HANGING THE DOOR When fitting the door, I usually llow 3/16 inch clearance on the vertical widths and 1/4 inch at in the top and bottom. Consider cutting the door bottom at a 12-degree angle to match the
threshold. We accomplished this with the Festool track saw and rail guide. The saw and guide ensure a straight, cleanly cut line. (If you don't have access to a track saw, a circular saw with a rip-guide clamped to the door will also work.) I built the doors to fit the open- ing, so once we were ready to install them, I knew we would need to trim them to fit. With the doors held in the door opening with shims we marked the reveals and existing hinge mortises and transferred those measurements onto the door slabs. When fitting the hinges, with the bottom shims in place and holding proper reveals, slide the doors to the jamb that will receive the hinges. Mark three hinge loca- tions on both pieces on the door and jamb. Using a hinge as a guide, we held and marked the hinge profile on the door edge and scored this outline with a utility knife. Scoring the door prevents tear-out from the router bit. A trim router is then set to the exact depth of the hinge and is used to cut out the hinge mortises. I like the router as it provides me with a consistent hinge depth setting and is fast and efficient. Note: Sometimes after hanging a door on the new hinges, the doors need adjusting to fit. When this is the case, I use a power planer or block plane. We again used the hinges as a template and predrilled all the hinge holes, and then installed the screws. I do not recommend using a drill or impact driver to install brass screws; they'll snap at the screw head. Use a screwdriver and install them by hand. The last step is to install the latch, striker plate and door-slide bolts. Unfortunately, the old slide- bolt latch place left a large hole (scar) in the oak threshold, which had to be patched prior to installing the new latch strike plate. Watch out when you are pur- chasing and installing handles for your French doors so they don’t interfere with the closing of the interior door. Some doorknobs stick out too far and will prevent the screen from closing properly. Once we had a good fit, we removed the doors and brought them into the shop to re-prime the cut ends and install the final coats of paint.
FINISHING THE DOOR Ninety percent of a great paint job is prep. The more time spent preparing this door for paint, the better. I sand the door to 80 grit in the shop, but a painter should bring that to 120 or 220 grit. I recommend a coat of quality primer, followed by two coats paint. Be sure to paint all sides and edges of the door to protect
A trim router makes short work of the mortise.
The trim router and a wood chisel leave shallow but accurate cuts for the recessed hinges.
Avoid using a power drill on brass screws and instead tighten them by hand with a manual screwdriver.
The homeowner chose a solid brass knob-to-lever latch set.