Replacing the Thresholds

Time for a little show and tell.

I love the old original entry doors.  They’re stylistically appropriate, and often only need a little TLC to work well.  PLEASE don’t replace front doors with the “Home Depot Special”… hate when I see that.  A real joy-kill.

At 1407 Chase, the front and back doors both swing into the house – which is standard – but the original builders never anticipated plush shag carpeting, nor layer upon layer of tiling.  As a result, the handy folks from the past pulled out the ol’ dull circular saw and whacked some of the wood from door bottoms.  Now I’m back to the original floors, and it’s my turn to make the doors seal well by replacing the thresholds and squaring up the bottoms.

This isn't the original threshold. It was poorly fitted and installed. I was happy to see it go.

This isn’t the original threshold – it was poorly fitted and broken, so I was happy to see it go.

There are a few tricks to making a threshold.  First, I wanted to use a piece of old heart-pine, like they used in the past.  Door jams are notorious for being difficult to get a proper fit.  To get one, I cut a paper folder to the width of the new threshold, one for each end, and I get a tight fit by scribing the paper to each side.  Easy to do with a compass and scissors.


the paper scribed and bridged to the other side, ready to be traced on the wood

I make a line will the threshold will be to register the paper. After getting  a good fit

I cut the ends with a jigsaw, back beveling one end so it will push down into place.  The top is beveled along both lengths.




the kitchen door

The kitchen door had been cut high enough to make clearance for all the layers on the floor.  I needed not only to redo the threshold, but also square up the door bottom and add some new wood.

The threshold and add wood in place.

the threshold and added wood in place… I leave an eight inch of clearance for it to be sealed with a sweep attached to the door.



About mdejong11

Residential contractor/artist
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