Match the doors
1 of 4
Photo 1: You already have the perfect template
Carefully align the top and hinge edges of both doors and clamp
2 of 4
Photo 2: Transfer the hinge locations
Use a speed square and a sharp pencil to transfer the hinge locations
to the new slab.
3 of 4
Photo 3: Trace the hinge
Unscrew the hinge and tape it in place to trace the rest of the
hinge outline. Be sure to match the distance from the edge of the
door to the edge of the hinge (the same as it was on the old door).
4 of 4
Photo 4: Chisel and slice
Chisel out the opening, leaving the corners for last. Then use a
sharp utility blade to score around the corner radius. Pop out the
corner slug with the chisel.
The kids shouldn’t have been playing floor hockey indoors
with a real puck because those babies can go right through
a hollow-core door. But the damage is done and now somebody
(i.e., you!) has to replace the door. You have two
choices. Yank the old door and jamb, trim and all, and
replace with a prehung door. Or, spend less time and save money by installing a blank door slab in the existing
jamb and leave the trim intact. Hanging a slab is easier than
you think. All you need is a hammer and chisel, clamps, a
square and a drill and a hole saw. Measure the width of the
old door. Sizes are all standard, so you’ll be able to find a
replacement at the home center.
Line up both doors and lightly clamp them together (Photo
1). Next, mark the new slab (Photos 2 and 3). Mortise the hinge
openings using a chisel and utility knife (Photo 4). Once
you’ve finished mortising the hinges, set the door upright
and bore the lockset holes.
If the old door was trimmed at the bottom and you were
happy with the gap at the floor, cut the new door to match.
Mount the hinges on the new door and hang the door. If you
don’t need any further adjustments, remove the door again,
then finish it to match the rest of the woodwork and rehang
it. Now it’s on to the next item on your fix-it list.