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Doors are most likely candidates for adjustment

While most of us think of a house as a static structure, unlike a car engine, houses do have moving parts. In the same way an engine needs a periodic tune-up, the moving parts of your house may have fallen out of adjustment and require attention. The doors are most likely candidates for wear and tear. Changes in humidity cause them to bind against the jamb, and worn or poorly fitting hinges will cause a door to sag.

Door hinges should be recessed so the hinge leaves are flush with the door edge and jamb. If a recess is too deep, the door edge can bind against the jamb before the door is completely closed and eventually loosen screw fastenings.

If you see any movement between the hinge and wood, tighten the screws. If a screw hole is stripped, replace the old screws with longer ones. Because most jambs are }-inch thick, installing a 1{-inch-long screw usually will catch the framing beyond the jamb.

First, bore a pilot hole through the jamb for the longer screw and don't overtighten the new screw, to avoid splitting the jamb.

You can also plug a stripped hole with a dowel and then refasten the hinge with the original screw. Begin by removing the hinge leaf. If your door is hung on two hinges, you'll have to remove the door. If your door is hung on three hinges, you can remove one of them without removing the door.

First, support the door with a couple of wooden shingles or other tapered wedges. Tap these under the door until its weight is removed from the hinge, then remove the screws to free the hinge leaf.

Using the old hole as a pilot, bore a ]-inch-diameter hole and take care not to go completely through the jamb. Cut a plug from a ]-inch-diameter fluted dowel pin. Glue the plug in place and let dry before boring the new pilot hole.

If any of the hinge mortises are too deep, shim them before reinstalling the hinges. Trim a thick piece of veneer or mat board to the size of the mortise, then place it in the mortise, bore screw holes and install the hinge.

If the door rubs against the jamb as it closes, it must be trimmed to fit. The top and sides should show a [- to /th-inch space and a /th to \-inch gap should appear at the bottom. Set an ordinary compass to the correct clearance. Hold the point on the jamb edge and scribe the trim line around the door.

If you have a small amount of material to remove on the latch edge or outer corner of the top, you can do the job with the door in place using a block plane. You may need to remove the latch set.

If so, check that the latch plate is flush with the door edge when reinstalled. If necessary, deepen the mortise with a sharp chisel. Trimming the full length of the top or any part of the bottom requires that the door be removed.

The top and bottom are trimmed by planing in from each end to avoid splitting the door stiles. If you need to remove more material than can be comfortably planed, use your circular saw for the job. Use a blade for making finished end cuts and apply masking tape to the saw base plate to prevent marring the door, then measure the distance between the plate edge to a tooth on the saw blade.

Clamp a straight cutting guide to the door so the distance between the guide and the cut line equals the distance between the blade and the base edge. Scribe the trim line with a sharp knife to minimize tear-out.

If a door contacts the stops before the latch engages, the stops will need to be adjusted. If the contact area is small, try tapping the stop into position with a block of wood and hammer. Once the door closes easily, nail the stop with 4d finishing nails.

If tapping it doesn't work, or the door is simply too tight all around, remove the stops by punching a nail completely through at one end of each piece with a nail set and then prying each stop off. Re-install by first closing the door and pressing gently until the lock hits the strike.

With the door at this position, the head stop can be installed with a /th-inch clearance between the door and the stop. Nail the 4d finishing nails and attach the remaining stops with the same clearance.

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