Mortises, problems and other stuff

I’ve got lots going on here at Misadventures. Finishing up soffits and Azek trim on the stone work. Rough plumbing is in the woman cave. New roof goes on next week.

Today I’ll do a quick post about original doors and mortises.

I’m using the original doors in their original locations when possible. Really, there’s only five doors on the first floor that stay where they were 80 years ago, but the original mortise latches and locks were broken and others didn’t work very well. So, to make it more complicated I got new latches and hinges for the doors.

1 new mortise locksThe problem is the new latches won’t fit the original openings. Great! Time to make a jig!

2 mortise jigSo using the handy router bit to base plate edge  blocks,  I made a jig to route the new openings in the doors. Since I have five of these to do it was quicker to make a jig.

3 mortise routerThe jig is aligned to the opening and clamped to the door. The router base follows the frame to cut the new opening.

4 mortise fitAnd the new latch fits into the new recessed opening.

5 strike plate jigOf course, the strike plates didn’t fit either, so another jig is made for the door jamb. The router follows the inside frame and you have just what you need.

1 door finishedThe reconditioned door with new latch, door plates, knobs and hinges – one down, four to go.

2 stone trimWhen it’s not raining I’ll jump outside to finish the Azek frieze trim and soffits. This was the last of the hidden vent soffits around the whole house. No more birds nesting in there!

3 copper lightAnd while I was at it, I added this nifty solid copper light over the back door. This should get a nice patina over time.

6 sill pan leakOne problem that had me stumped was this little leak at the sunroom door. There’s no gutters on the house yet, but no leaks should be happening here.It has a sill pan underneath.

7 sill panAs you can see from this photo in 2012, the sill is protected with a pan and flashing underneath. After taking the brick-mold off outside and my newly installed trim off the inside, I was ready to remove the door and see what could be the problem.

8 sill pan fixBut before I dropped the door, I thought I would see if it was possible that the pan was leaking. These sill pans are made from three pieces that are cemented together, so I took a syringe and filled the pan with water. It leaked. So I ordered a can of Weldon 2007 – a water thin pvc solvent. I used the syringe to add cement at the seam inside the pan and then applied upward pressure with the putty knife between the floor and pan. It took care of the leak.

Wish I would have thought of this before I took off all the trim. Live and learn.



10 thoughts on “Mortises, problems and other stuff

  1. The new door plates and handles look fantastic. I am in the process of doing some interior trim at my house, and I know I wouldn’t have quite the patience that you do with making the new jigs 🙂

    • Hi D’Arcy – I bought the door hardware 5 years ago – I’m just glad I could still find it. The copper is pretty shiny, but hopefully it’ll get a nice patina over time.

  2. This post made me giggle, as I’m guessing we will be doing the exact same thing with our doors in the next month or so…bc my husband wants to buy new door hardware, just like you did, to replace the broken ones on our doors. Looks amazing!!

    • Hi Melissa! Yes it’s hard to find exact replacements – and the bonus is the new locks come with skeleton keys. People wonder why I make jigs for everything – but if you have more than one to do it’s really a lot faster. I seem to go overboard on everything. I bought new hinges and had to re-mortise those because each door had different size hinges. Good luck with your doors.

    • Hi Jo!
      Well time will tell – I’m hoping mine at least gets to the old penny look stage – but time will tell I suppose. You are so far ahead of me – and your place is looks great!

  3. Wow Kurt, it’s all looking great and I love your finished door handles. What exactly is a ‘soffit’? It’s a lovely word but not one I’m familiar with.

    • Hi Jacqui! Thanks for the compliment 🙂 A soffit is the part under the roof eaves. It is usually vented to allow air circulation for the roof deck,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.