So things have been going very slowly, I've been working a lot the last couple weeks. All the doors have been hung. I'm not a pro but I thought maybe I'd share my experience with hanging doors and what worked for me.
Brad Nailer (16-18 ga, 2" brads)
Cedar shims (lots of shims)
1) The first thing I did was to assemble the frame on the ground. Separate the hinges and attach each half to the door and frame. Install a doorknob on the door and striker plate on the frame.
2) Place the frame into position and nail in three spots. Obviously you want to be sure you are flush with the drywall on both sides so that your trim fits nice. First nail goes in hinge side bottom. Nail it right against the stud. Next nail is hinge side top, again right against the stud. Third nail goes in striker plate side at the bottom. Again, tight to the stud. Do not nail the top of the striker plate side. I'll explain below.
Reasoning for nailing the bottom first: It's easier to nail the bottom first, I nailed the top first a few times and if the bottom wasn't tight to the stud it would bind against the floor if the floor wasn't perfectly level.
Reasoning for nailing tight to the studs: With brad nails, its easy to pound a shim in to bring the jamb out where you want it, but once it's out too far there is no going back. The brad nails will just bend and become a royal PITA. You don't want to nail the striker plate top side for this very reason. If you have to shim out the hinge top side you are working against the brad nail on the opposite side.
3) Put the door on its hinges and level hinge jamb. I don't know if there are pro's out there that can hang doors without doorknobs and striker plates but I can't, or at least I find it a lot easier to do with a doorknob on. It allows you throughout the whole hanging process to "test" the swing of your door. Take your 6' level and center it the best you can on the hinge side jamb. Find out what side needs to be shimmed and slowly/carefully drive a shim inbetween the jamb and stud, till perfectly level. At this time I usually test the door to see how it swings closed and if it latches or not. I found on a couple doors the latch and striker plate wouldn't line up vertically, this was usually remedied by adjusting at the hinge side bottom, but in the one case I hand an uneven floor so I actually had to cut a bit off the bottom of the striker plate side.
I usually shimmed in 4-5 places on the hinge side, when you look at your level you'll notice that there will be gaps between the level and the jamb. Slide a shim in till the gap disappears.
For shimming I usually shimmed on both sides of the doors then I nailed through the shim. On painted doors I nailed in the middle where the stopper goes and then I put 2 extra nails in on each side to make it as sturdy as possible. Painted jams are easy to repair nail holes. I didn't want any exposed nail holes on my maple jambs so I just nailed in the middle.
4) Adjust striker plate side. I shimmed out the striker plate side (bottom first) to give a uniform gap between the jamb and door.
5) Install door stopper. This part is IMO one of the most important parts of how a door feels when you close it. If the stopper isn't tight against the door you'll notice that your door rattles and generally feels cheap when you close it. Install the top stop first. You should have a partner for this. You want the stop to force the latch to sit tight against the striker plate but not too tight that the door won't close or needs to be pulled close. Fasten the top stop with brad nails. Close the door and install the hinge side stop, this is purely for looks and serves no function. I just made sure it sat nice and tight to the door without hindering operation. Finally I installed the striker plate side stop. Match it up at the top and then, again put it as tight as you can to the door without having to pull it closed.
6) Remove shims - Give a real good score on both sides with your knife and give em a quick hit with the hammer. These break pretty easy.
Again, I'm not a pro but this worked for me. Input and criticism is very welcome.
Edit: I'd like to add, I talked to a buddy of mine who has a background in finish carpentry, he advised to put hang with something a little more substantial under the stopper than just brad nails, especially on heavy maple doors. I predrilled and chamfered holes at shim locations and put in 3" screws, I don't think they'll be going anywhere now.
He also advised to have 2 scraps of 1/4" stock for the door to sit on when you are hanging, vs right on the bare concrete. Reason for this is that concrete floors are never perfectly level, and sometimes your striker plate is higher than it should be. You can just remove the stock from the striker plate side instead of having to cut the jamb.
Edited by IHaveAMullet - 6/20/13 at 12:50pm