Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hanging Doors

Or, as I found it to be, an exercise in frustration!

I found out the hard way that inset doors are a pain to hang. The reason is because everything has to fit in the opening and there's really no way to fudge it.

The first step in hanging the doors was to go out & get some screws. I bought 2 dozen #6 x 1" brass flat head screws and 2 #6 x 1" steel flat head screws. The plan was to drill the pilot holes, then drive one of the steel screws into the hole and remove it, then drive a brass screw in. This should result in fewer broken screws. Yeah, right!

The hinges I bought for this cabinet exactly match the hinges on the pieces in our dining room set. I got them from Lee Valley. They are a morticeless type of hinge; the picture below shows them.

I got the screws from my local Ace hardware store. They carried #4, #6 & #8 screws. I figured the #6 size would be about right, from the size of the holes in the hinges. Well, when I drove the screws in, I found that the heads of the screws protruded above the surface of the hinges about 1/32" or so. After seeing this, I went back to the store & got some #4 screws. These were just way too small & the Phillips cross in the heads just stripped out when I tried to screw them home.

I think a #5 screw would be perfect, but I can't seem to find them locally. I really don't want to talk about the damage I did to the doors with broken screws while trying to mount the hinges. I did manage to hide all of it under the hinges, but I'm not happy with the way the operation went.

I had to plane the bottom & side of the bead moldings on both doors to get everything to fit properly and the doors to open freely. As I've come to find, this is just normal for hanging inset doors. Everything really does have to be absolutely perfect if you expect to just hang them & be done. I'm not anywhere near that good. And these are the first doors I've ever made & hung, by the way.

After I got both doors hung & working to my satisfaction, I mounted the door knobs. The knobs I bought came with their own mounting bolts, so I just drilled 1/4" holes through the left hand stile, inserted the bolts & screwed them into the knobs. I have door catch hardware left to mount, but I'll wait until the finishing is done to do that.

And that completes the build. All I have left to do is take off the doors, finish sanding, raise the grain, then work through my finish schedule..

Now to be completely honest, as of this writing, I've already begun working through the finishing schedule, but I forgot to take pictures of the cabinet as it was before I started this phase! Sorry folks.

Next time, I'll go over the finishing. My wife & I are looking forward to putting this in the dining room in a week or two.

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