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Re-installed interior door hinges won't align with mortice

Re-installed interior door hinges won't align with mortice

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  #1  
Old 08-23-16, 10:37 AM
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Re-installed interior door hinges won't align with mortice

At some stage in the apartment where I now live, the interior doors were re-painted a bit slapdash: they painted over the hinges and it looks sloppy. So I am in the process of taking the doors down, stripping the paint off the hinges (boiling in baking soda solution), re-painting the doors, spray-painting the hinges and re-greasing them, and finally re-hanging the doors.

Each door has three 4-1/2 inch hinges like the one in the attached photo.

The method I've used is to separate the parts of the hinges, screw the plates separately into the door and the frame, then maneuver the door into place and replace the hinge-pins.

The first two doors went fine.

The third door is a headache: I can't get all three hinges to align. The top two align together but the bottom one is out by a good millimeter.

What the hell?

These are the same hinges that fitted the same door before. They seem identical. How can it possibly be out so much?

What am i doing wrong?

Thanks,

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  #2  
Old 08-23-16, 11:04 AM
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In addition to putting the right door back in the right frame, you will likely need to loosen the screws slightly on one half or both halves... put hinge pins in... then retighten the screws.

Just an additional note... running the screws in and out weakens their holding power so you may want to put a short piece of toothpick in the hole before tightening the screw.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 11:31 AM
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Thanks XSleeper.

A diplomatically-worded reply! Yes I only have one door 'down' at the moment, so at least there's not a mis-match issue!

Loosening the screws all round makes perfect sense -- I should have thought of that. I guess I was 'spoiled' by the two other doors i did a couple of months ago, which slipped back into place very sweetly with all the screws fully tightened.

My biggest problem is moving the door back into position and holding it while i re-fasten the hinges. The door is very heavy -- too heavy for me to manhandle by myself. So far, I've been supporting it on old books, open to just the right number of pages to get the right clearance off the floor. But books are not perfect sliders and they can't hold the door straight. I'd like to have someone to help -- especially to jockey the door into position with the hinges loose, while I re-tighten the screws -- but there's no-one available.

If there's some clever trick for holding a heavy door straight, at the precise right height to marry the hinges together, I'm all ears!

Thanks for the tip about the grip on the screws. I've been worried about it. I like the shard-of-toothpick trick and will remember it.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 11:48 AM
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I always have tapered cedar shims in my truck, so for heavy doors, a couple stacks of shims is all I use. Attach the top hinge first, then the other two are easy.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 11:58 AM
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Excellent, thanks. I tend to run thin on tools -- apartment living, no space. Nice set of shims would be good though.

Top first, then the other two... again, makes perfect sense. At the moment, my door is fastened at the top and middle hinges. I'm going to loosen the screws on the middle hinge, see if that will give me enough 'play' to get both it and the bottom hinge in their mortises together. Watch this space....
 
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Old 08-23-16, 01:09 PM
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Well, the door's back up, and o all three hinges, but I'm deeply ashamed of myself.

Brute force and ignorance. I had the thing hanging from the top hinge and basically forced the recalcitrant one (the bottom one) into the mortice by using the pulling power of the screws. Appalling technique. Goodness knows what stress i put the top and bottom hinges under. No way to treat hardware.

In my defense, i can only assume that one mortise was cut out of whack thirty years ago when the thing was built, and the poor sucker who put it in then, which or without the help of workmates, had to go through the same nonsense as i have today.

Anyway, it's done.

Appreciated your help, without which i'd still be looking at the thing and cursing...
 
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