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Thread: How should I cut bi-fold doors to fit an opening?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    N.E. Ohio
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    How should I cut bi-fold doors to fit an opening?

    Hello,
    I have a closet opening that's 46" wide.
    I bought 2 sets of 24" bi-fold doors.
    I guess I need to remove 2" to make them fit.
    Should I remove the hardware and take 1/4" off of each panel?

    If so - what would be the best tool to use?
    TS, router, hand planer - or ?

    My plan was to take the hardware off, strike a line 1/4 from each edge, use the electric hand planer to get close, then finish removal with a belt sander.

    Plan "B" is to take the hardware off and use the TS to rip 1/2" from the outside of the panel in order to preserve the square where the panels are hinged.

    Plan "C" - which I'd like to avoid - I guess would be to enlarge the opening. Unfortunately, that may be more than what I'm comfortable doing myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Rochester, MN
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    2,829
    Taking the 1/4" off each side makes sense to me. There isn't likely to be a lot of wood in the frame surrounding the panel so the less you take off, the better. I would be inclined to do that on the TS instead of using a powered plane.

    After cutting the waste away I would also drill a small hole that would be concealed by a hinge. Probe in there to find out how thick the frame is. If it isn't thick enough to hold the hinge screws well I think I would put epoxy in the holes just before seating the screws. Remember to redrill the holes for the screws to compensate for the lost material.
    SketchUp Authorized Trainer and Visiting Professional.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    fairfield county, ct
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    rich i would rip a 1/4" off each side of the panels because typically there isn't to much "meat" on each side of the panels.sometimes it's only an inch, so if you took off a 1/2" there isn't a lot of material left for screws to bite into.also i would do this on the ts unless you have a circ saw and a guide system.a great time to get a festool setup, i bought one about 3 yrs ago and never looked back.fred

  4. #4
    You should be able to look at the top and see the width of the stiles - they should be at least 1.25 or so. TS is the way to go - accurate and easy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vermont
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    Bi-fold doors don't fit "flush" so you will need to remove more than 2" total. What does the installion guide suggest as a fit?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lacey, Washington
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    412
    Seems like bi-folds have holes top and bottom to hold the pivot hardware. Cutting anythimg off the edge where the holes are could cause problems. Dick B.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    chicagoland
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    107
    I have done this a couple of times, I guess thats a testiment to lack of rough framing skills Actually I shoehorning closets into my basement. But anyway, I have done the way you are talking about, where I took the doors apart and took equal amount of each side. I then primed and painted the exposed woods. I another application I took all I needed off the pivot side. Each time I used a circ. saw and straight edge. It worked fine. It is a good idea to get an idea how much meat will be left for the hinge screws. I acutally just drilled the existing sdrew holes all the through for the hinges so I would not loose the location as I cut the edges.

  8. #8

    Pretty basic but I have to ask............

    Whether you measured the actual doors yet. I put a pair of 24" bifolds in our entry closet opening. They turned out to be quite shy of the measurement, like they were set up for a 48" rough opening. Easy enough since the closet opening was not framed in I went ahead and framed and trimmed it, looks better anyway. Just a thought, if you haven't done so put a tape on one of them. Mine were bought at our local door store so there wasn't the usual packaging with measurements on it.
    Larry R

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
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    4,105
    Hello,
    I measured the panels and they are indeed shy of 12" each.

    Yes - there are mounting holes that I will have to contend with.

    I'm a few weeks out from hanging them, so I have some time to rethink things - and read the directions they included too .

  10. #10
    I have cut them before to fit in closets that becone entertainment centers. No worry about the mounting holes, you can always redrill them elsewhere. Be sure to measure how far they are from the edge you cut so you can relocate them.

    Always cut 1/4 of you measurement of each door, doing it any other way makes the doors look funny.

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