How To Trim A Door Width: Steps & Items Needed For Trimming A Door Width

Steps & Items Needed For Trimming A Door Width

The swollen wood door will easily stick to the jamb & doesn't easily open & close but the good news is that this common problem has an easy solution that most homeowners can achieve fairly instantaneously. Once you make sure that the sticking isn't caused by the loose hinges or the loose lock and the latch mechanisms, you will need to remove your door to trim its width. If you want to finish this task by yourself then you just need to gather all the required items and follow the steps afterward. Here is the list of required items and steps for this process:

Things Needed For This Process

  • Woodworker's Plane Or Low-Angle Block Plane
  • Flat-Head Screw Driver
  • Utility Knife
  • Chisel
  • Paint Or Stain
  • Nickle Coin

Steps For This Process

  • Firstly, you need to remove the pins from your door hinges so that you can easily remove the door from your jamb. Put the tip of your shoe under your door, which in turn will help you in holding your door straight & steady. If your hinge pins are flat or differently hard to remove, you need to use a flat-head screwdriver & a hammer to gently tap the pins from the top of your hinges.
  • You need to unscrew the latch plate from your door to remove it. If your door & the plate is stuck fast with paint, use a sharp utility knife in order to remove the paint around the perimeter of your plate to free it. Unscrew & remove the lock, knob & latch mechanism. If you don't need to plane in your area near the latch then skip this step.
  • After that, brace your door to keep it substantial while you plane it. The latch edge needs to face up. Most do-it-yourselfers don't have large clamps & vises, so this is where a helper comes inaccessible. Have a helper stand at the opposite end of your door from you & hold your door at the floor betwixt his feet & at the top with his hands.
  • Then you need to plane the latch edge of your door with a standard woodworker's plane or a low-angle block plane. You need to use long strokes in order to get rid of the width of the door that the user intends to do. The blade should be sharp & its exposure essential so it easily cuts long & skinny shavings. Bevel the edge so that the inside surface of your door is slenderly wider than the outside surface.
  • Next you need to deepen the mortise for your latch with the help of a sharp chisel so your latch is set flush. You need to remove just enough material to make your latch flush.
  • Finally, repaint or stain & finish the exposed sections of your wood to match. You need to reattach the lock, knob, latch & latch plate to your door and then replace your door in the jamb. Once again, the tip of your shoe under your door will hold it reliable while you align your door & replace the pins.

Tips & Warnings

  • Planing lead paint can easily release lead fleck into the air. If your door has paint dating prior to 1978 & you suspect it contains lead then you need to contact a professional to remove the applied paint before you plane it.
  • Scratches & wear marks on the edge of your door will tell you where your door width needs to be trimmed properly. If the stuck areas are not apparent then you need to use a pencil to mark where your door sticks before you remove your door. The gap around the top & sides of your door should be about the width of a nickel.
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