Author Topic: Repairing wood French doors.  (Read 1015 times)

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Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 188
Repairing wood French doors.
« on: August 02, 2018, 12:42 PM »
I have a customer that wants to save his original wood french doors rather than replace them. However the top and bottom rails are pulling away from the 2 Stiles. This is a little out of my comfort zone.  I was planning on using pocket screws and lots of wood glue to reattach the rails.  Is there a better or easier way? 

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Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 769
Re: Repairing wood French doors.
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 02:19 PM »
Can they be taken completely apart? Quick fix would be to use 6+ inch screws and drive them from the side thru after pre-drilling and countersinking. No way would I use pocket screws as I would want far more holding power. Then fill before painting. Clamps are going to be a necessity. NO WARRANTY, expressed or implied.

Lead paint??

All the glazing is done for. There comes a point switching to a modern door with double pane windows makes sense depending on climate conditions.

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 354
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Repairing wood French doors.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 02:21 PM »
I have done a few of these repairs and my preferred method is to bore a 1" hole into the edge of the door around 2" deep or what works depending on the width of the stiles. then centered in this hole drill either a pilot for a lag bolt or a dowel hole around 5/8" works for exterior 1.75" doors. Then I cut deep plugs with a plug cutter. If using lags you can drill the stile slightly over the shank diameter and the rail under the minimum root diameter. These dimension depend to some degree on the density of the material. I also try to get as much glue as possible into the old joint before pulling it tight. I would put 2 or 3 in depending on the width of the rail. A lockset jig works well for the 1" hole and you can cut a piece of tubing the right length to limit the depth of cut.

If you use dowels prevent hydraulic lock with fluted or spiral cut.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 188
Re: Repairing wood French doors.
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 02:28 PM »
Thanks for the replies and ideas.  I've been trying to convince him to replace the door with an energy efficient modern one. 

I actually tested the paint on the door ( I've been doing a bunch of odd jobs for this client).  Surprisingly it is not lead paint. 

If he decides to keep them, at least now I have a good idea how to fix them.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2179
Re: Repairing wood French doors.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 05:13 PM »
I agree with Oldwood on this one.  I repaired a pair of "oak" 18 panel doors a few years back in a nursing home.  The hinge screws would no longer hold.  Turned out these "oak" doors were veneered MDF.  Like Oldwood, I bored deep holes and glued dowels into the crap to hold the screws.  Still hanging after at least six years.

Offline ColossusX

  • Posts: 188
Re: Repairing wood French doors.
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 01:34 PM »
Ended up reattaching the bottom and top rails, using a ton of wood glue and the GRK 4" structural screws.  Bored a couple of 5/8 holes on the sides and drove those screws in, then clamped.  Worked like a charm