Introduction to Doors

Introduction to Doors

Today we learn about the history of doors, as well as construction and installation.  These slides are part of a powerpoint presentation created by shop teacher Tom Bockman.  If you would like to view the entire presentation, take a look at our YouTube channel.

Prior to the late 1700’s, doors were held in place with little more than nails and strap hinges.  Door latches were primitive and didn’t have a way to lock.  Iron smiths developed strong metal latches to keep doors closed.  To keep buildings more secure, locking mechanisms were eventually developed.

The first time screws could be mass-produced was when English brothers Job and William Wyatt developed the first automated factory.  Early screws didn’t have points until New England mechanic Colin Whipple developed the first sharp point screw.

Door parts:

  • Glazing bar – another name for Muntin
  • Header – transfers the weight above it to the floor and foundation below
  • Muntin – a divider that carries weight
  • Mullion – a vertical divider for windows
  • Sweep  – seals gaps between the bottom of the door and the threshold.
  • Threshold – sloped cross piece that extends across the bottom of the door area

With a factory manufactured pre-hung door hinges attach the door to the preassembled jambs, and the sill and jambs are braced to keep the whole assembly square until the door is installed.  Before nailing the jambs it’s very important to make sure the door fits squarely in the opening and that the jambs are plumb, both from side to side and from front to back.  Drive pairs of tapered wooden shims between the jambs and the trimmer studs (if the casing is attached to the jambs, insert shims from the open side) to adjust the unit and hold it in place until you nail it.

Pre-hung doors are calibrated to perfectly fit the door frame.  A slab door is a little more difficult to hang.

Adjust the shims and re-nail the door. Install the lockset. Drive the nails almost flush, and then set the heads with a nailset. Cut off the shims flush with the jambs. Apply casing to cover the shims and space.


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