missed chance on old 5 pocket doors

jbengoJuly 13, 2009

Hi all

am new to this forum wish I had found it sooner our 100 year old home is coming along just fine.. we have had some set backs but we have soldiered on and are doing better....

this post is about a missed opportunity I had today out on morning walk far away from home.. I noticed same doors I have at home on the curb.. they are a what I call five pocket doors is there a better way to describe this very heavy orig type doors.. anway I had long measuring tape in pocket tells how much renovating we have done if I carry a measuring tape around.. The doors were 33 and I needed 30. SO I left should have realized I could have cut them slightly and they would have fit just fine. it is lost opportunity since orig heavy well made doors are very hard to find... jb any advice where to find old doors like this???? thanks jb

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Do you mean 5 panel doors?

Pocket doors roll in and out of the wall.

Panel doors are designed to avoid having the entire door expand and contract as a single slab of wood.

The panels are actually trapped but not attached in their grooves (except maybe a single spot in the middle of the top and bottom to prevent rattling).
The panels can change width without the entire door getting wider.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 9:56PM
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to Brickeyee
thanks for the post thats what I ment 5 panel doors they are really heavy I removed paint on one door had to many layers of paint about 12 I guess lot of lead paint not sure what wood it is made of but it was made real well.. Another question?? Where can one find reproduction doors that are made the same .. I have all orig doors except for two would like to find out why prev owner threw two doors away. they seem to soild to possibly damage wonder what prev owner was thinking while he was what I call reno wrecking ive spent serious time undoing his mistakes... JB

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 11:54PM
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jbengo, have you tried to find architectural salvage yards near where you are? Chances are you'll be able to find a close match to the size and style you need. We've had great luck at 3 or 4 salvage yards within an easy drive of our house (DC metro area). Where are you located?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 6:31PM
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We often wonder what the previous owners were thinking ;) We are in Chicago and got 3 beautiful doors from someone replacing them from an old apartment building. They were posted on craigslist.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 8:35PM
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To arlosmom:
Thanks thats a great idea, I will attempt to find a historic salvage place in my area.. Anyone on the forum know of one in the Southern New Jersey area. Like I mentioned I was surprised the prev owner had left any orig doors at all because regrettfully he reno wrecked just about everything else within reach.. I only have the orig baseboard trim left in only one bedroom and two closets... Everywhere else the wood trim is gone. What few trim is left is over 7 inches tall really carved and is put together in a amazing way. Where I have investigated the wood trim looks to be chesnut can't believe someone would be foolish to throw that away but other owner did just that what a loss.... JB

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Most full service lumber yards either have or can order solid wood panel doors in just about any style.

If push comes to shove they can often even make them.

The trim patterns used on the doors vary by area of the country, but exact matches for even old patterns are usually available.

I use a lumber yard that has been around over 100 years near Alexandria, Virginia and they can produce the exact same profiles they used 100 years ago.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:37AM
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I see old doors, including 5-panel, at our local Habitat Restore all the time. And the are cheap too!!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 1:44PM
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"I see old doors, including 5-panel, at our local Habitat Restore all the time. And the are cheap too!!"

Make sure you use a large straightedge (I use a 6 foot level) to check for warping.
Once a panel door has warped it can be very hit or miss if it will ever flatten out again and stay flat in use.

I pick them up off craig's list all the time for $10-20, while a new slab door in 5 panel is over $150.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 3:29PM
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