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how do I cut down an interior wood door?

Postby Helena James » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:27 pm

I had new carpet installed in all 3 bedrooms and the closet doors need to be cut down to fit, can you tell me how to do it
Helena James
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Postby mrfixit » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:36 pm

Hi Helena,

There are a few options.

You can hire a specific tool from a hire shop that will cut the door down in situ.

Remove the door(s) and either plane them down (working from either end into the middle so as to avoid tear out) or cut them with a good hand saw or a circular saw.

You could also use a router to remove the exess timber.

You don't mention if the doors are hollow (if they are be careful how much timber you remove) or solid.
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Postby Oddbod » Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:50 pm

For a carpenter it is a dead easy job, it might be simpler just to ask one to come in and do it.

For DIY, it depends how much you need to remove, what tools you have to hand, and how confident you feel using them.

In all cases take the doors off first.

If you need to remove 5mm or more then a sharp hardpoint handsaw will do the trick. A tenner or so from any DIY store. Mark the line and cut along it. You do need to be able to cut straight so a bit of practice may be in order first. You need to be quite confident to cut any less than 5mm with a handsaw.

For less than 5mm conventional wisdom says use a hand plane. However hand planes are not really easy things to use. Making them work properly is a bit of magic that most professionals learn very early on, and then assume everyone else understands too! So if you don't want to learn the black arts of plane fettling, sharpening and setting a somewhat alarming, but foolproof way, is to buy an electric planer for about £20-£30. Mark the line and make several passes with the planer until you have removed enough. Set the planer to cut 1mm (or less) on each pass. Quite noisy and very messy (an outside job) but unless you are confident with a saw or a hand plane it is easier. Again a bit of practice first won't go amiss.

One tip, keep your fingers where you can see them! Never put them underneath the planer when it is on – it has happened, believe me.
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