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  • Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

    I have 9 interior doors to change/hang. The customer wants the fiberglass/plastic, whatever they are made of doors. One will have to be trimmed. My plan is to score the door deeply on both sides and edges and then cut it. Does anyone know if this will work? Also how deep is the plug set into the bottom and top of the door. The guy at HD didn't know.

    I am ready to come into the 20th century and buy and learn how to use a hinge mortising attachment for the door hinges. I have always used a chisel. I have heard they are pretty easy to use. Is one type better than than another?

    Thanks,

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom W; 04-28-2007, 11:02 AM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

    Originally posted by Tom W View Post
    I have 9 interior doors to change/hang. The customer wants the fiberglass/plastic, whatever they are made of doors. One will have to be trimmed. My plan is to score the door deeply on both sides and edges and then cut it. Does anyone know if this will work? Also how deep is the plug set into the bottom and top of the door. The guy at HD didn't know.

    I am ready to come into the 20th century and buy and learn how to use a hinge mortising attachment for the door hinges. I have always used a chisel. I have heard they are pretty easy to use. Is one type better than than another?

    Thanks,

    Tom
    Tom if your triming the bottom you can score the cut but I have found the cut can be made without scoring. Just run some masking tape on the cut line and cut through it.

    The plug is about 4 inches on the bottom. If your in doubt take thin cuts until you shorten the door enough. If you do cut off the plug you can scrap out the foam and install one yourself.

    Mortising kits are excellent my door guy uses the one made by Porter Cable which is set up to cut all three mortises at one time. He mounts the guide to the door cuts the mortizes with his router and then moves it to door frame and cuts again. Slick. He manufactures doors all day long and that's the one he uses so I would bet it is the best.

    Manufactures are not making the hinges with round corners so you don't even have to clean out the corners.

    Most plastic/fiberglass doors come prehung.
    Rev Ed

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    • #3
      Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

      Originally posted by RevEd View Post

      Manufactures are not making the hinges with round corners so you don't even have to clean out the corners.

      Shouldn't that be "square corners"?
      Congratulations to Mr. "the sky is falling" Al Gore, nominated the new Village Idiot!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

        Rev. Ed,

        Thank you for the info re the doors. Until I am comfortable shortening them I will use tape and take thin slices. I will investigate the Porter Cable motising jig but I am not sure it will work. These door frames are the strangest I have ever seen or even heard of. They are narrow, steel frames similar to commercial frames but on a narrower scale, and somewhat flexible, I can pull down on the head jam and it will bow, designed for interior use with 2x4 consrtuction. Also, the hinge leaf on the jam is welded to the jam. Unfortunately the jams were set onto the sub-floor and then the flooring was cut around the jam. The sheetrock appears to have been slid in behind the jams. Anecdotal information about changing the jams, from the home owner, indicates that it is a real mess to try to remove the jams and I believe it. It seems that all the doors, hollow luan, in this sub-division of about 200 houses, built about 20 years ago, are of the same construction. The homeowner told me that a lot of the residents would like to change their doors but can't find anyone who knows how to do it. It seems pretty straight forward to me, just mortise the door at the height of the existing hinge leaf and screw it on. It would be nice if the homeowner is right about more people wanting doors changed. That is pretty easy work.

        Tom

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        • #5
          Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

          Originally posted by RevEd View Post
          Tom if your triming the bottom you can score the cut but I have found the cut can be made without scoring. Just run some masking tape on the cut line and cut through it.

          The plug is about 4 inches on the bottom. If your in doubt take thin cuts until you shorten the door enough. If you do cut off the plug you can scrap out the foam and install one yourself.

          Mortising kits are excellent my door guy uses the one made by Porter Cable which is set up to cut all three mortises at one time. He mounts the guide to the door cuts the mortizes with his router and then moves it to door frame and cuts again. Slick. He manufactures doors all day long and that's the one he uses so I would bet it is the best.

          Manufactures are not making the hinges with round corners so you don't even have to clean out the corners.

          Most plastic/fiberglass doors come prehung.
          Good advice.

          Make sure to use a fine, sharp high quality, saw blade. Fiberglass is tough on blades.

          I have had to install my own door plug before. I about a one inch thick piece of wood and epoxied it into the bottom.

          If these are external doors consider a kick plate. I found fiberglass doesn't take as "deep" a finish as wood. With our front door...and it's tight seal, people were assisting the opening by kicking the bottom of the door with their shoes. I kept getting light marks through the finish (even with a couple coats and a topcoat.) A 6 inch high aluminum kick plate fixed that problem.

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          • #6
            Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

            I have been instaling some new doors on a reno .I went to home depot and purchased the ridgid laminant trimmer and the porter cable door jig .I also got the pc latch jig also .
            the ridgid tool is realy easy to use and the jig makes it so easy .time about 3mins to set and cut a hinge .on my project I had to cut the hinge plates realy deep so the doors would be plumb with the exicisting jam.

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            • #7
              Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

              s75952004,

              Based on your experience I bought a Ridgid laminate trimmer this afternoon. The PC template won't work in this application for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the interior door frames are all metal with the hinge leaf welded to the frame. I needed a smaller template that I found at Lowes.

              I have a door drilling jig I bought a number of years ago. It clamps to the door and the hole for the handle and latch are then drilled into the door blank with the included forestner bit and ships auger. A small dowel with a nail in the end is slid through the latch hole in the door and marks the placement of the center of the strike plate on the hinge jam. There are two strike plate templates, one with rounded corners and one with square corners. Whatever one I choose the center pin of it is placed in the depression left by the nail in the dowel. I hit the handle of the template and a perfect outline of the strike plate is left in the door. Then I use a chisel to clean it out. I remember the thing as being expensive 10 years ago but I don't remember how much it cost. It has served me well over the years.

              Tom

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              • #8
                Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

                Hey Tom, have you considered a homemade template to be used with a base plate bushing? I would think that the hardest part would be mounting it to the door frame in a way that would be solid. Maybe some high gauss magnets or electromagnets? It seems that if there's a good buck to be made in that development it would be worth the research and development. Just a thought.

                Chiz
                Later,
                Chiz

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                • #9
                  Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

                  Ironhat,
                  That is worth thinking about. As I install these 9 doors I will see what I encounter and what I can come up with.

                  Thanks,
                  Tom

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

                    Post us a photo of what you finally come up with, if you get time. Us woodrats love to see homemade jigs and fixtures and this one could be useful.

                    Later,
                    Chiz
                    Later,
                    Chiz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cutting fiberglass/plastic interior doors

                      HI,

                      This information its very useful,for cutting in a plastic or fiber,thank you for your information...


                      Thank you...
                      laser engraver

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