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Thread: How can I eliminate flex in door jamb?

  1. #1
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    How can I eliminate flex in door jamb?

    If the door pictured below is locked, and someone pulls quite hard on the outside handle, the door jamb will flex inward. There must not be good blocking behind the catch. I haven't tested to the extreme, but a hard enough pull might well cause enough flex to open the door.

    IMG_4381.jpg

    I would like to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, this flex without disassembling the door frame. Any suggestions? For example, is there something that could be sprayed or injected through a small hole and would then harden sufficiently?

  2. #2
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    I don't think there's anything you can inject that will help much. You need fasteners that run through the Jamb into the framing behind it, whether it's wood or block or ?. Given that the jamb is flexing inward, you could replace the screws holding the latch with ones long enough to reach the framing. Or just install new long screws above and below the latch. If there are no shims behind the latch, you can still do this, you will just have to stop driving the fasteners when the jamb starts to get pulled toward the framing. The screws will still resist any force that tries to pull the jamb away from the framing. Normally there are shims a couple of inches above and below the strike, but if that panic bar was added later on the shims might be lower down by the strike for the knob. Obviously the best way to do this would be to remove enough trim to allow putting in the proper shims, but if you don't want to do this, the above should at least help.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
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    My advice would be to use fully threaded #10 wood screws so they screw into both the wood jamb and into the stud behind it. As long as the wood the jamb is made from is strong enough it will not be able to move.

  4. #4
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    The Great Stuff Pro foam gun comes with plastic reducer tips that are about 3/16. You can squirt foam into a screw hole and replace the screw without over tightening. It is tricky to get just the right amount of foam behind the jamb. Making a big mess and bowing the jamb can occur. The foam is not very strong but will resist compression. I would not try it with a straw type, one time foam can. Experimenting with the gun and foam expansion rate and having acetone for cleanup would be helpful.

    IMG_0599.jpg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 07-04-2022 at 8:33 AM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  5. #5
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    Just to clarify, by “inward,” I meant toward the frame.

  6. #6
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    Jay, Is that a block wall? You could remove the strike for the lower door knob, open up the 7/8 bolt hole and use a grout bag to squeeze in some non shrink grout. As well as opening up the caulk joint between the jamb and plaster and tuck pointing.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Aubuchon View Post
    Just to clarify, by “inward,” I meant toward the frame.
    I'd likely pull the trim and put in additional shims/blocking to stabilize the structure. That and insure that the proper type and length of screws are used as was mentioned in other commentary.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    You might try adjustable jamb screws. https://www.amazon.com/U2-Fasteners-...ef_=ast_slp_dp

    John

  9. #9
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    Some trim needs to come off and firm filler to shore up the jamb is needed. May also be possible to add a filler plate to shim out the rim latch. If the flex is not huge the shim may work.

  10. #10
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    I do not see any trim in Jays Image.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  11. #11
    His picture shows what appears to an applied stop made from wood on a flat jamb. The trim is assumed to be off to the right of the picture.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    I do not see any trim in Jays Image.
    Exactly right. The drywall or, more likely, plaster goes right up to the jamb. There is no trim to remove. To get behind there, I would have to pull the jamb away from the framing or break open the wall. Neither is appealing. If it were a simple matter of removing some casing and inserting normal blocking, I would certainly do that.

    But you all have given me some good food for thought. Thanks!

  13. #13
    Could you pull the shim from your strike and have a piece of 12ga CR behind in place of it wodth of you frame and 12" high with screws at the corners to reinforce.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    Jay, Is that a block wall? You could remove the strike for the lower door knob, open up the 7/8 bolt hole and use a grout bag to squeeze in some non shrink grout. As well as opening up the caulk joint between the jamb and plaster and tuck pointing.
    I am 99.9% certain that the wall is typical old wood frame construction, with board sheathing on the outside and plaster over rock lath on the inside. But your ideas still seem worth considering. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Dempsey View Post
    Could you pull the shim from your strike and have a piece of 12ga CR behind in place of it width of your frame and 12" high with screws at the corners to reinforce.
    I think that this is what Scott Clausen meant by his suggestion of a filler plate. In any case, I like this idea a lot. The strike is of necessity shimmed out quite a bit. Replacing that with a long piece of steel might do the trick.

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