Overview

this old house general contractor tom silva shaves a door using a hand plane
Photo: Craig Raine
«»
Tom's rule of thumb for keeping a door from sticking in the jamb is that the reveal—the space between the door and jamb—should be 1/8 to 3/16 inch wide, or about the thickness of a nickel.

Examining one sticky bedroom door in his house, Tom spends a little time getting a sense of its predicament. He opens and closes it to see where it catches, and he eyeballs the reveal. An uneven reveal may mean the hinges are loose or out of alignment. And, in fact, the screws holding the top hinge to the jamb have stripped their holes, causing the door to sag. But after fixing them, Tom finds that the door still sticks. Satisfied that humidity is the culprit, he pulls the hinge pins, lifts the door from the jamb, and gets ready to plane.
Ask TOH users about Doors

Contribute to This Story Below

    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