Introduction

hand pulling a door by the knob
Photo: Silverlining56/iStock
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The personality of an old door changes with the seasons. Pulled tight in winter, it's a stalwart guardian against chills and drafts. But by August, heat has driven moisture deep into the grain, and the once-yielding door has become swollen and stuck.

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva confronts a stubborn summertime door with a jack plane and a little restraint. "You want to take off the minimum amount of wood necessary because the door is going to shrink again in the winter," says Tom. "If you remove too much, it will sit loose in the opening." Follow along as Tom fixes a swelled door in his own home with just a few simple tools.
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    Tools List

    • multi-bit screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • chisel
      Wood chisel
    • bench plane
      Jack plane
    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      Paint brush

    Shopping List

    1. Scrap wood

    2. Wood glue3. 120-grit sandpaper4. Primer5. Paint to match door