How to Make Butt Hinges

  • 2-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-75
What You'll Need
Sheet metal
Sheet metal cutting tool
Long nose pliers
Hinge pin

Butt hinges are used to attach doors to door jambs. These hinges have two flat leaves that can be installed flatly on the surfaces of the door and the jamb. To make butt hinges, a flat sheet of metal will be needed to provide the two leaves. Here are the steps on how to make them.

Step 1 – Determine the Size of the Butt Hinges

Before cutting out the sheet metal, plan how large the butt hinges will be. Check out the designs and sizes of different kinds of hinges to determine the dimensions of the butt hinges. You may create different sizes and designs for different types of woodworking projects. There are also available designs on the Internet that can be used as templates.

Step 2 – Cut Sheets of Metal

Mark the dimensions of the butt hinge on the sheet metal and cut the pieces. Usually, the leaves of the butt hinges have alternate wings that will be rolled to provide the insertion hole for the hinge pin. The hinge pin will be used later on to hold the hinge leaves together. Mark the outline of the leaves and cut them using a sharp sheet metal cutting tool. Make sure that the cutting tool is sharp enough to provide a clean cut. After cutting, use a sander to smooth the edges. A cut sheet metal usually creates a sharp edge that may cut through the skin, so make sure to smooth the edge.

Step 3 – Make the Rolls

Clamp the metal sheet to provide stability before rolling the wings. It takes practice to get the rolling right so be patient on this part. Use long nose pliers to grip the edge of the wing and twist it around to form a roll. Before proceeding with this part, it is best to practice on a scrap metal sheet first until the skill is mastered. Proceed with the other wings and make sure to create even rolls. Do the same to the other sheet metal that is cut. Make sure that the rolls on the left leaf fit those of the right leaf.

Step 4 – Test the Hinge Pin

Try to fit the hinge pin into the rolls to see if it fits. If the hinge pin does not fit, simply adjust the rolls until they create a perfect fit. Try to fit the left and right leaves together and insert the hinge pin. Use a hammer to drive the pin inside the rolls. If the hinge pin fits perfectly, proceed with the next step.

Step 5 – Drill Holes

Determine how many screws the butt hinges will need and mark the spots on the leaves where the screw holes will be drilled. Make sure to drill holes of the correct diameter. The hole should be wide enough to allow the shaft of the screw to enter, but small enough not to let the head of the screw go through. Drill the holes on the leaves to finish the butt hinge.