Hang On

We bought it here. We sanded and primed here. We salvaged and polished here and here.

The remaining steps to hanging a door are all that’s left.

First, you have to make the little bugger unwieldy beast fit.  This one was very close but about half an inch had to come off the bottom.

Trim bottom of door with circular saw

There are three hinges and each needs a notched out space on both the edge of the door and the door frame so it will be flush with the surface.

Cut out for hinge

This can be accomplished either by a router or a hammer and chisel.  Charlie chose hammer and chisel since most of the notches were already made and only needed to be doctored a bit because this door would open to the outside (most front doors open in).

Screw in the hinge

Next we screwed in the hinges to the door and the frame after making pilot holes with a nail. One caution: if you’re using a screwdriver drill attachment, make pilot holes because the door wood is very hard and just letting the drill screw in the screws often messes up the top of the screw making it nearly impossible to remove that screw. Note above the part of the hinge that goes onto the door. The matching section gets screwed into the door frame.

Then we matched up the male and female edges and dropped (hammered) the pins in. And the door was too big to fit into the opening side to side.

Door does not quite close
Almost closes but doesn’t

We checked it with a level and discovered the hinges attached to the frame were slightly out of plumb.  So Charlie removed the door again and set the top hinge a little deeper into the frame. This is a very precise operation.

Almost but not quite closed

Still the door wouldn’t close all the way so we had to make a few dozens of passes with the Surform both to the door and jamb on the latch side to detail the fit.

Charlie using the Surform to plane the door

Finally the door closed all the way.

Closed at last

Then we gave it a fresh coat of paint both inside and outside, screwed on the door handle and lock set, and replaced the weatherstrip along the bottom edge. Here’s the door we removed.


May I present Morgan* the Cottage Door.


We learned how to hang an exterior door in an existing jamb and saved a ton of moolah over buying a new door. The cost breakdown is:

Door and lock set                             $35.00

Keys for the door                             $13.00

Brasso                                                    $ 6.00

Hinges and screws                                 -0-

Paint (from our stash)                         -0-

Total                                                      $54.00

*Morgan is stamped into the top of the door and the number 73.  A similar door retails for approximately $1000. Yikes!!

How did we do?

I’m linked to Metamophosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.
and here


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

9 thoughts on “Hang On”

  1. Just lovely! So crisp and clean, definitely an upgrade for your cottage. Nice to re-use and save money too. Are you going to re-use that black bell from the before pic? It’s so quaint!

  2. I have a similar door and actually wanted to cut it so that just the top can open, would you advise against that? It looks like you did the opposite. Looks great!

    1. Shy, the Dutch door was constructed so that each part, top and bottom, were separately framed (look at the difference between the before and after doors in the post) and had an extra piece of wood that held them together when closed. Also, instead of 3 hinges, there are four. If you have a solid wood door it might work and you’ll also need double door knobs. I will admit that when it was a Dutch door we often used it with the top only open to let a breeze through. My suggestion: Go to a door store display and see some in person to help with your decision. Jo

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