Posted by admin on December 8, 2012
Seeing my blog stats, other than my article on “Math Anxiety”, it appears that the great majority of readers come to read my technical articles or download my e-book or white papers. Because of this, I am thinking of posting more “how tos.” This “how to” is for a somewhat common home repair, fixing damaged door frames. Here are examples of two such repairs. The first was a badly scratched door jam at my fiancé’s house. Her late, beloved Boxer, Copper Penny, scratched at the door when she wanted in. Boxers being a strong breed, there was quite a bit of damage. An attempt had been made to patch it with filler, but when I attempted to fix an air leak with new weather stripping, it did not quite work. Being somewhat ADD, one thing led to another until the door was fixed right. Here is a look at the door jam before the repair.
Having taken basic woodshop in seventh grade summer school, I knew replacing the damaged wood was the way to go but did not have a good idea for how to cut it out. The cut would be too deep to use a circular saw. I thought of using a chainsaw or a Sawzall®, but those tools are rather crude for making fine cuts. I called my Brother-in-Law, who, if you happen to live in South New Jersey, does home renovation and remodeling every bit as good as the pros on the home improvement shows. He suggested a tool that I had not used before, an oscillating tool. Immediately when he described it, I knew it would be the way to go. And, as luck would have it, Lowe’s had a great deal on one in their Black Friday Sale.
To repair the jam, first buy or cut a piece of wood to the size of the wood to be replaced. I found a piece of wood exactly the size I needed labeled “hobby wood” in my local Lowe’s. Mark the wood to be removed.
Remove the damaged wood using a wood-cutting blade attachment on the oscillating tool. There are excellent videos on using the tool at Dremel®’s website.
Sand with coarse sandpaper enough to eliminate any wood flakes or splinters. You don’t need to fine sand as we are going to use an epoxy filler. Test for fit.
Use a wood chisel or your sander to remove any high spots.
This is the filler I used. It is essentially the same stuff as the Bondo® that held together the Mid-Western rust-buckets we grew up driving.
Be ready to work quickly! The filler will set in two to four minutes, depending on how much hardener you mix in. Mix the filler according to the can directions. Spread a thick layer on the area to be repaired. Press the new wood into the filler, squeezing out any excess. Remove the excess using a putty knife and paper towels. Use leftover filler to fill cracks and any surface damage.
Wait for the filler to dry thoroughly. Sand until smooth.
Paint with a good quality primer.
Reattach hardware. Your door frame looks as good as new!
Here is a second example, a similar repair for a door frame that has cracked and split where the door closer is fastened.
With an oscillating tool and some basic woodworking skills, do not be afraid to tackle repairs like this yourself! If you feel intimidated, practice on some scrap wood before trying the real repair. You will save money, feel good about yourself, and, perhaps, like I did, find yourself to be the owner of a new power tool!