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Door Will Not Close Due to the Lock Rubbing
Binding Door Edge Weatherstripping
TWO PROBLEMS... ONE SOLUTION!!
(1) The entire lock edge of the door rubs on the jamb, but the
latch prevents me from trimming the door enough.
(2) There is a weather strip mounted on the latch edge of the door, but the door needs cutting because it
hits the door jamb.
What's a person to do?
One possible solution for Question One...
If you disassemble the lockset, you can see if it is possible to reposition
the lock further away from the edge of the door. Take out the screws that hold
the two sides of the lock together (if they are not visible, see
in the index for more info) The steps would be:
- Remove the hinge pins and take the door down. Lay it across sawhorses,
which should be covered with a protective tarp to protect the door surface.
- Trim the door edge as needed (as described in a previous question on this
- Install the lockset in the new position (See the article under
concerning replacing a lockset with another requiring a larger hole in the
A BETTER WAY, if you want to attempt it...
Sometimes, you just can't trim the latch side of a door. Maybe you cannot
reposition the lockset and/or deadbolt! Or maybe the door has an integral weather strip
installed, sometimes know as a J-strip. This is a metal weather strip that interlocks, one section mortised into the door and the mating
section on the jamb. This material is impossible to replace if you damage it,
which figures, because it was in my opinion one of the best, longest lasting weather strips
ever produced. Isn't it aggravating that so many great products
have disappeared from the market. Anyway...
Back to the point... Since you can't remove this weather strip without
hopelessly bending and damaging it, you only have one option in a repair...
THE HINGE SIDE OF THE DOOR!!
This is not an extremely difficult thing to do, but requires patience and the
- Determine the amount of wood you have to remove from the edge of
the door. I know... this is not an exact science, so make your best conservative
- Remove the hinges from the door. What... oh... that's right, you
have to take the door down first, silly!
- Carefully deepen the hinge mortises by the amount you plan to cut
off the door. You can do this with a chisel or with a router. Total accuracy
in position is critical, but in depth of cut is not. You
can always increase the depth later if necessary, or conversely shim the
hinges out if cut too deeply. What you are trying to do is save the
original position of the hinges so that you will not have to go through
the more difficult and time consuming process of repositioning them from
scratch when the old mortises disappear as you cut or plane the door!
- Trim hinge edge of door. See
blasted door rubs... for more detailed cutting info.
NOTE: The interlocking weather strip usually has a piece that slides
into a slot on the hinge edge when the door is closed. If this is true in
your case, you must take the additional step of running your circular saw
through this slot, deepening it to accommodate the weather strip. You can
use the saw guide that came with you saw. The door should be standing on
edge. If you don't have a Workmate or similar clamping table at your
disposal, I have in a pinch used large wooden clamps, one at each end of
the door (top and bottom) to stand the door up. Be very careful to
stabilize door before cutting to minimize the risk of injury. If you blow
this cut, you can really do a number on the door, so take your time and
get it right the first time. A saw-kerf width cut may be adequate,
depending on the original slot width and the kerf (width of cut) of your
saw blade. If not, you will have to adjust the guide and make multiple
- Reinstall hinges. If the wind was blowing at your back, they should
fit fairly flush to the edge of the door. If they were not originally flush,
then they will still not be, which is OK. Little imperfections add
character. Sometimes on old work, trying to change imperfection to
perfection causes dysfunction!
- Put door up and see how it works. If it's OK, congratulations!! If
it still is binding, be sure the weather strip is engaging properly
before repeating the above process. Sometimes, a little bending is required
to get the weather strip properly aligned.
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