Commercial Steel Door Repair

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
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Commercial Steel Door Repair

I got a call to fix a binding entry door at an office in a business park. The doors there are the standard 1 lite metal door and frame. Some one tried to break in awhile back and some one repaired it by riveting a piece of metal to the damaged frame at the latch. Even though it's a steel door they say the door binds at the metal repair when the sun hits it.
I have done mostly residential doors in my career, this is my first commercial steel door. I figured I would be able to figure some thing out. By the looks of the built in pivot type hinge apperatuse on the top and bottom of the door, it doesn't look like there's any way to make adjustments to the margins, vertically or laterally.
I'm thinking that the strike side of the jamb needs to be replaced..if thats possible. Is this possible or does the whole frame need to be replaced. HOW IS A STEEL DOOR FRAME HUNG? I've replaced jamb legs to residential entry doors by sawing the leg in half and prying it out, then slipping the new leg in.
I don't want to take it apart if I can't put it back together being as it's a place of business, though I would like to know how to do this.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

do you have a hinge bender? I saw a GC on a job with one made from steel pipe. worked great. maybe someone on here can source one out, cause I cant seem to find one.

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

Is it a knockdown frame or welded?
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair


assuming it is not a welded frame and is what is referred to as a "knock down" frame here is how they are installed:

slide 1 frame leg around the drywall and up against the framing

slide the frame head around the drywall and mate the 2 male tabs on the end into the 2 slots on the leg, do not slide the unmated end up, let it hang down

take the last leg and slide the top end aroudn the drywall keeping the bottom of the leg way out in the door opening, maneuver it up and mate the 2 slots in the top of the leg with the 2 male tabs on the end of the frame head, slide the leg up and into place

plumb whichever frame leg is sitting on the highest part of the floor, fasten at the bottom by screwing through a steel clip wedged in the frame and protruding out to the side(will be covered by baseboard/covebase after installation)

using either a plywood template or a square and tape measure set frame head square and opposite frame leg plumb/ even to other leg

Use a long #3 phillips bit in the holes located up high in the center of each frame leg to clamp the frame against the framed opening by screwing in clockwise

double check your spacing is the same at top and bottom of frame and screw in bracket at bottom of second frame leg

PS- almost forgot, there are threaded holes on the top edge of the frame at each corner, make sure there aren't any screws in there before trying to dissasemble.

Last edited by orson; 01-27-2009 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

I have gotten quite a bit of movement out of steel doors by shimming the hinges. To increase the strike side reveal you'll want to shim the edge of the hinges nearest the stop so they are sitting at a slight angle, which moves the door closer to the hinge side of the jamb. Of course this only works if the door has room to move in that direction in the first place.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

I really don't want to tear out the jamb leg cause like I said it's a place of business and I don't want to risk not being able to re assemble it, plus I have no idea what to tell the shop to order if I had to. Though, are steel comercial jambs generally knock down? So are the legs secured with screws and clips? Is it maybe easier than removing a wood jamb? I know, I know, I should have looked at it more, but I figured I could find some info/pictures on how there installed, but no luck yet. I guess I could stick a car jack and a 4x4 between the jamb and hope for an 1/8".
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

Check out these two websites for info about welded and knock down steel jambs.
I couldn't find anything pertaining to install with pictures, but maybe those two site will help you.

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Old 01-29-2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

Is there any reveal on the hinge side? If there is you should try this before you go ripping out the jamb. I was recently able to move a steel door over almost 1/8", it wouldn't even shut before and now it works perfectly.

My drawing sucks and it the hinge angle is exaggerated (it would probably bind if it looked like the picture, but you get the idea), but just shim the very edge of the hinges and you might be surprised how much it'll move. They are designed to be adjustable this way, some steel door hinges even come with shims for adjustment.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

since it is an exterior door frame (note 'break in" attempt) It is more likely than not a welded frame. Is it a 4 7/8 strike prep?

If you are real good with an angle grinder with a wizard wheel you can cut a slot in the face of the jamb and insert a new jamb strike prep. tack weld it back into place with a portable MIG welder. Grind smooth. I am assuming this is in a masonry wall. then your new strike plate goes on top of this to be flush with the frame surface, A cell phone picture of the damaged strike would help.
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

I would say that it is a welded steel jamb. For me most knock-down steel jambs seem to be used on the interior, but it is not a hard and fast rule.

I'll second the hinge bender. But first, I would check if the hinges appear to be bent. Usually an open end wrench can be used to bend the hinge knuckles. You could also replace the hinges with a product called Select Hinge. This will also allow you to scoot the door over more to get more room at the strike area. Also, the Select Hinge hinge system is very rigid and also is very hard to bend like regular hinges tend to in stressed situations.

Good luck!
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Last edited by atnas; 02-05-2009 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:03 PM   #11
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

Originally Posted by JLTrim View Post
Is there any reveal on the hinge side? If there is you should try this before you go ripping out the jamb. I was recently able to move a steel door over almost 1/8", it wouldn't even shut before and now it works perfectly.

My drawing sucks and it the hinge angle is exaggerated (it would probably bind if it looked like the picture, but you get the idea), but just shim the very edge of the hinges and you might be surprised how much it'll move. They are designed to be adjustable this way, some steel door hinges even come with shims for adjustment.

Some steel doors have little set screws behind the hinges. U can get some movement there.

Depending on the camber of the hinges, how tight they are at the furthest point from the pin when closed as pictured above, often U can get alot of movement twoard or away from the strike side by rolling the hinges.

I use 1/8" strips of vinyl flooring. Place them twoard the stop to open your margin on the strike side, twoard the pin to close it.

Hope that made sense LOL. Good Luck!
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #12
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

A locksmith friend of mine uses the Hinge doctor with very good results...
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #13
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

What is the exterior of the building? You had asked how steel door frames are hung, and the answer depends largely on the type of building they are going into.

Many of the frames I work on are in Masonary walls, and those are generally placed prior to the wall being laid up. The masons slug the frame with concrete as they go, and there are clips that snap into the frame that lie in the mortar joint between courses. This is NOT an easy frame to replace.

If it's a pre-cast building, you'll probably find that there are anchor bolts through the stops and into the pre-cast. Usually there are 3 per leg, and they are bondo'ed over after installation. This type of installation is pretty easy to remove, if necessary.

I saw a lot of comments on dealing with door adjustment using hinge adjustment. That works great if you've got butt hinges (although I would NEVER advocate hinge "bending"), but you mentioned a top and bottom "pivot". I suspect you've got Rixson hinges on the door. those are vertically adjustable. Horizontally, not so much, depending on the model. Some have a little cam plate around the pin, but you can't access it without popping the door off.

If the damage is really localized to the strike side, I like the "welding in a new strike" idea. I've done that a few times, and it sure beats tearing out a mortar filled frame, lol...

Anyway, good luck with this project, and sorry this is your "introduction" to commercial doors.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

If you can post pictures I may be able to be of more assistance. I work mainly with commercial doors so I may be able to help once I have a better idea.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:33 PM   #15
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

This thread is from 3 years ago.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:41 PM   #16
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

However, it is not nearly a record.
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:19 AM   #17
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

I wonder if he ever fixed it

If i was around 3 years ago i woulda told him to adjust the set screws in the top and bottom pivot hinges. And more than likley hes dealing with a one piece aluminum frame. Not knockdowns.

but i wasnt.
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Last edited by Rich D.; 10-17-2012 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:38 PM   #18
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

I just read through this and the guy was talking about a pivot hinge. It was probably a alluminum store front with no butt hinges. He should of remounted the pivots or installed a full surface continuouse hinge.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:17 AM   #19
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Re: Commercial Steel Door Repair

Assuming it's a steel door hung on pivots.

First thing i would do is check the head gap. if the door is binding at the head or even out of parallel it's likely the pivot's are bent and may have to be replaced

If the head gap is fine then you only have to work on the strike.

If you are a decent welder and a good hardware guy this isn't a difficult repair. I would go to a HM door supplier and pick up the appropriate strike box. I keep a few of each in the truck as well as hinge baskets and some flat stock.

You then either repair the existing strike box by welding it or cut it out and weld in a replacement.

You then grind your welds flat, bondo, sand, prime and paint and reinstall the strike plate.

If you can't do this type of work contact a HM door shop and ask who does door and frame rework in your area.

You can also contact a locksmith but they will just call the same rework guy, mark up his work and pass it on.

Whoa, I just looked at the date on this. That was a waste of time.

Last edited by dave_k; 10-27-2012 at 10:20 AM.
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