Hanging very heavy carriage doors

Old 07-05-16, 08:27 PM
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Hanging very heavy carriage doors

Hi - I was lucky enough to find a great Amish builder who made me two pairs of solid mahogany carriage doors for my garage. Each opening is 8x7 and my contractor added additional studs for extra support. The builder estimates them at 130lbs each but it took 4 guys to get each door off the truck and I can barely lift a door a few inches.

My GC is a bit nervous about getting the install right since its hung on hinges that are lag bolted to the underlying structure. The frames aren't perfectly square so he will need to do some shimming to get it just right. The issue is that he can't shim the jambs because the lag screws go deep into the supporting frame. So I suggested that he build a temp support to hold the doors in the exact closed position he wants it and then use that to line up the hinges.

Anyone try anything like this before? Given the weight we are worried that they will shift a bit and then will be out of alignment. Or over time they will sag. The lags have a out a 1/32 of an inch of play within the hole of the hinge. Plus the hinges are mounted on the face of the building frame so he can't shim it horizontally.
Old 07-05-16, 08:35 PM
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Yep, sounds like that's the way I would do it. It would be smart to plan to have extra space between the doors knowing that under load they will sag together. How much is anyone's guess but the gap needed between doors will likely be 2x more near the top than near the bottom. Same would apply for the top of the doors. I would probably shove both doors up tight to the jamb on top in the middle but allow 3/16-1/4" above the doors at both ends. Maybe 3/8 between the doors near the bottom and 5/8" at the top, assuming each door will sag maybe 1/8 - 3/16", which causes the gap to close between the doors near the top. The edges can always be dressed with a planer as needed.

The second problem you will have is getting them to align in the same plane as the wall where they close together or overlap. That is accomplished by shimming the depth of the hinges in or out in relation to the face of the wall... or by moving the bottom plate of the wall around if possible. The wall can be out of plumb on one or both sides, and wood doors can warp, so it's anyone's guess as to what will need to be done to correct that. Often, a face applied astragal can be placed on one of the doors (covers the gap between doors and also helps to align them when closed) once you figure out which door needs to be sucked in / closed first.

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