For the 2014 IBS show, Plastpro asked me to produce a special presentation on installing an SDS unit. They shipped me all the materials so I could practice the presentation and shoot a video before the event. I was kind of surprised when the freight delivery arrived and the package was so small—the entire unit came knocked down, which reminded me of the olden days.
A Note from the Publisher:
WARNING: POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
Many people have asked about my new home and shop, so we’re publishing a new series of articles. You’ll notice I’m using a lot of Katz Roadshow-sponsored materials in these articles—for example, the doors in this article are manufactured and provided by Plastpro. We choose our sponsors carefully, from among the best manufacturers in the industry, and that’s why I chose to use their products on my own home, too.
When I started working as a finish carpenter, all door jambs came to the jobsite in rough lengths. We cut and assembled all the frames. Back then, when the world was all black-and-white, we installed the frames bald, with no molding attached, which made it very easy to flash the jambs and waterproof the openings. Then we cut and installed all the brick mold or stucco mold. Later, after the stucco was applied to the exterior, we returned and mortised the jambs for hinges. We scribed the doors, mortised for hinges, bored for locks, and then hung the doors. But these days, it’s rare for a carpenter to see a knock-down frame, let alone a frame without molding already attached; manufacturers and distributors ship pre-assembled units to the jobsite, and most of them are pre-finished, too!
I’ve heard and joined a lot of conversations about the future of carpentry—how carpenters today are really nothing but installers. Nothing illustrates the problems associated with that trend better than pre-assembled exterior door units. Some of the techniques I once used to adjust a mulled door unit can no longer be employed. But some still can. In this video, I demonstrate how pre-assembly doesn’t always make a carpenter’s job easier, how progress isn’t always a good thing, and I share a few techniques that every door installer should know.
Click here to read a related article, “Problem-free Prefit Doors.”