Q: How do I line up a door with its frame to install the hinges?

— Pat, Orlando, FL

A: Tom Silva replies: When lining up a door into a jamb, there needs to be equal space around the door to line up the butts (hinge plates). So you want to have a 1/8-inch space at the top of the door and the jamb. You take a story pole or stick and hold it up against the jamb and mark the position of the top and bottom butts on both the jamb and the pole. You take the story pole and bring it to the edge of the door, moving the story pole up an 1/8-inch for the space, and transfer the marks. Then you lay a butt on the edge of the door, pencil out the shape and use a utility knife to make a series of chisel marks as deep as what you want to remove from the door, and then slice that wood right out. Take your time, because if you cut the butts too deep or not deep enough, your door isn't going to swing right.
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