Need to know how to replace a door jam on my daughter's bedroom door. Her older brother and his friend bashed into the door (it was locked) and all but destroyed the door jamb. We've nailed it on a hundred times to no avail ... the wood of the jam is split, etc. I'm a single mother and do not want to pay someone to do what I think I can do myself. But, knowledge is power, so I first wanted to ask the pros... you!
LR from Madison Heights, Michigan
Sometimes you can save the expense and labor of replacing the jamb by a three step REPAIR... gluing, nailing, and filling. The first thing to do is to see if you can fit the pieces to fit back together reasonably well. It doesn't have to look great... just "together". If there are big gaps with broken pieces of wood missing, it can be filled with a two part product called Minwax High Performance Wood Filler. It is a stinky-as-heck product that sets in about ten minutes, but it sticks better than many glues, fills holes, and can be sanded.
With a door jamb, you have to both nail and glue. The glue will do most of the work, but the nailing is necessary to hold the pieces together while the glue dries. So apply your adhesive, either regular wood glue or HP Wood Filler, and then press the broken parts together. Drive a few thin nails through the broken part into a solid part. If this cannot be done, just hold the wood in place while the HP Wood Filler dries... it won't take long. Sand the HP Wood filler as soon as it is hard enough... it continues to harden for an hour or more, and will eventually get so hard that it will not sand very well. You might have to fill/sand a couple of times to get it nice and flat. Once painted, if you did a good job, the repair should be almost invisible.
On the other hand, replacing part of a door jamb requires the following steps... at a minimum:
I could go into more detail, but hey... I'm not trying to write a book here! The point is for you to understand why I always think REPAIR first instead of REPLACE in most any job I tackle. Replacing a door jamb is not a monumental carpentry job, but it is a more time consuming, expensive, and skill- intensive job than a repair.
© 1999 G.G. ALONZY
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