How to unstick a wooden door

Date:6 October 2017 Tags:, , , ,

Wood swells in wet weather, sometimes enough to jam a door. A planer is the simple answer to trimming down the excess bulk. However, remove only the bare minimum of wood, because you don’t want gaps when drier weather arrives.

This DIY is brought to you in association with Mica.

Here’s how to unstick a door:

1. Inspect for jamming.

If you can’t see where the problem is, use a wax crayon to mark suspect areas of either the door or the jamb. Be sure not to work on both, because this could cause problems down the line. Now close the door; colour transfer indicates the problem area/s.

2. Remove the door.

Starting with the lower hinge first, simply tap hinge pins out from below using a 3 mm punch, or unscrew the hinges.

3. Prepare for planing.

Prop it firmly into a level position, whether on its side or laid out flat. Check with a torpedo level that the door is level in both planes.

4. Ready your planer.

Set your planer to its minimum setting and ensure that it is square to the surface to help achieve a neat 90-degree
corner. Make your passes until all of the wax crayon indicator colouring has been removed. Check the edge with a steel ruler.

5. Rehang the door and recheck.

If using pins, rehang the door using only the top hinge. If using screws, starting with the top hinge, drive one screw per hinge into the hole closest to the pivot point of the door. Check as in 1 above.

Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash