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Warped Entry Door

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  • Warped Entry Door

    I looked at a job yesterday with the following conditions: 4-yr. old 3080x1-3/4" multi-panel Honduran Mahogany entry door w/ 2080 sidelights (beveled glass, 1-lite), matching sill, casings (int. & ext.) and rabbeted jambs; 2 pr. 5x5 butts; Baldwin mortise lockset; Pemko rubber door bottom; tile interior floor; concrete exterior surface; plaster walls/ceiling in & out; nice, even reveals all around; the top edge of the door is unfinished. The problem is that the latch stile is warped to the interior 1/2" proud of the jamb at the top. This warpage is consistant over the full length of the stile when sighted with the door open, but the deadbolt can be operated if moderate closing pressure is maintained. Once the door is closed, it looks good from the floor to the lockset, but from there to the top goes from zero to 1/2" sticking in. It seems to me that this amount of warpage cannot be hidden by adjusting the butts in at the bottom without creating a new eyesore and draft. Tweaking the frame is possible but difficult, as it is a wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling install with a near-flush "accessible" sill locked in by hard surfaces, so that I would have do all frame twisting from the top . I guess that only leaves hardware options? Probably a triple-lock type of hardware should have been installed originally, along with proper finishing on all 6 sides/edges incl. behind the butts and lockset. Anyway, if I install a triple-lock system now, I will need to be on a ladder pushing the top corner in while operating the lever with my foot to get the door latched. If that is done, will the door get a new memory over time? How about if once it is closed, I tell the HO not to open the door until I come back in Summer '05 to apply finish to the top, having allowed the door's moisture content to have gone high, then low, all in the proper alignment? Or does the door need to be taken past straight somehow (steamed, clamped bowed the other way, or ...) in order to get rid of the warpage? I apologize for going on so long. I would appreciate any suggestions.

  • #2
    Re: Warped Entry Door

    Sounds like you have it figured already. I would take some finish off on the offending inside stile, push and hold the door past straight and steam the bugger. Then leave it till dry and refinish.
    Rood Ruck


    • #3
      Re: Warped Entry Door

      This is by no means a comment on the current installation but rather a general observation or question.

      These door posts seem to many many times involve "Honduras Mahogany"! Is this wood capable of being used for good doors ONLY within certain sizes or climates?? Or is it just the wood and manufacturing creating it's own buyer beware situation?
      Take Care



      • #4
        Re: Warped Entry Door

        Randolf: Would I be able to steam the door stile in place? The only time I steamed something, we used a large duct to contain the steam to bend moldings. If I were to steam it, would I have to bend the stile past straight, anticipating some springback, or would just getting it steamed and latched in place be enough? Thanks.

        Jim: Interesting question. My guess is that Honduran Mahogany gets a bad rap due to how often it is used. Improper storage and finishing will ruin any door, especially a tall one.


        • #5
          Re: Warped Entry Door

          Dado out the stile on the box lock side as deep as possiple 3/4 x 3". Inlay 2 or 3 laminations. Similar to a laminated handrail buildup. (Yes it will be allot of work)
          A 80" microlam straighten on a jointer can be used as a straight edge for the glueup. Clamp the laminations into the edge with plenty of glue and clamps. This should hold straight.
          Marvin doors are Laminations with veneer. Laminated wood stays
          I was told by lumber salesman that "Honduran Mahogany" is a trade marked name involving 26 different species. Who knows what really shows up in a gaint millwork shop. It's my understanding that real Honduran Mahogany is a protected wood due to over use in the past.
          Although hurricane Andrew downed alot of it in south Florida and
          open up a bit of salvage logging of the real thing.
          Straight grained mo hog is stable. Some mo hog has allot of tension in it that shows up when ripping big pieces.
          They probably just grapped some low quality pieces and slapped them into their gaint door making machine. And you got the "rest of the story".
          Warped doors are near impossible to fix.
          Replace if factory door.


          • #6
            Re: Warped Entry Door

            Using steam to correct the warping on a door.?
            It looks that some of you know how to do it.
            Could you please explain how it is done?

            I am only interested in applying it to one interior door, hollow core.
            However, my problem is not warping but cross legging.
            I want to be able to “twist” this door to compensate for the cross legging.

            One of the 8 interior doors a finished hanging yesterday is sticking out at the bottom by close to ¾”.
            I told the client to keep the door shut at all time ( it is a bedroom door) for about 2 weeks and I will return to look at it and take any necessary steps to dissimulate the problem.

            I think the use of steam may correct the problem easily since it is a hollow core door.
            Any advise on the use of steam will be greatly appreciated.


            • #7
              Re: Warped Entry Door

              If the door is now stable (sealed on the top, especially):
              First, the bottom hinge should be moved OUT of the hinge mortises on the jamb--maybe 1/8 in. or a little more. The top hinge mortise in the jamb should be moved in toward the stop on the jamb, about the same amount. Use a rabeting plane to rabbet the stop on the hinge side, from '0' at the bottom to maybe 1/4 in. at the top (try that first, you may have to increase all this). Now the door will be 1/4 in. or so closer to the strike jamb on the top. So now use the rabetting plane on the strike jamb stop, from '0' at the top to about 1/4 in. at the bottom. You'll have to adjust the strike to accomodate the new door position, though if the lock is already under pressure, this might solve some of that.

              A big chunk of mahogany, once warped, won't have much of a chance of being straightened.

              Installing a multi-point lock will not solve the warp and the lock won't work smoothly in a warped door.

              Good luck! Your example is typical of the door-hanging challenges out there. Life's not easy. That's why there's carpenters.



              • #8
                Re: Warped Entry Door

                Originally posted by Al (Ca.)
                However, my problem is not warping but cross legging.
                I want to be able to “twist” this door to compensate for the cross legging.Al

                Al, it seems to me, that would be like killing the chef to lower the sodium content of a recipe.
                Can you not take the cross-legging out in the jamb? You said it was out ¾" overall, so if it's possible, try tweaking the jambs 3/8", in or out, top & bottom ( one tweak on the hinge side, one on the strike side ), then plane/sand the then protruding edges down a little so the casing won't be pushed to hard to make tight joints or give it a bowed out appearance.

                Just 2¢ of MHO.


                • #9
                  Re: Warped Entry Door

                  On the interior door Al, we always adjust the stops if they are applied.

                  I gotta think a hollow-core door has applied stops.

                  Break the paint and bump the stops to conform to the door and call the painter.

                  No one but you and I will know;>}

                  Bill R


                  • #10
                    Re: Warped Entry Door

                    You know, sometimes I wish all doors were hollow metal, jambs, too. Those you can warp anyway you want..all you need is a 2x4 stuck between the strike frame and the door at the exact right spot, and a truck bumper.


                    • #11
                      Re: Warped Entry Door

                      I was just trying to straighten a door stile. The manipulation of the jamb and hinges is the way to go on getting a better fit in openings. The door companies I've hung doors for usually replace
                      skewed doors if bad . Of course the first option is tweak the jambs and hinges... s/a. I've never heard of steaming doors, How could one steam a door made of masonite, cardboard and glue, or wood and get a expected result. The differential in temperature and moisture from one side to the other would be interesting to say the least.


                      • #12
                        Re: Warped Entry Door

                        Wayne, Bandana
                        I told the client to keep the bedroom door shut for about two weeks.
                        I’ll let you know what happened two weeks from now. Since the door is hollow I think it will give in.

                        Adjusting the door stops?
                        I can do that. I have done that many times but in a case like this, a good fat ½”+of cross legging, it is something else.
                        The best I would is to split the difference.
                        Leave the bottom of the door sticking out ¼” and have the top ¼” going inside the jamb.

                        This is a case where I will be stealing from Peter and giving it to Paul.
                        The client knows the house has problems. Many walls have cracks in them.

                        In two week if the problem persists I will offer the client all the possible options available to correct the problem, reset the stops, remove the casing and realign and play with the jambs, adjust the hinges back and forth, etc. I am very sure the client won’t go for any one of the options and will chose to leave the door the way it is. I’ll bet any money on that.


                        • #13
                          Re: Warped Entry Door

                          Hi John Larson,
                          Honduran Mahogany is a very stable wood and that is one of the prime reasons it is used in high end doors. Luan, Phillipine Mahogany, is generally what is used on hollow core doors. Luan is not a true Mahogany. Birch and Oak are a lot less stable and much more susceptible to warpage. If the door was not sealed totaly when it reached the work site and sat around for a while that is enough to warp one especialy if it was flat grain.

                          If you are able to, bend the door back past straight, steam the stile and allow it to stabalize for several days in the over bent position. Always beware that excessive bending can break glass so it may be necessary to bend and steam the door stile in stages