Interior doors in France come complete in their frames – as per the catalogue picture here.
This means when you buy them they have to be hung on the correct side and open in the right direction.
The door frame itself is made with an inside rebate – as per the cross section diagram to the right.
This is designed so that the wall is built around and into the door frame (as shown below). This does secure the frame very securely – but makes any subsequent changes difficult.
The opposite side has the rebate for the door to hang in.
The bottoms of the frame also extend further than they need below the bottom of the door. These extensions tend to be left in place and incorporated into the floor – which in our case is concrete. Wood and concrete don’t tend to mix well and the bottom left hand corner of our door had rotted and the rot had risen by about 20”.
I therefore cut through the frame to remove the rotten part and decided to come above the latch so as not to diminish the strength of the lock etc.
I also had to fill the hole in the floor where the frame had been – shown right (sorry, not the best picture). This I did by filling it with a couple of cup fulls of concrete. Once dry – and before fitting the frame – I put a small section of slate over the concrete for the frame to sit on to act as a DPC.
I then had to fashion a billet of wood to match the original frame.This is the finished billet frame leaning against the wall. You can see the cross section in the pictures above.
I started with a fence post which I cut down on the table saw to the right overall dimensions.
Forming the back of the replacement frame was relatively easy. I used my table saw to rip down the entire length (on both sides) the correct distance in at the correct depth. I then set up my plunge router to the correct depth and ploughed out the remainder from between the cut lines, with a straight bit.I also used the table saw to create the rebate for the door – 2 straight cuts to the correct depth took out the necessary excess. I could then change the straight bit on the router to a shaped bit that matched (as closely as possible) the curve of the frame. I was lucky to find a bit in my box that was nearly perfect.
I also used the table saw to create the rebate for the door – 2 straight cuts to the correct depth took out the necessary excess. I could then change the straight bit on the router to a shaped bit that matched (as closely as possible) the curve of the frame. I was lucky to find a bit in my box that was nearly perfect.
Once fashioned I could set it in place and fix it. The picture to the right (taken from inside the loo) shows I had to be careful to miss the any wiring to the light switch.
This is the new piece standing in place before it was fixed.
This picture is a little too small to see, but at the bottom of the frame, a section of slate is protruding (as my DPC). I later trimmed this with a mini disc cutter.
Then there was a slim architrave to replace, to cover the joint with the wall. I also had to fill the joint between old and new frame – visible here above the handle and to recess the frame for the closer, bolt and striking plate.
Drilling the walls and putting in the rawl plugs blew off the paster of the wall, so that needed re-doing.
The plaster needed painting of course and as I had none of the old colour left, I had to redecorate the whole back hall.
Funny how these little jobs mount up!
I eased the coat rack off the wall (by loosening the screws – hidden behind the hooks) so I could cut the paint in behind it. I also took the opportunity to plaster a few cracks and gaps – even though they are hidden behind the coats.
The door frame has now had one coat of eggshell finish paint (it received a second coat later). I've also replaced the tile upstand acting as skirting board.
The line across the door is shadow – you have to try very hard (and know where to look) to spot the actual join!
It was a lot of work but very satisfying to get such a good result - and all from a fence post!