View Full Version : Trim carpentry question

09-28-2006, 05:26 PM
Can any experts please have a look at a question I posted on another site? I would have posted it here also, but the size limitation on photos here is restrictive. Thanks.


09-28-2006, 08:13 PM
You can use a router, jigsaw, Dremel, Rotozip... I think a good jigsaw would be your best bet. But Rotozip makes a "guide bit" that, in theory, is perfect for this application. Since there's only a small amount of material to remove, a drum sander in combination with a rasp bit would also work. You could do all of these, with the exception of the jigsaw, with the door right where it is.

09-28-2006, 08:32 PM
I don't think the Dremel or Rotozip will work on Mahogany. I tried to use my Rotozip on the bottom of a cheap pine door and the door just laughed at me and my 'Zip.

I'd try to plate it yourself. Rustoleum (and other mfgs) make metallic paints that might do you. If that doesn't work, I think jigsaw is the best bet. The door might be too thick to use a router on.

09-28-2006, 08:50 PM
I don't think the Dremel or Rotozip will work on Mahogany. I tried to use my Rotozip on the bottom of a cheap pine door and the door just laughed at me and my 'Zip.

Rotozip has come up with these new X-bits that are a lot stronger than the skinny bits they used to have. The new Dremel is 2 amps now and comes with a door planing attachment that would also work. It only cuts about 1/64 of an inch at a time, but you could go round and round until you got rid of the needed material. Probably faster to use the jigsaw, though.

09-29-2006, 05:37 AM
I would try a powder-coating firm. We've got one locally that would sandblast the old pieces and powder-coat in the finish of your choice for about $30, I think. You could easily find a sandblasting outfit and have them get rid of the old finish for a few bucks, and then see if what's left could be finished to match your new hardware.

09-29-2006, 09:43 AM
For the thickness and density of the mahagony, a good sized router is the way to go, but you'd need a sharp chisel to square up the corners. An up-cutting spiral bit can be had in a length long enough to do this, and the up cut helps to keep the router hugged down to the surface. If your router can't take 1/2" bits, one that long will chatter and give you grief, though. You could clamp on a jig while the door was in place, but it would be easier if you removed the door.

If that new piece really is oil-rubbed bronze rather than something plated to look like it, no paint is going to match the other pieces as it ages. The nice thing about that finish is the patina it develops and the subtle color variations it gets from wear over the years...paint can't touch it.

09-29-2006, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the feedback folks. Here's what I think I'm going to do.

1. Install the exterior piece and live with it. Only the mailman will know the cutout is not exactly the right size. Even he might not notice. He definitely wouldn't care. ;)

2. Install the interior piece and see what it looks like. I could either
a. Paint the exposed door surface black to reduce the contrast with the
mail slot, and see how it looks.
b. Router just the edge of the interior with a roundover bit, to soften the
cutout appearance. Then paint the interior of the slot cavity black.
Potential problem here since I would be painting end grain.

3. I just thought of this. I could buy another door flap and install it on the inside. Not expensive in the big picture. Can't take money with you anyway. :)

If #1 and #2 don't work, I can use a router to open up the cutout. I would definitely clamp a guide to the door (door on sawhorses), and use a 1/2" bit.