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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Repair Of Binding Door

Procedure code:

0821001R

Source:

Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero

Division:

Doors And Windows

Section:

Wood Doors

Last Modified:

04/11/2014

Details:

Repair Of Binding Door



REPAIR OF BINDING DOOR


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on inspecting and
         repairing a door that binds or rubs unnecessarily.  Some
         causes of a binding door may include paint build-up,
         thermal expansion or swelling of the wood, loose hinges,
         a worn hinge pin, or an open joint between the rail and
         stile.  See Section 3.01 below for guidance on examining
         the cause of the problem so that the appropriate repair
         can be made.

    B.   For guidance on repairing a door that has a springy
         resistance to closing, see 08712-01-R "Resetting a Hinge
         Mortise".

    C.   See 01100-07-S for "General Project Guidelines" to be
         reviewed along with this procedure.  These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed before performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).

1.02 SYSTEM DESCRIPTION

    A.   The parts of the door assembly involved in this procedure
         are the door unit and door frame.

         1.   The door unit is composed of a head rail, lock
              rail, bottom rail, lock stile, hinge stile,
              muntins, and panels.  The door unit assembly is
              held together by mortise and tenon joints.

         2.   The frame is composed of the jambs, head jamb,
              stop, and blocking.  The cuts made on door and jamb
              at hinge side are the hinge mortise and the cut
              made on the jamb at latch side is the strike
              mortise.

    B.   Ideally, a door should hang with a 1/16 to 1/8 inch
         uniform gap around the door between the door and the
         jamb.

    C.   A door should swing smoothly and silently on its hinges,
         latch firmly, and remain fixed when closed.


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MATERIALS

    A.   Wood screws

    B.   Wood dowels

    C.   Wood wedges

    D.   Wood glue

    E.   Wood filler

2.02 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Screwdriver

    B.   Drill

    C.   Vice

    D.   Plane

    E.   Clamps

    F.   Level


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   To discern the problem, watch the door operate as it is
         opened and closed a few times.  Note the location of any
         binding or rubbing, or if doors bind inconsistently from
         top to bottom or hinge side to latch side.

         1.   If the door binds evenly along the latch side and
              head, the problem may be caused by paint build-up,
              or seasonal expansion.

         2.   If the door binds along the top of the latch side
              and/or on the floor, the problem may be a loose
              upper or lower hinge, a worn hinge pin, or an open
              joint between the upper rail and stile.

              a.   A loose lower hinge is usually a problem with
                   wide throw hinges on entry doors, causing the
                   door to sag.  This is evident by the door
                   resting against the jamb on the hinge side.

              b.   The joint between the upper rail and the stile
                   may be forced open by the weight of the door
                   or warping in the stile or rail.

         3.   If the door drags on the floor and a gap exists on
              the latch side of the head or when a door binds at
              the latch side of the head and a gap exists at the
              floor, the cause is building settlement.  This
              situation can be differentiated from loose hinges
              by the gap between top of door and head jamb.

3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    A.   For paint build-up:  This is typically the cause of
         binding doors.

         1.   If the paint is loose and flaking, carefully remove
              it from the mating surfaces using a paint scraper.
              TAKE PARTICULAR CARE NOT TO GOUGE THE WOOD
              SURFACES.

         2.   For paint build-up that cannot be easily removed
              using a scraper, remove excess paint using heat or
              chemical removers.  Being aware of hazardous coatings/materials, see 06400-07-R "Chemically removing paint from wood features" and                  06400-09-R "Removing paint from wood features using thermal methods" for guidance.

    B.   For a door that swells from seasonal expansion:  The door
         must be carefully removed from the frame, planed, and
         reinstalled.  Planing should be performed during the peak
         of the humid season when the wood has expanded fully.

    C.   For a loose upper or lower hinge:  

         1.   Check for loose top hinge by opening the door
              partially and pulling up on the knob and pushing in
              toward the top. If the hinge moves, it is loose.

         2.   Tighten screws as much as possible.  If the screw
              holes have been stripped, install longer screws, or
              drill new pilot holes for screws.  

              a.   For stripped screw holes in the door STILE:
                   Resecure the hinge to the stile using longer
                   screws.  This method is suitable for the door
                   stile because the stile is made of solid wood
                   and can accommodate longer screws.

                   NOTE:  SCREW HEADS MUST BE SMALL ENOUGH TO FIT
                   FLUSH WITH HINGE LEAVES.  A PROTRUDING SCREW
                   WILL UNDO REPAIR BY FORCING HINGE OUT OF ITS
                   MORTISE.

              b.   For stripped screw holes in the JAMB:
                   Resecure the hinge to the jamb by filling in
                   existing holes and drilling new screw holes.

                   NOTE:  INSTALLING LONGER SCREWS IS GENERALLY
                   NOT ADEQUATE FOR RESECURING THE HINGE IN THE
                   JAMB AS THE JAMB IS TYPICALLY NOT WIDE ENOUGH
                   (3/4") TO ACCOMMODATE LONGER SCREWS.

                   1)   Remove the hinge and drill out existing
                        screw holes in the jamb.  

                   2)   Insert glue-soaked dowel into the hole
                        and allow to dry.  

                   3)   Re-drill pilot holes for new screws and
                        re-install hinge.

    D.   For a worn hinge pin:  

         1.   Check for worn hinge pin by lifting and pushing
              door.  If there is no movement in hinge leaves but
              knuckle moves or is misaligned, the hinge pin is
              worn.

         2.   Make sure pin is fully inserted.  If needed,
              straighten bent hinge pin or remove hinge and
              straighten bent knuckles with vice.

         3.   If the pin is all the way in and knuckles are still
              loose, the pin or whole hinge must be replaced.
              Replacement pin and/or hinge should match the
              original.

    E.   For an open joint between upper rail and stile:  Remove
         paint and any filler or caulk from previous repair.
         Before proceeding, understand joint type.

         1.   To repair a through tenon joint, remove old wedges
              and work joint open to dislodge glue.

              a.   Glue all exposed areas of tenon joint and
                   clamp tightly.

              b.   Make new wedges slightly longer than needed
                   and drive glue-soaked wedges in tight.  Remove
                   any excess glue.

              c.   When the glue dries, chisel off ends of wedges
                   flush with the edge of door.

         2.   To repair a rail tenon joint (tenon reaches only
              partially through the stile):

              a.   Reglue all exposed areas of joint (see Section
                   3.02 E.1. above) and clamp tightly.

              b.   Peg connection through stile and tenon with
                   wood dowel.  The dowel will show on the
                   surface of the door.

              -OR-

                   Countersink 2 long wood screws through side of
                   stile and face of tenon.  Fill the hole with
                   tinted wood filler.

    F.   For a gap at the top due to building settlement:  

         1.   Check for frame squareness with level at head and
              jambs.

         2.   If gap between door and head is small enough so
              that one cannot see through the frame into other
              room, carefully remove the door from its frame,
              plane the bottom of door and leave the frame out of
              line.

         3.   If one can see through the gap into other room, the
              frame must be rebuilt.

    G.   For a gap at the bottom due to building settlement:

         1.   Check for frame squareness with level at head and
              jambs.

         2.   If not level, the door must be reframed.

              NOTE:  Planing the door is not an option here.
              Planing the narrower top rail of the door would
              leave it distorted and unsightly and weakened if
              the tenon is exposed.  

                             END OF SECTION
 


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