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  1. #1
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    Aug 2010
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    Default Trimming door sides without scalloping

    I live in a 1970s townhouse and for some reason the external doors were fitted with barely enough gap to open in good weather, but with all the recent rain both exterior doors are binding. They are parallel from top to bottom on the lock side so need to have about 1-2mm taken off along the length. They are way to heavy for me to remove and rehang, and are above shallow landings. The rear door having 6 glass panels.

    There is layers of built up paint so I'll need to at least start with a power planer. The issue I have with power planes, is they scallop a bit as I have to do plane in sections. If I make the blade shallower often it won't take any timber off, or is a bit patchy if there are small rises. The Makita power planer can be good one minute then leave a shallow divet the next where the blade suddenly digs in.

    I have a lot of experience in all sorts of handyman stuff but door trimming is always a nightmare. One second not enough, then too much, or patchy removal along the length, even when a door is off and I'm planing along its long edge. Any tips that address these issues would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2018
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    Planing them while still swinging is difficult to get a neat finish particularly if you are not doing full runs. Are the blades setup correctly?
    You might be better finishing them with a hand plane

  4. #3
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    Jun 2010
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    I would forget the power planer and use a scraper to get through the paint; then trim the wood with a flat-soled spokeshave.
    Nothing succeeds like a budgie without a beak.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Sth Gippsland Vic
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    If its enough paint on there just removing that then a light planeing may be good enough .
    An electric heat gun will soften paint so it can be scraped off back to wood . And if its only a small amount needed then a block plane is the one handed way . Two handed planing on a swinging door is a bit harder .

    If you had to do it with power planer then clamping two waste lengths a touch longer than the door down next to the door edge either side set back a few mm would be a good way of guiding the power planer. If you have the wood and the time to do it .

    Me, if it had to be electric power planer Id be wedging or clamping the door open any way I could so I could work on that edge with two hands on the planer. Get some candle wax on its base . Paint fouls things up so you want it slipping well .

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Sunshine Coast, QLD
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    If you are getting scollops, then you are dwelling too long in one spot (or tilting your plane while making the pass), when you are not taking a full pass (from one end of the door to another) but starting at a point other than the end, best to take light passes starting at one point then every other pass come back say 100mm from your previous starting point.

    The other thing is to scribe a reference line from your doorframe onto your door (assuming your frame is not perfectly straight) this will greatly assist not over planning when using an electric plane.

    Another thing to do which takes a little more skill is to put more pressure on one side of your plane while making the pass, this will allow you to form a leading edge, thus when the door is closed the gap will not look as big.

  7. #6
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    Aug 2010
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    Sydney
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    Default

    The power planer is set up OK but I will finish the edge with a hand plane, if I can get its blade suitably sharp for smooth runs.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    blue mountains
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    As said just scraping off the paint may be all you need and remember those doors will likely shrink again if this weather ever dries. If you have to remove wood the whole length of the door its almost impossible to do with the door hanging. You also cant plane over or up to the hinges. Heavy doors are hard to hang so get someone to help getting them off and on again. Its just so much easier to do with the door off.
    Regards
    John

  9. #8
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    Thanks John and agree. I'm a bit clumsy with this website and was thinking my reply would appear under the post I was replying to. The rear door which is the worst, swings out over the courtyard so its a bit easier to deal with than the front door. I take your point about the shrinking in dry weather and am trying to keep the gap as tight as possible. I've lived here 30 years and never had doors that won't close at all. The tops of the doors were never painted and the moisture has expanded the morticed joints, so the tops and bottoms of the lock side need planing otherwise the door will not close. One neighbour just left their rear door ajar for months and its a mess as you'd imagine.

    Quote Originally Posted by orraloon View Post
    As said just scraping off the paint may be all you need and remember those doors will likely shrink again if this weather ever dries. If you have to remove wood the whole length of the door its almost impossible to do with the door hanging. You also cant plane over or up to the hinges. Heavy doors are hard to hang so get someone to help getting them off and on again. Its just so much easier to do with the door off.
    Regards
    John

  10. #9
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    I guess if its a bit off the top and bottom on the lock side then it could be done with the door in place. If you use a power planer set it for a very light cut. It will take longer with light passes but will be less likely to gouge the wood. An electric plane can really chew up a job in no time if set too aggressive.Get the door held secure so its not moving while you do it. The front door will be awkward if there is no room for the plane to do the bottom so perhaps a power sander may be the go there after first scraping off the paint. Now those are backup options and I still maintain a better job can be done with the doors off.
    Regards
    John

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    East Bentleigh
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    What about a belt sander with a fence attached to keep it at right angles to the door face? Slow speed and 120 grit after you've got the paint off. It might take a bit longer but it hasn't got teeth.

    Cheers

    Bryan

  12. #11
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    Aug 2010
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    Sydney
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tung tied View Post
    What about a belt sander
    That was something I was going to try to see what result I got compared to planing

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    I think you’ll find that the “scalloping” is caused by one knife cutting off more that the other, check the setup uf the knives. I’ve also seen it when the bearings are worn and tired that the head run in. It’s one of the main reasons I like my Festool 65 mm planer so much, only one angled shear cutting knife, and it produces a perfect cut,always, and it takes only seconds to change out to a new one.

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