Panel Doors, Round Three
Since Holly took Will and Kate to Mobile this weekend, I decided to resume work on the second set of panel doors in our house. One of the doors is badly warped after dipping it to remove the paint. I've laid that out on the floor and set the other door on top of it (along with some 5 gallon water containers) in an attempt to flatten it out. The other, more serious problem is that one side of the rail the doors hang from is attached to a wood beam that has been completely eaten away by termites. It is old damage - there is no evidence of active termites in the wood and from what I can tell, the previous people who worked on the house just framed around the dammage when they made our double into a single residence. Just to be safe, I have our termite company coming next week to confirm my diagnosis.
Tonight, I came up with a plan which I hope will let me rehang the rails in the door opening without having to open up the drywall and plaster lathe. I'm using a saws-all to cut out the damage section of the beam through the narrow door opening. It's sort of like playing an incredible filthy version of that kids game named Operation. I have a three inch gap to work through. If I can get enough of the beam out, I hope I can set several pieces of 2 x 4 on top of the beams that run parallel to one that is destroyed. I then plan on reattaching the rail's mounting plate to these new cross beams. This will give me two of the three rail mounting points back - and that should be enough to rehang the doors.
My backup plan is to rehang the rail on 3 foot lengths of threaded rod anchored in the attic. I may even have to do this for just the third mounting point if the first two aren't enough to hold the 150+ pounds of a door. This would involve cutting small access holes in the wall and the difficult task of getting the rod position properly from the attic. So I'm hoping that the third times the charm when it comes to fixing these panel doors.
This is the saws-all next to a four foot section of the destroyed beam that literal fell out of the door frame when I started cutting out the bad section. It's one "face" of the beam and you can see how the termites ate away everything inside of the beam.
This is the bottom of the small section of beam that I cut out - you can see the main hole for the rail's mounting bolt and the two holes on either side for the screws. I removed the iron mounting plate before I cut it out to make sure I did not damage it.
This is a shot up into the door frame that shows the destroyed beam that the doors hang from. The blue tape is marking the exact position of the bolt hole for hanging the rail from. This gives you a bit of idea how small the opening I have to work with (I would hate to have to remove the door trim). I still need to cut out about another 3 inches of depth from the destroyed beam. Unfortunately, my rechargable saws-all battery ran out after the first cuts. I'm going to recharge it (and its spare) tonight and resume the demolition tomorrow morning.