Mortised auto door bottom install ?s - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 06-23-2019, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Mortised auto door bottom install ?s

I would like to install mortised door bottoms (or sweeps? can't figure out exact terminology) on three doors in my house. This is an example:


https://acousticalsolutions.com/prod...c-door-bottom/


I bought the doors specifically designed to do this, but I have to create the mortise on them. I had a ton of links to installation webpages and manufacturers, but lost them all when my computer went down.


1) Does anyone have any recommendations for places to buy/manufacturers of these? I need two of them to be able to work many times per day, potentially. The third one will rarely be opened.



2) Does anyone have any installation websites or tips for installation of mortised versions? For instance, build a stand to put the door 90 degrees to the floor or try to put the door on a large table (parallel to the floor)? How to hold the router when doing this?


Thank you. PS - I searched here too, and go zero hits, but maybe my search terms weren't great.

Bob
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-23-2019, 12:08 PM
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I've usually avoided the hassle of cutting a groove in the bottom of the door and used the surface mounts, but I know if you do the bottom grove you can set it on a table or saw horses and use a router with a fixed guide. Don't try to cut the grove in a single pass start shallow. I've heard guys doing it with multiple passes of a circular saw. Tape the edges so you don't splinter the wood.


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post #3 of 23 Old 06-23-2019, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeff. That would work. I had several websites bookmarked that showed how people actually did this with their routers, but all that was lost when my computer died. And now I'm having difficulty searching for them.



I agree with you about the ease of adding them exterior to the door, but one door goes from our kitchen into a second hallway to a bathroom, one goes to the basement (and we leave and enter the house through there), and one goes to a room where my mother sleeps. So, they all really need to be mortised to look the best and for maximum coverage. And I had the old hollow doors removed and these installed specifically to add the auto door bottoms, but I haven't gotten around to doing it.



I seem to remember looking at these (from Zero):


https://www.tmhardware.com/Automatic...al-1-Drop.html

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post #4 of 23 Old 06-23-2019, 12:53 PM
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If you use a router Jeff is right on slow and steady with shallow cuts. I like to use two guides so there is no chance of slippage. Here is a pic this is on my bigger router but you can do the same thing on a trim router which is what I would probably use for what you are doing unless they are oak or a harder wood door then I might use a bigger router.

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post #5 of 23 Old 06-25-2019, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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That is a very nice picture. I am looking into doing something like that, although getting up to where the door would be if standing would be a challenge. I'll post my setup once I do this. Thank you two.

Bob
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-25-2019, 05:07 PM
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you can do it horizontally you just have to hold the router tighter.
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post #7 of 23 Old 06-26-2019, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Big. I'm thinking of doing this horizontally, as I might buy a compact router (see link below), and it only allows one guide.



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F9MM0YC...v_ov_lig_dp_it


I was also thinking of this "normal" router kit:


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005RHPD...v_ov_lig_dp_it


This would allow me to use two guides (I think), but I'm not sure I need a full-blown router as of yet. And I taped a show where they put together a router table for a compact router, which if I could ever get the time, I think would be "cool" to make.



(I may not buy from Amazon, as there's a local place that might have these, but it's easier to do research using Amazon.)

Bob
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post #8 of 23 Old 06-26-2019, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post
Thanks, Big. I'm thinking of doing this horizontally, as I might buy a compact router (see link below), and it only allows one guide.



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F9MM0YC...v_ov_lig_dp_it


I was also thinking of this "normal" router kit:


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005RHPD...v_ov_lig_dp_it


This would allow me to use two guides (I think), but I'm not sure I need a full-blown router as of yet. And I taped a show where they put together a router table for a compact router, which if I could ever get the time, I think would be "cool" to make.



(I may not buy from Amazon, as there's a local place that might have these, but it's easier to do research using Amazon.)
First that Dewalt 611 is a great router one of many I have and my go to in the palm router drawer. If you only need the base for this one use you can make one fairly quick with a piece of 1/2 ply and a 1/2" dowel rod see crude pic below. Once mounted the dowels will center the bit on the door.

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post #9 of 23 Old 06-26-2019, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, that is a good idea. I'll have to see what I end up doing.



I ended up buying this Makita instead of the Dewalt, only because the Dewalt was confusing to get everything (attachments for the vacuum, guide, etc.), whereas the Makita came with everything.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Bob
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-26-2019, 05:08 PM
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just a tip, if the fence doesn't go as small as you want you can temporarily attach a board to the door to make it thicker. A thicker door when viewed from the bottom will help you keep the router more stable as you cut the groove. It can also hang off both sides to give you a better starting and finishing fence stabilizing zone.
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-30-2019, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeff. This makes a lot of sense.


Well, this is going to be more difficult than I thought (for a router novice like myself). If you look at the product specs for this on, I need a 0.705 inch wide and 1.560 inch deep mortise.



https://www.tmhardware.com/Automatic...l-75-Drop.html


(You have to go to "Product Specs".)


Similarly, for this other one, I need a 0.924 inch wide and 1.575 inch deep mortise (again, have to go to "Product specs"):



https://www.tmhardware.com/Automatic...al-1-Drop.html


I can likely do two passes (at least two) to get the width, but I'm not sure how to get the depth. I don't see any1 /4 inch shank bits that go 1.575+ inches into the mortise. This talks about long bits for larger routers, but I can't find the bits they discuss (at Amazon at least) for a trim router:


https://www.routerforums.com/new-mem...p-mortise.html


Anyone know where I can get a bit (and what the bit is called, I can't find much using "router cutter") that will allow me to cut 1.575 inch depth mortises on a trim router?

Bob
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-30-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm not sure I see a problem just do multiple depth passes, The smooth round shank of the bit will just slide past the wall of the grove that the part with the cutting edges has created on a previous pass. I wouldn't want a bit capable of cutting the whole depth for a hand held job. Take this job slow and steady a little bit at a time. Maybe practice on some scrap wood.
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-01-2019, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I'm not sure I see a problem just do multiple depth passes, The smooth round shank of the bit will just slide past the wall of the grove that the part with the cutting edges has created on a previous pass. I wouldn't want a bit capable of cutting the whole depth for a hand held job. Take this job slow and steady a little bit at a time. Maybe practice on some scrap wood.

Hi Jeff,


I might not be articulating myself correctly. I was going to do about 1/4 inch deep passes (at first), along the entire width of the door, then increase the depth (using multiple passes) until the full depth I can go.


Maybe this picture helps. The white part on top is the door, which rests on a 2x4 (yellowish). I show my bit in my router, extended to the maximum extension. On the bottom of the picture is my guide, which as you said will need me to use wood to get the bit to the correct depth. On the top is the door bottom.



You can see the door bottom's depth is about twice the depth of my bit (a 5/8 inch "straight bit"). I do not seem to be able to get the bit to go deeper into the wood, as the shank is only about the size of the bit that is shown. I could get some additional depth perhaps by moving the bit out on the shank, but I'm not sure how much.


So, I assume there's a longer "straight bit" (or "mortising bit", and my kit has both, though they look alike to me) or other bit? That is, a longer shank and/or bit portion to extend the full 1.56" I need in depth? Or am I being an idiot?
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-01-2019, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm...I have no idea why that picture is rotated. "Top" is on the left, "bottom" on the right.

Bob
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post #15 of 23 Old 07-01-2019, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Ugh. This is wrong: "On the bottom of the picture is my guide, which as you said will need me to use wood to get the bit to the correct depth." I meant that I'd have to use wood on top of the door to place the guide so that it cuts the channel in the correct location along the width (1 3/4 inches) of the door. (I'm using "depth" to mean the "height" of the channel to fit the door bottom.)

Bob
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-01-2019, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I think I bought the wrong router. I need a channel that is 15/16 wide and 1-9/16 inch (+, actually 1.575 inches) deep for one door bottom. I can find this 1/2 inch shank straight bit, it's 1 inch wide, but only 1-1/4 inch deep. I need it to be longer, but I cannot find another one that is 1 inch wide but 1-9/16 inch deep or longer.



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...DKIKX0DER&th=1


I need another channel that is 3/4 wide and 1/575 inches, about 1-5/8 inches deep. I can find a 3/4 wide, 2 inch long straight bit for a 1/2 inch shank:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1


I can't find any of these that are close to the width and length I need that are also 1/4 inch shank. So, I should have bought a 1/2 inch shank router.

Bob
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-01-2019, 10:02 AM
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Just like you don't need to cut the whole depth in one pass you don't need to cut the channel to required width in a single pass, just keep adjusting the fence. There are plenty of much longer 1/4 inch bits. I think I see the problem your router appears to not have adjustable depth you are at the mercy of bit length. Adjustable depth routers are often called plunge routers.


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post #18 of 23 Old 07-02-2019, 02:41 PM
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When I did my door bottom I used my skill saw to cut the door. Then used my router to take away the rest from the door.





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post #19 of 23 Old 07-04-2019, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post
I would like to install mortised door bottoms (or sweeps? can't figure out exact terminology) on three doors in my house.
Just wanted to share my experience with automated door bottom seals. For my first theater I bought a 300 pound door with the Zero International drop seal already mortised in. In the end, that was the weakest link in the door system. Because the seal is offset from the plane of the side/top perimeter seals, small gaps remained at each end.

In my next theater I used the same superb Zero side/top seals but a different one to seal to bottom. See details in post #2 of my build thread.

Good luck with the build!

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post #20 of 23 Old 07-04-2019, 10:23 PM
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I was just going to suggest the skilsaw. @bluer101 I'm filing that one away, as I plan on doing similar with my door - a semi mortise on the theater side of the door, concealed by fabric frames & treatments to match the other walls. The similarities in our builds continue, lol.

In the OP's case of doing a full mortise in the middle of the door - I would cut with a skil saw that has an adjustable guide. You may need to clamp a thick board to one side of the door to give the guide something to ride against, or clamp a thick shim to the skil saw guide so that it can ride against the door under the shoe of the saw. (I've never seen a skil saw with a guide that would let you set up any closer than the edge of the shoe.)

Make your two edge cuts (defining the width of the mortise) first, then cutout all of the waste between those two cuts by adjusting the guide one blade-width at a time.

The technique is commonly used on tablesaws but could be adapted to a skil saw for this cut. See video below. (I have no idea if this guy is any good at woodworking.... it's just the first video I found demonstrating cutting a dado without a dado stack.)


Basically all you are doing here is cutting a really deep dado. And I suppose if you wanted to mortise in the flange of the ADB then you would make that cut with a trim router.

I would highly suggest practicing on scrap. A 2x6 on edge could stand in for the bottom part of a door.

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post #21 of 23 Old 07-10-2019, 05:06 PM
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I just cut my second door for the auto door bottom this past weekend. I used a basic "skil saw" (Makita worm drive, but we all call them skilsaws, lol) and just made a whole lot of cuts and then broke off the remaining "fins" that were left (each was less than 1/8" wide), cleaned it up with a chisel then a sander. Fairly easy, but the results were not as good as the first door where I used a router. However, much less dust and mess. That is a LOT of material to cut away regardless of the tool used.

I originally intended to do a mortise in the center of the door so you couldn't see the door bottom at all, but that is a tricky cut to make even with a good router, a really long bit, and a steady hand. You can't set the door up and use gravity to assist, so you are cutting sideways any way you look at it. And the slightest tilt with a 1.5" bit sticking out will result in a pretty significantly uneven cut.

But bigger than the issue of making the cut without screwing it up or injuring myself, on interior doors you only have 1.5" total thickness, so when you cut out over an inch of thickness out, you have less than a half inch left. That is a bit janky on a particle board core door with an MDF veneer that makes up the first 1/8" of thickness. Even if the door is solid MDF and not particle board, 3/8" can break off (or split) pretty easily if you are trying to move the heavy door into place and drag a corner of the bottom. If the door was solid hardwood, that would be the only case where I would even consider doing a full mortise. But think about it, even with solid hardwood, a 1/4" thick, 1.5" long piece of wood sticking off the bottom of the door could break off pretty easily. Even after installation, catching a rug while closing it could rip a chunk off that door, and if it were 1/8" of MDF and 1/8" of particle board, the chances of breaking it off are almost a given. Not worth the effort IMHO.

So just insetting it on one side with a rabbet cut was better than mortising it inside the door, and since you can paint the aluminum door closer the same color as the door, it isn't really noticeable. In my case the door bottoms both face the space between the two doors, so even better.

The inner door on my theater is a 1 3/4" door, so I had much more material to support the door bottom. Plus it was just a flat slab with a hardwood veneer, which made it stronger than the MDF veneer of my outer door. I cut that one and didn't have to worry too much about snapping off a corner while installing the door.

The picture posted a few posts up is nearly identical to the cut I just made in the regular solid core interior door.

To answer your questions about the router, you can get longer bits, and a good plunge router will allow you to use the full length of the bit. You could even pull the bit out a little to get that extra reach, but while I might be OK making a 1.5" deep cut with a 1.25" deep bit, I would never try to do it with a 1" bit. As for width, you just adjust the guide and make several passes to get whatever width you want.

And don't forget, the door closer won't be the exact width of the door, you will have to cut it shorter, which you can do with a miter saw if you take it slow and have a regular carbide tipped blade. Take the inner parts out first and if you have to cut those too, pull the rubber parts out first and cut those by hand with a razor knife, and the aluminum channel piece with the miter saw. While a good 80 tooth blade will probably not catch the rubber seal and just cut through it, I wouldn't take the chance of it binding and yanking the whole piece out of my hands and mangling it (and maybe injuring me too).

I'm pretty sure I have some pics of my first door in my build thread, and I will be posting pics of the second door probably next weekend after it is fully installed.
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post #22 of 23 Old 07-11-2019, 08:58 AM
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Use a spiral upcut bit. It will help keep your mortise clear of chips which would otherwise cause your bit to overheat. Plenty to choose from on Amazon but you should be able to find one locally.
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post #23 of 23 Old 07-12-2019, 01:20 PM
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Zero International Automatic Door Bottom Install

I have a few pictures of my install. As BigMouth said, I just used a router and did multiple passes until I got to the desired depth
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