Replaced Front Door Hinges


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Old 11-17-08, 10:34 AM
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Replaced Front Door Hinges

I re-finished my front door and decided to replace the hinges. I hung both sides on the door then held the door in place while I screwed it to the door jamb. The door wouldn't even close. I was able to pull the pins and put the door into place, I saw what the issue was, the hinges were not lining up. I loosened some screws and was able to get the door to close. When closing it had to be lifted up so that it would square up and fit into the jamb. I though perhaps the new hinges were the issue and went back to the old ones and now I have the same problem, the hinges don't line up. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 05:18 PM
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Welcome to the forums! It is necessary to remove one of the hinge screws on the top hinge closest to the stop molding and replace it with a 3" screw which will extend into the adjacent framing and pull the door and frame into correct position with each other. BTW, an easier way to replace the hinges would have been with the door still hanging from the old hinges, remove one hinge at a time, both door and jamb side, replacing with the new one. That way everything would match up from the get-go.
 
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Old 11-17-08, 05:53 PM
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Chances are it's no longer plumb. Put a level on the outer edge. Is the bubble in the middle. Use small pieces of wood to hold the door while you align it.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 09:10 AM
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The frame is plumb and all of the hinges are equally out of line. When the door is in closed without the pins all three sets overlap equally, they all look like this(but vertical): -_-_-
 
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Old 11-18-08, 04:26 PM
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Actually, I should have said that the door was probably no longer plumb, not the frame. In any case, the frame and the door have to be plumb in 2 directions. If you put the pins back in the hinges and try to close the door, is the inner edge of the door hitting the piece of wood in the middle of the frame that seals the door from outside air? I forgot what it's called.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 04:58 PM
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It hits the back of the hinge first. It is plumb front to back and my "illustration" was meant to show that it seemed as if the door or frame needed to slide over a bit. When I loosen the hinges, it gives them enough play to line up when the door is closed.
 
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Old 11-18-08, 07:07 PM
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Did you fold the hinges in the correct direction?
 
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Old 11-18-08, 09:42 PM
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First, Chandler offered sage advice. You'll borrow from it in a while.

Among your wrongs: removed all of the hinges without marking them top, middle, bottom (preferred one at a time); neglected scraping the mortise pockets and/or cleaning the hinges prior to installation; probably assumed that any new hinge would do (lacking insight to the contrary); reused the same screw holes without using swell lock, a like product, or using longer screws.. I'll stop here.

A little about hinges; why it may be important, and how to judge if it is:

Not all hinges are the same. The two major types of butt (full mortise) hinges are “non patterned” and ANSI spec (an-see). Height & width are standardized, but metal gage (thickness), hole punching, and swagging (deliberately bending hinge leafs –narrowing the distance between parallel leafs) may differ.

Hole location on the same size ANSI spec hinge is the same for any brand. Metal gage (leaf thickness) and swagging often differs slightly among manufactures. Hole location on a non patterned hinge varies.

Most likely your door was setup (planned before machining) using one of two side clearance assumptions. One: 1/16” clearance on the hinge side and 1/8” clearance on the latch side. Two: 1/8” clearance on either side. These are the two most common setup assumptions (not the only ones). If you replace hinges using a different metal gage (thickness), or swagging, and your door was setup using assumption One this can cause the problem you're describing (It hits the back of the hinge first). A fouled hinge plate or mortise pocket will do the same.

Measure across the door face on the hinge knuckle side, and the distance from side jamb to side jamb at the head jamb. Subtraction provides a fair estimate of the setup assumption.




Ensure the old hinges and the new hinges are the same thickness, and that they are swagged the same. (Close both. “Stack” one on top of the other. Check both sides with straight edge). This is especially true when 1/16 clearance was assumed on the hinge side.

The “average” residential wood door uses 4” x 4” x .139 (thick) hinge (AKA “standard weight”), and uses a #10 screw. A 4.5” hinge uses #12 screw.

It's in your best interest to purchase four three inch long screws (borrowing from Chandler), and replace the remaining hinge screws with “all thread” screws, if necessary. (All thread screws – thread tip to the bottom of the head are required on fire doors. Better hinge sets include them. Cheap ones don't).

Tread pitch on an all-thread differs slightly from a wood hinge screw, and it has more threads. This translates into better holding power when reusing the same screw holes. Swell lock or a similar (wood swelling product) used in the holes on the door will help also.


Using a very very sharp chisel gently scrape the hinge mortises on the door and jamb, and trim the corners and edges. Your goal is barely expose new wood, removing trash, wood burrs, and a hairs breath of wood. A hinge leaf fitted into the pocket should be flush with the wood, and it should fit snug. When reusing old hinges – clean the backs of the leafs. (Insert Chandlers advise).

Affix one leaf to each of the hinge pockets on the door; then check alignment. Using a long straightedge lay it on the hinge knuckles. Check alignment 90 degrees to the previous.
Misalignment can be due to (1) warped door (2) mortising err (3) improper hinge seating (4) different swagging (5) defective hinge.

Measure the hinge backset on the door (distance from the doors edge to the back of the hinge pocket – usually one-quarter of an inch). Place a hinge leaf in the middle pocket on the jamb. Seat it against the back of the mortise on the jamb and measure from the back of the hinge to the stop. This distance (stop clearance) should be at least 1/16 greater than the hinge backset. If it's not, slide the leaf forward. The holes should align. (This is an indication that the mortises on the jamb were over cut). Without stop clearance the door will hit the stop and won't close.

Ensure that the hinge leafs fit flush in each of the jamb pockets. Next affix the middle hinge leaf. Use two long screws that will fasten into the rough framing. You'll be using this hinge as a fixed point, so either plumb it or square it to the jamb, and secure it firmly.

Now the fun begins. Your goal is hang the door on the middle hinge, and then insert the hinge pin (supporting the door securely as needed); afterward slip upper and lower leafs into their pockets and align them on the hinge knuckles before inserting the hinge pins. (Remember any mortise pocket alignment problems found during prior checks and compensate for them).

From here on, it's a matter of finagling things into alignment. On the jamb: loosen, jiggle, tighten. The reason for starting at the middle hinge is this pocket has the least stress on it, and it's unlikely that it has been distorted. When things are aligned put at least one long screw in each leaf on the jamb.
 
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Old 11-19-08, 05:23 AM
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2000. don't forget, he put the old hinges back.
 
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Old 11-19-08, 05:48 AM
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Thanks. I didn't forget. Consider lack of focus a subtle suggestion to move forward with replacing the hinges.

Probably, the old hinges are plain bearing hinges. If so, they are unequally worn. Since they weren't marked when removed (don't ask me how I know, I just do) this adds another layer of potential problems. Not scraping the hinge pockets or cleaning the hinges before re-installing still applies. Not checking the hinge backsets on the door and jamb still applies.
 
 

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