Learn how to toe and heel a door the easy way.
Before you learn how to toe and heel a door or window it is important that you understand why you would need to need to do this and how toeing and heeling works.
Doors are supported on one side of the frame by the hinges, but on the other (lock side) they have no support, causing them to drop over a period of time. The first indication of a dropped door may be a difficulty to lock the door, a gap at the top of the door or the door rubbing on the bottom of the frame. Most of the time an adjustment of the hinges is all that is needed to re-align the door. However, if this does not cure the problem the only option is to Toe and Heel the door to bring it back in line with the outer frame.
Toeing and Heeling a door is a simple process of placing packers within the inner frame of the door to brace the glass or panel. If you look at a five bar gate you will see the brace running from the bottom of the hinge side to the top of the lock or latch side. This brace keeps the gates latch side up in the air and prevents it from dropping. So instead of using a piece of wood as a brace we are going to pack the glass or panel within the door and use it as a brace.
If you learn how to toe and heel a door it can save you a lot of money on repair bills.
How to Toe and Heel a Door.
Tools and accessories required:
One (or preferably two) stiff putty knives to remove the beads. These can be purchased from any DIY store.
A glazing shovel to lift the door frame. This can be purchased from a local glazing company or online. As an alternative a wedge of wood can be used.
A selection of packers. These can be purchased from a local glazing company or online.
Remove the glazing beads that hold the glass or panel:
There are a few different types of glazing system that are in use. The main ones are:
Back Gasket or Back Wedge Systems. These types of Glazing Systems require you to remove a rubber gasket on the opposite side of the door to the glazing beads and are mainly found on older types of doors.
Fixed Gasket Systems. These types of system have a built-in gasket in the frame. The glazing beads can be removed without removing any gasket.
Please Note: GLASS IS HEAVY. It is advisable to have someone hold the glass in place when removing the glazing beads.
Remove the glazing beads by inserting a stiff putty knife between the bead and the frame at the centre of one of the long vertical beads. Use the knife as a lever to pop the beads out.
The glass or panel can now be removed from the door. Remove any packers that are in the frame rebate and place the glass or panel back into the frame, making sure to push the glass or panel over to the lock side of the door. Measure the distance from the glass or panel to the top of the frame rebate on the hinge side then measure the distance from the glass or panel to the hinge side of the frame rebate. Write the sizes down as we will need them in the next step.
Learn How to Toe and Heel a Door
Inserting the packers:
Please note that the packer thickness measurements below are a guide only. You may need to use thicker or thinner packers to get the door aligned correctly.
Packers “A” & “D” thickness each need to be half the distance of the width of the gap that we just measured. E.g. if the gap from the glass or panel to the hinge side of the frame rebate was 10mm we will use two 5mm packers. Packers “B” & “C” thickness each need to be half the distance of the height of the gap that we just measured. E.g. if the gap from the glass or panel to the top of the frame rebate was 8mm we will use two 4mm packers. The packers are spaced 50 mm from the corner of the frame. This is done to distribute the pressure of the brace effect over a wider area. Use a blob of silicone to hold the packers in position.
Insert Packers “C” & “D” and then put the glass or panel back into the frame. Fit the bottom glazing bead. The glass or panel will lean over to the lock side of the door, this is normal. Insert a glazing shovel or wedge of wood into the gap on the lock side of the door and lever the glass or panel to the hinge side. Insert packer “A” into the rebate. This packer can be held in place with a blob of silicone to stop it from slipping down. Now insert the glazing shovel or wedge of wood into the top of the frame on the lock side. Lever the frame up and insert packer “B” into the rebate. Carefully close the door and check to see if the miters on the frame and the door are in line and if the door closes and locks properly. Thin packers can be used on the side and top for fine adjustment. The four other (black) packers are now put in place with a blob of silicone. These packers will make the door more solid and able to withstand a crowbar attack from a burglar.
Re-fit the glazing beads and you are done.
Toeing and Heeling a window is exactly the same procedure as above.
Tip: Instead of using a glazing shovel a plank of wood can be used to lift the door. just be careful as some doors lift off the hinge pins when lifted from underneath.
How to Toe And Heel a Door (or window)
How to toe and heel a door (or window). Simple instructions and drawings that will enable you to get your door closing and locking again.