It took only an hour or so to actually get a door fit and hung between the hall and one of the two front rooms on the second floor. But add in the distractions and prep work and it took more than a month.
My goal was to get the two doors hung before Woodworking in America (in case I had guests, so that I’d have guest rooms that could be cordoned off from bats). Given a lot of door hanging experience in my past, I figured it would take no more than a couple hours at most. So I got off my butt one Saturday before to haul from the pile of eight doors in the basement the only two that looked like the rest in my home’s interior.
Those doors – solid wood – are heavy.
They didn’t fit. Turns out they’re (probably) from the doorways on the front portion of the house on the first floor; I’d not noticed the 4″ height differential between the public-area doorways and the rest of the place.
So I hauled those back downstairs and scavenged two doors from elsewhere in the house where they’re not needed. But neither is ideal. One of them is painted on the side that faces the varnished woodwork in the hallway, and varnished on the side that faces the room with the painted woodwork. Of course. (I suspect it will be a long time before I get around to stripping either the woodwork or the door – or both.) The other one has a hole where there was a deadbolt; it used to close off the back stairs from the first floor to secure the second-floor apartment. Any guests will just have to live with a 1-1/2″ peephole for a while.
But the hardware needed stripping. Sunday, I cooked the hinges in the slow cooker with a little dish detergent in water. Eight hours later, I scrubbed off most of the gunk (and much of the original paint – oops), wiped the steel with oil, then tackled one door.
Damn thing was off by about 1/8″ using the original hinge mortises in the frame. But I hung it anyway; no time to fuss at that point. My last-minute WIA guest in that room was instructed to not try to close the door all the way; that would break off the point on the moulding at the top of the jamb. (He listened well – no damage. And there were no bats.)
Yesterday, I finally had time to jump back into that fray. After adjusting the mortises and making sure the door fit, I went to drill the holes for the screws. There were, naturally, multiple holes tangent to and overlapping the points where I needed to drill.
I filled those with dowels from the hardware store and waited for glue to dry (and ordered a dowel plate in the meantime; seems like something useful to have around so as to not have to whittle and sand hardware-store dowels for a perfect fit).
As of this morning, about six weeks after I started, that one door is now hung and working perfectly. I’m rather afraid to tackle the other one.