Carpentry Notes

How Tommy does pre-hung doors

Tommy does pre-hung doors (if video still around).

  1. Set a level reference mark horizontally across opening (on either side of the wall).

  2. Measure down from the mark to the floor to determine whether floor out of level. This will help determine which jamb must be cut.
  3. Measure from bottom of shortest jam and trace the reference mark across the door (jam edges only—don't mark on the door) then, measuring from that mark to the top of the pre-hung unit, mark down the other jam the same distance from the top to place that mark.

    Note: When marking from bottom of shortest jam, allow 716 for tile if floor unfinished. When the door is in place, these marks on door jam edge and wall opening will line up. There should ample and even crooked space at the top under the header; this will be corrected (hidden) by casing.

  4. Determine plumb of hinge jamb using long level and pre-shim with brads to hold the shims. Set the door in place,* the hinge jam, predrill hole in jam over one shim and screw down. Add more shims as necessary and at least two more screws.

  5. Shim and attach the strike-side jam paying attention to lifting jam to make marks align.

* If the opening slants out of plumb, nothing can be done: just follow it matching jam with studs and sheetrock thickness. The door cannot be used to correct that in the way it can across the other axis.

Drawer-in-cabinet installation
  1. Assemble runners to drawer bottom—at bottom. Set drawer on flat table next to edge for convenience. If not sitting flat, over-hang parts that prevent this off the table so that it does.
  2. Disassemble runner from the rest of the slide.
  3. Align runner to bottom side edge sitting on the table, open-end toward the back of the drawer.
  4. Predrill screw holes then insert screws and tighten.
  5. Mount the other drawer-slides (minue the runners) inside the cabinet.
  6. Slide the drawers by their runners into the channels of the drawer slides mounted in the cabinet.

Drawer-in-cabinet; how to dimension
  1. Use the opening to determine the right size for the drawer box.
  2. Measure height. Subtract at least ½" to allow clearance above and below the drawer box. Of course, the closer the tolerances, the bigger the box (drawer) you can create.
  3. Measure width. Substract exactly 1" from the width because drawer slides always measure exactly ½" thick (multiply that by 2 to get 1").
  4. Measure depth from the face to the inside back of the cabinet. Drawer slides commonly come in 2" increments starting at 10" long up to 28" long.
  5. If you use slides, you'll need to appliqué a false or decorative front on the drawer box. This is to hide the slides. The false front will measure 1" more than the height and 1" more than the width covering the opening by ½" all around.
  6. The only challenging part of building drawers is making sure of mounting the outside slides, near the front and at the back of the cabinet, on something solid that will center the drawer by width in the opening.

    Typically, you will not mount the outside drawer slide to the face of the cabinet, but on a shim just behind it. And on another shim at the back of the drawer cabinet. The shims might be vertically mounted for attaching drawers up and down in the cabinet.

    The mounting strip shown in the video below is simply stretched between behind the face and a cross brace at the back of the new cabinet under construction in the video. It's an easy system. Which system you choose\ will depend on your cabinet.

  7. Here's a video of the whole thing.

Note: the video show using Kreg pocket-hole screws and specialized clamps. Thought this not is not meant to be commercial, I have Kerg pocket-hole equipement and it makes this kind of work almost child's play. I'm in my Kreg pocket-hole drilling jig, $125 and two corner clamps, $40 each. I also have two Kreg drawer-slide jigs and clamps, $80. These tools are worth it.