Saturday, January 23, 2010


After Action Report for the major wind storm with the rain here this week. A fair bit of water collected in tarps protecting dug (but not yet poured) retaining wall footings down on the lot below. I jury rigged the pool cover pump to drain those unintentional sumps and moved it down the line a few times to clear the puddles. A couple more to go...

Just about the blew door to our utilty room and my reloading room off it's hinges. It's toast. Split the door up the long way on the hinge side and pulled the bottom hinge loose. No can close or secure it. Beyond repairing or jury rigging. Unsat.

This being Saturday and a getting nice break in the weather, I went out to tackle the damaged/jury rigged door today.

Took a closer look thinking it would be a straight forward job. Well, to quote the famous philosopher Pooh, "Bother."

Nothing's standard about this house. Everything is custom circa '62, even the door heights (i knew that) and the door casings (I didn't fully appreciate the import of that till today).

The deep eaves on this house are great in our hot weather but they reduce the outside door heights. In this case to 6' 6". Simple enough to get an exterior door and cut in down you say? Hah. 95% of the exteriors doors in stock at my other toy store (HD) are steel or fiberglass. So much for cutting a section off the bottom cleanly. That really narrows the field of available doors in stock.

Further complicating matters is this exterior door being 1 3/8" thick instead of now standard exterior thickness of 1 3/4".

No problem you say? Just pop off the trim stop boards and fit new stops to a thicker door!

Nazzo fast Guido. That trim stop? It's a milled part of the solid casing. The door casings are solid 2" + thick fir mud boards inset into the exterior stucco. So much for popping stops. Oy...

Thinking, thinking, thinking... Wandering aimlessly in Home Depot aisles. Home for another bit of measuring to test feasibility of a couple ideas. Bah. Start over. Back to HD. Scrap another plan...

Voila! Think I've got a plan.

I bought a solid core 1 3/8" slab door (boring but it'll work and I can always cut a window in later if the Spousal unit wishes). The guts of these slab doors only allow a cut of 1" per side without messing up the structural integtrity. to quote a favorite Jr High girl around the house, "Whatev-ah."

The plan is to cut the necessary 2" off at the bottom, prime that cut and cap with aluminum "U" to hold it together at the bottom edge of the veneers. Then the door width will need reduced to make this plan work. I need rip a total of 1 3/16" off. That means cutting twice down the long sides to get the total width reduction (to respect the 1" structural constraint/keepout).

Why for all this cutting say ye? I'm planning to mount it in the existing minor dimension (31") of the existing 32" door opening's solid trim stop. The casing is milled from a solid chunk of tight grain Doug Fir like you can't buy anymore (remember circa '62?).

I'll mount the door on the existing trim stop and reverse the door swing so it opens inward. Opening inward is a wee bit tight in that utility space but it'll be more secure and won't get slammed out against hinges by wind (which what got me in this mess).

I'll fit a new trim stop in the old door's opening. I think I can mill a casing from 2x stock that will nest inside the stucco'd opening. I'll rabbet it to overlap the old casing and butt it up on the new door to act as the stop. That bit of homebrew millwork should be good and stout so I can also screw (lag) it to the door framing and old old casing to add some more structural integrity.

As a follow on idea which I haven't measured for yet, I hope to size that new external bit of casing to afford a place for mounting a steel security screen door to the outside. That would be a very good thing since my reloading equip and most auto tools are in this space.

Pix to follow as the project unfolds.

1 comment:

KurtP said...

Why not make a door to fit?
If you have a table saw and a router table you can put some nice deep rabbits in the stiles and tennon the rails, use some 1/2" ply for the panels.