at sides and top; it may be close at one side and not at the other. The thing to do here is to move the stops to suit the door, provided the hinges are correct and nothing can be done with them. Refer to the instructions given under the heading FLUSH DOORS. In the case of an outer door it may have a stop moulded or formed on the door frame, which latter is cut out of the solid. A wedge of hardwood should then be cut to fit against the existing stop to close the gap. Test it as described above for the slip at top or bottom of door, and when it is correct, nail it on strongly.

Weather Changes

In the case of outer doors especially, an adjustment made during warm, dry weather may prove too tight when the door later expands under damp conditions. This should be borne in mind and allowed for, and too drastic remedies avoided if the job is tackled in summer time. A sticking door, like a sticking drawer, may right itself later, so it is as well to bear this point in mind.

General Hints

When a door rattles it may be due to the stops permitting too much clearance or play. In bad cases, move the stops in nearer, or tack a piece of thin felt along inside the stops. Always watch for any hindrance to the door latch or lock bolt when making readjustments at the stops. Readjustment of the latter may involve an alteration to the striking plate or box staple. For loose hinge screws, see also FIXINGS AND FITTINGS.

When a door frame drops, the bolt usually requires removal and refitting; usually the bolt staple is easier to move than the bolt itself.

Similarly, if the door warps, the bolt may be out of line with the socket or staple; the latter should be packed out a little to bring it again into register with the bolt. If the striking plate or box staple is out of register, an attempt may be made to rectify it. A striking plate is fitted when the lock is of the mortise type. Remove the plate, after noting where it must be altered; file downwards or outwards the slots for latch and lock bolt respectively, until they will again admit these parts. Put the plate in position, and mark where the wood must now be chiselled away to let the bolts enter. Take off the plate again, carefully cut away the wood, and refix the plate.

In the case of a box staple, the recess in the wood will need to be cut lower down, or deeper, according to the defect. Plug the old screw holes and bore fresh ones in the correct positions; after this, refix the staple. This is a ticklish job, which needs accurate observation and marking. Much harm may be done by inaccurate work. After completing the task, cut slips of wood to fill any gap left by moving the box staple. Some staples have a flange which is let into the edge of the door frame and screwed there; this complicates the job, as it is necessary to make an accurate fit in two directions. Plug the old screw holes, and proceed as described above. When deepening or altering a recess, take off only a little wood at a time, and try the fit before going further. If the staple has to be packed out, instead of being let in deeper, cut a thin slip of wood, or a piece of strawboard, and do not screw up too tightly; the latter material is quite easily compressed if it is forced up too hard.

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