How to Fix Sagging French Doors – Part 2

This project is continued from How to Fix Sagging French Doors – Part 1.

To install the new hinges, the French Door will have to be removed and stood on it’s edge in the workshop. A door is a large awkward item, so I made a pair of jigs out of scrap 2×4’s and 3 inch wood screws to hold the door edgewise. This is big convenience and time saver. I also didn’t want to risk breaking the door glass. The door is 1-3/4 inches wide and fits in the 2 inch wide vertical slots. Plastic wedges are inserted between the door and the 2×4’s to take up the slack.

Door Jig for Holding the Door for Repair

Door Jig for Holding the Door for Repair

How to Remove the Door

To remove the door:

  1. Open the door several inches.
  2. Place thin blocks and/or wedges under the free side of the door so it can’t drop when the hinge pins are removed.
  3. Have a helper hold the door so it doesn’t move. My French door weighs 65 lbs.
  4. Gently tap out the hinge pins from the bottom with a Philips head screw driver and hammer. I recommend starting with the bottom hinge first, then the middle and finally the top hinge.
  5. Squirt some WD-40 on the hinges if they won’t easily come out.
  6. Lift the door away when all hinge pins are removed.
Remove the Door Hinge Pins

Remove the Door Hinge Pins

All hinge pins have been removed and the door is ready to be carried to the workshop.

Hinge Pins Removed and Door is Released

Hinge Pins Removed and Door is Released

The French Door is set in the 2×4 door jigs in the workshop and secured with plastic wedges to prevent wobbling. If you’re worried about marring the door finish, fold an old rag around door edges before placing it in the jig.

French Door resting in the Door Jig

French Door resting in the Door Jig

I found cardboard shims behind the bottom hinge, more evidence of a previous attempt to correct the door sag. The purpose of the shimming the bottom hinge is to pivot the bottom of the door out- and up to fix the sag. This can work well for minor problems. It didn’t fix the sagging problem with the 65 lb French Door.

Cardboard Spacers behind Bottom Hinge Leaf

Cardboard Spacers behind Bottom Hinge Leaf

The old hinge leaves taken off the door jamb. A variety of screws and cardboard shims were used in a prior failed repair – note this was my doing!

Old Hinge Leaves and Variety of Screws

Old Hinge Leaves and Variety of Screws

It was a snap to remove the old hinge leaves from the door with a cordless drill/driver.

Remove the Hinge Leafs

Remove the Hinge Leafs

This project is continued in Part 3.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

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2 Responses to How to Fix Sagging French Doors – Part 2

  1. Sam August 13, 2015 at 9:00 am #

    Cardboard spacers? I sure hope you meant to include the word “not” in your comment, “note this was my doing!” :)

    • Bob Jackson August 14, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

      Cardboard shim is correct. It’s easy to cut to the needed shape and each piece provides about 1/16 to 1/8 inch of shim when compressed.

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