Trimming a door

How to Trim a Door

An electrical or hand planer is an excellent tool for rapidly, but smoothly, planing timber down as required. It is also very good at smoothing imperfections in wood. Planing the thin edge of a length of wood can present problems as it can be difficult to keep the planer absolutely level in order that you get a perfect 90° edge.

Use Prestik to lightly attach a small bubble level to a suitable flat area of the top of the planer. Now you simply have to keep the bubble centred as you push the planer along.

Trimming A Door

Wood swells in wet weather, sometimes so much so that a door jams. A Planer is the answer. The trick is to remove only the bare minimum of wood as you don’t want gaps when dry weather arrives.

  1. Establish where the door is jamming. If you cannot see where the problem is, use a child’s wax crayon to mark suspect areas of either the door OR the jamb (the vertical part of the frame against which the door fits when closed) NOT BOTH! Close the door – where the colour has been transferred is where you have a problem area.
  2. Remove the door from its hinges. If they are the pin type, you can simply tap them out from below (using a 3mm punch; Fig. A) Tap out the pin in the lower hinge first and then do the top. The same applies if you un-screw one side of each hinge (Fig.B) from either the door or the jamb – lower one first, top one last.
  3. Prop the door firmly into a level position – whether on its side or laid out flat. Check with a torpedo level that it is level in both planes.
  4. Set your Planer to its minimum setting and ensure that the planer is square to the surface so that you will get a neat 90° corner. Make your first pass and then a second and a third until all of the wax crayon indicator colouring has been removed.
  5. Place a steel ruler against the surface you have just planed and ensure that no light shows; if it does, you have high and low spots. Remove the high spots.
  6. Using one screw per hinge, driven into a hole closest to the pivot point of the door (doing the top hinge first and then the lower) attach the door and check that it opens and closes freely. If it does, complete fixing it back into position. If it does not open and close freely, check with the crayon again, remove the door (lower hinge first, upper hinge second) and then plane again.

Door Hinges

Shopping List

  • Planer
  • Torpedo level
  • Prestik
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Steel ruler
  • Wax Crayon
  • Mutton Cloth

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