Tips on Door Shortening

Have had an external door sitting around for a couple of weeks. I've done a couple of coats of Cabot's exterior clear polyurethane on one side, said to my husband, "Hope I'm not going to finish this and have you turn round and want to sand and cut as it doesn't fit". Guess what? Out came the measuring tape. It needs 4-5mm off the side so he was thinking of planing that, and about 20mm off the bottom/top. Any advice on the best way to do this, he was thinking of hand sawing to reduce avoid splintering.

Happy Australia Day and I'm glad Bunnings is open as I think I'll need some more paint.
 
Have had an external door sitting around for a couple of weeks. I've done a couple of coats of Cabot's exterior clear polyurethane on one side, said to my husband, "Hope I'm not going to finish this and have you turn round and want to sand and cut as it doesn't fit". Guess what? Out came the measuring tape. It needs 4-5mm off the side so he was thinking of planing that, and about 20mm off the bottom/top. Any advice on the best way to do this, he was thinking of hand sawing to reduce avoid splintering.

Happy Australia Day and I'm glad Bunnings is open as I think I'll need some more paint.

hi tondon,
I usually use a circular saw to cut doors down to size, and then finish off using an electric plane.
IMHO, is you use a hand saw, you won't get a very clean finish...

Boods
 
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Just be careful taking 20mm off one end. Many doors these days are made as cheap as possible with minimal timber edges (assuming not solid door). They do not allow for much trimming. If in doubt take 10mm off top and bottom. I came unstuck taking about 20mm off a bathroom door when retiling only to find it must have already been shaved - became unstable and I had to replace. You can always use a very fine drill bit to do some exploratory work to see how far the timber frame is in from the edges .....it works!
 
Fine tooth circ saw is the go for the cutting bottom off doors.
One trick is to put some masking tape on both outer edges where the saw is going to initially bite into the timber.
Instead of cutting all the way across, then exiting the other end, cut about half way across, then switch to the other side and cut toward where you finished the provious cut from the other direction.
You make a real mess with a circ saw on the exit. Doing it this way, you have two entry points and no exit.
You can clamp a piece of timber to the door as a guide.
Not sure if I've explained it properly, but it makes sense to me, so that's all that matters :)
 
You can clamp a piece of timber to the door as a guide.
This is the best tip to date. We've just shortened/narrowed several doors and done all of the above. If you're a novice circular saw user, you NEED that guide. Be very careful getting the right distance between the guide and where the blade will go.
 
Keep in mind that if you cut from each side to the center of the door, the piece of wood you use as a guide, needs to be relocated due to the offset of the blade in the soleplate of the saw.
 
Thanks for the tips, and they will be useful when we come to the internal doors, but I went out and did some painting and came back and he has chopped the door off Well taken 20mm off with a hand saw. It passes my standard which is pretty high.
 
We had to fit a door recently with no power - so circular saw wasn't an option. This was a trapezium shaped door, way narrower and shorter than standard.

Being lazybums we made the door out of matchboard and left it raw. Cost about $30, could do all the cutting with a handsaw, could get the trapezium shape by offsetting the planks a bit at one end, and it was really light and easy to work with. Would never do it on a newer house but it fit in perfectly in an 1870s house - older houses often have doors made of very thick floorboard kinda planking.

Very tempted to do the same to replace the dodgy sliding door on our extremely narrow bathroom door here, but certainly wouldn't leave it raw.
 
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