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Friday, May 22, 2009

Extreme Custom Fit Bifold Doors

This week I replaced a lot of doors for a local homeowner. Part of the project was also to install bifold doors on several closets that had at one time had sliding doors, but more recently were covered with curtains.

We were using standard Masonite paneled bifold doors and trimming them to fit. Two of the closets were around 59", so it wasn't a big deal to trim a couple 30" doors to fit in this space. The trouble came when I had to install the doors for the 54" opening.

The trouble comes because these are hollow doors. When you trim off more than an 1" on a side, there is nothing left to support the door! However, there's a trick to making this work.

(Note: If I could get two 28" doors, this would have been easier. However, the standard sizes are either 24" or 30" so I was left to improvise...)

1. First, trim the door to fit. In my case, I was trimming about 1 1/2" off each side of the bifold doors.

2. Next, we need to take the piece that was cut off and re-insert it into the edge of the door as a support. To do this, I ran it through the table saw to trim it down so it would just fit in the opening in the edge of the door. Basically, I just trimmed about 1/8" off both sides and then cut the length to fit.

3. Once it's trimmed, you can slide this support piece into the edge of the door. I first added some carpenters glue to both sides and then made it flush with the edge. Then, you can secure it in place with some small brad nails along the front and back of the door.
4. To finish, sand the sharp edges to match the factory ones. You'll also need to drill new holes for the door hardware in the top and bottom. In my case the holes were 3/8". Putty the nail holes and you're ready to go!

I've used this process a couple of times. It takes a little extra work, but you can custom fit those bifold doors.


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