Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
vegashiker
Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
vegashiker

I just installed new swing clear hinges on one of several doors in my home.
This is for a bedroom door that opens into the room.
The hinges are on the right as you stand in the bedroom facing the closed door.
I needed the wider opening to accommodate easier wheelchair access.
The 'swing clear' hinges work wonders with increasing the effective door opening.

The new hinges were slightly thicker than the original hinges,
so I had to deepen the mortises slightly so they would lie flush.
In addition, I had to notch the mortises slightly because the original
hinges had rounded corners, where the new hinges have square corners.
I installed the new hinges using the original screw holes.
I used the screws that came with the new hinges.
They are about 1/4" longer than the old screws and are all tightened snugly.

My problem is that the door now rubs on the side jamb at the bottom of the latch side.
The horizontal clearance along the top of the door on the latch side is greater than that on the hinge side.

I know I can shim the hinges; and have purchased plastic, tapered shims to do that.

My question, is where do I install the shims? Top hinge, or bottom hinge,
or top & center hinges, or bottom & center hinges?

Is there a rule that tells where to shim depending on whether it rubs at the top edge or bottom edge?
Since I have to install these hinges on several more doors I'm sure I will encounter rubbing
problems at tops and/or bottoms of the rest of the doors. Thanks for your help.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
Sombreuil_mongrel

Rather than shimming, which will move the door closer to the latch jamb, you need to deepen one of the mortises for the lower hinge, either in the door or the jamb. That will shift the bottom corner of the door away from the rub.
Casey

A. Spruce
Re: Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
A. Spruce
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

Rather than shimming, which will move the door closer to the latch jamb, you need to deepen one of the mortises for the lower hinge, either in the door or the jamb. That will shift the bottom corner of the door away from the rub.
Casey

Do this.

Plus, if you need to shim, you do not use wedge shims, use card stock such as a 3x5 index card or file folder. If you need a thicker shim, use multiple card stock layers or use a breakfast cereal box. Cut the shim to fit within the mortice of the hinge and it will be completely hidden.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
Sombreuil_mongrel
A. Spruce wrote:

Do this.

Plus, if you need to shim, you do not use wedge shims, use card stock such as a 3x5 index card or file folder. If you need a thicker shim, use multiple card stock layers or use a breakfast cereal box. Cut the shim to fit within the mortice of the hinge and it will be completely hidden.

Remember "shirt cardboard"? the perfect stuff.
To eliminate hinge bind, I usually cut a narrow strip of cardboard (from the hinge package) and slip it under the barrel-edge of the hinge. This does not require taking out the screws, just loosening them, and it also keeps the hinge leaves themselves further apart, which is sometimes part of the binding problems. (not in this case, but I wanted to put that tip out there...)
Caset

A. Spruce
Re: Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
A. Spruce
Sombreuil_mongrel wrote:

Remember "shirt cardboard"? the perfect stuff.

Well, sure, but who's gonna buy a shirt just to adjust their doors? :p;):cool:

Definitely a good idea to slot the screw holes and slip the shim in rather than removing screws fully. Anything to keep the job simple for a DIY'r the better, and I mean this in a good way. Being pros, we sometimes take for granted the depth of knowledge and experience it takes to accomplish a task. It can well be likened to that old "test" of describing how to make a PB&J to someone who's never made one before. Simple task for those of us who've made them, not so much for someone who hasn't.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Installed new hinges, now door is hard to close
Mastercarpentry

You can shim a door closer instead of further out, right up toi the point where you get hinge bind. It's simple geometry. The pin extends past the door edge, so if you shim (raise) only the far edge of the hinge, it will pivot the pin further away from the center of the opening adding clearance.

I learned the door trade in commercial and industrial work where metal doors and metal frames were the norm. You aren't going to alter sizes, shapes, or mortise depths with them so you find other methods to make the door work correctly because you have to. Non-compressible card stock can be found in the boxes the hinges come in or wherever else you can find it. My business cards are shimming a whole lot of doors simply because I had them in my pocket and nothing else was handy. Most of the carpenters who learned the trade through residential work call me a door wizard because I can fit almost every door by shimming alone and I almost always get it perfect on the first try simply because of my experience doing it this way. I never like to alter a door or frame when I don't have to because that renders it permanently different, and if the house shifts, or if you replace that door, or if you want to use that door elsewhere you may want that wood back where you removed it which isn't the simplest thing to do. Wood removal should always be the last option because once it's gone, it's gone forever.

Phil

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.