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First off, don’t assume everything’s fine if one of your tenants never calls you with the usual little problems. And if the neighbor next door gives you a call regarding said tenant, make that neighbor happy, ASAP. Turns out, we’ve got a rock band annoying the neighborhood.


Poor photo, I know. That tenant is now in the process of moving out, and we hope all the skeevy rock fans that showed up for the band’s night-time rehearsals go elsewhere as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy music, even music that most folks might call “bad music”. But we can’t have the police visiting on a regular basis because of the noise going too late into the evening, can we?

The subject of this post is behind the drum set in the living room.

About ten years ago, I replaced four double door systems in one of our rentals. The original multi-pane doors that came with the place had given up the ghost, and bits of those old doors are still in my burn pile. Here’s one of the new double doors I built, then neglected for too long.


The paint just gave out, allowing rainwater to enter and rot away a good portion of the lower rail of the door. Here’s a closer look at the same rental unit’s other door with the same problem, albeit slightly less rotted.


I’ve already repaired and replaced the worst of the two (what fun), but I thought I’d document the repair of the second, less-damaged one.

Step one: get the door down to my wood shop and remove the tempered glass pane.



Then, cut away the rot.


I had originally hoped to use my circular saw to make the cuts, but the white smoke escaped the motor on the old Milwaukee, so I went old school on it.

Leaving a healthy margin to prevent any tear-out from the still-good stile, the saw cut well.


Next, how to clean up these cuts down to the stile’s original edge? I thought about a hand plane…


But there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. Out came the Beast, a DeWalt 2-horse plunge router with a two-inch piloted pattern bit.



Carefully clamping a straightedge to the stile, the pilot bit made short work of the excess.
And lots of poplar dust.


The other side required a deeper cut into the stile, due to some rot. I set the straightedge deeper, and tacked on a stop to limit the router’s cut from going any higher on the stile than necessary.


Then, just square up the extra with a sharp chisel.


The Beast did an excellent job of preparing the door for its new bottom rail. So here’s the process to make that new rail.

Some 8/4 rough poplar I bought at my local lumberyard was cut down to two pieces. I need to make a flat surface on my stock, and that’s the raison d’être of my long bed 8-inch jointer.


Once one side is face-jointed, you set the face onto the 90 degree fence to square up an edge.


After that, a few passes through the planer will machine the other face parallel to the first,


then the table saw will finish the other edge.


I machined them slightly oversized prior to glue-up, then when the glue has completely dried, I’ll run the piece through the planer again to get it down to just above final thickness, that being one and 3/4 inches, and cut to final length on the table saw.


That’s enough for today. I should be able to finish this project tomorrow. Maybe even get it primed and re-installed, eh?



  1. Nice job. Lot’s of work.

    • Thanks, Bob. The tedious thing about it is setting up for the cuts without testing on scrap.

      The real work is having the rental ready in one week’s time!

  2. Thanks, Meriachee and David!

  3. lot of hard work tom you do good work

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