From Door Slab to Working Door

04 Oct 2008

Items required:


  • You need to make sure to pick the right size of door slab. They are all standard 80″ tall by 1 3/8″ thick. The only variable is the width of the door which you can measure. Ours was a 30″ door.
  • The first thing you will want to do is plane the side of the door that the hinges are on. I’m not an expert carpenter, but this seemed pretty simple. Our door was beveled on both ends about a 1/16″ and we planed the door down until the door was no longer beveled. Your doorway may only require you to plane one side down or none at all just make sure you measure and fit the door correctly.</p> The door will either be really tight or not fit at all still probably, but do not fear, you can still plane more if you need just don’t do too much or plane the other side of the door yet. </li>

    • Now we need to place hinges. This is where Nate and I ran into some “fun.”

      All I can say is, “Measure 5 times, chissel once.” The latch kit we had came with instructions for doing most of this stuff, but I will go over where we made mistakes.</p> Measure from the top of the door frame to the top of the routed out spot for the hinge on the door frame for each hinge. Take an 1/8″ off that measurement. This will create an 1/8″ gap at the top of the door so it fits nicely in the frame. Our door had 3 hinges at something like 8 1/8″, 38 5/8″ and 69 1/8″(sorry I lost the measurements after we were done). So that means we marked the door at 8″, 38 1/2″ and 69″.

      When we did our door we did the top and bottom hinge spots which I now regret for one reason. When we tried to put the door in, somehow we messed up the measurements or something and the top hinge was about a 1/16″ off and we had to chissel the hinge spot a bit more so it would fit correctly. I would suggest taking a little more time by double checking your measurements or chissling the top hinge spot mounting the door with that hinge and outlining where the other hinges are going to be. </li>

      • Now that you have all the hinge spots chisseled you need to plane the door if on the other side until it fits. Start by planing the door until the bevel is gone(which will get rid of about 1/16″ ). Then you can plane more if that isn’t enough.
      • Alright lets hang the door. Screw the hinges on the door first, then screw them onto the frame. Assuming all measurements were right, it should just work….
      • Alright, now you can test the door to see if it closes correctly or not. If the outside of the door is catching on the frame just use the plane on specific spots that catch.
      • Now that your door shuts correctly we need to drill the latch hole. When Nate and I did this we measured from the top of the door frame to the top of the latch hole on the frame. Then measured the same from the top of the door down and subtracted the 1/8″. Now measure how tall the latch hole is on the frame and make a mark that far down from the line you just drew on the door. This is the bottom of the latch hole. Now find the center point between those two lines both between the lines and between the thickness of the door. This will be where you will put the drill bit that pertrudes from the hole drill. Now, put the latch kit assembly on the door like the instructions say and line it up with the lines and center point you just made and then drill the latch hole.

        Make very sure the drill is level in both directions or you will not be happy with the results.

      • Its time to drill the door handle holes. With the latch kit assembly still on the door you can simply switch the drill hole bit out for the bigger one and then drill the holes on both sides of the door. Do not drill from one side of the door straight through to the other side, you will probably break out the other side of the door.
      • If all goes well you should be able to put the old door knob and latch on from your other door and your done. </ul>

      Door Pictures:

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