How to Tightly Fit an Antique Door | Ask This Old House

27May 2018


Measuring tape []
Chalk line []
Chisel []
Hammer []
Shoulder plane []
Palm sander []
Scribe []
Drill []
Screwdriver []
Router []
Clamps []
Track saw []
Utility knife []
Speed square []
Corner-grooving tool []

Shopping List:
Automatic weather-stripping []
Corner-groove weather-stripping []
Wood glue []
1×6 lumber []

To fix the door, Tom addressed multiple issues: the door was out of plumb, it was too short, and it was drafty.

To make the door plumb, Tom used a plumb bob, a chalk line, a chisel, and a shoulder plane. These can be found at home centers. It’s also possible to use power tools to shave back the jamb, but hand tools will be required at the top and bottom of the door where those tools wouldn’t fit.

The tools Tom used to lengthen the door, including the wood, clamps, wood glue, and hammer, can also be found at home centers.

Tom also improved the weather-stripping to make the door more weathertight. The automatic door bottom, the corner-groove weather-stripping, and the corner-grooving tool and associated bits are all manufactured by Conservation Technology (

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