Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
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FCDesign
Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
FCDesign

I am planning to install antique hinges on new doors in new construction. I am particularly interested in the hinges with designs on the front and back. While looking at these hinges I have noticed that the leaves of these hinges are beveled (i.e. thick where connected to the hinge pin and tapering toward the outer edge). This is unlike modern hinges which are one consistent thickness. I have also noticed that if you install them so that the design on the back is visible the inside screw holes/screws would end up extremely close to the edge of the door/jamb:

1) Are you supposed to cut a beveled mortise so that the face of these hinges remains flat/level with the door and jamb?

2) Was this done in place of beveling the door edges like we do today to prevent binding? If not, why were they cast this way?

3) Do you slightly angle the inside screws for added strength and to avoid "blow-outs"?

I figured that people that work on old houses would be the best people to ask about this! Any tips or pointers for installing antique hinges on new doors would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
Sombreuil_mongrel

You do want to bevel the mortise so the hinge sits flush. The door edge itself may benefit from beveling to avoid hinge bind.
These hinges were made for 1 3/4" doors, which is why your inner row of hinge screws are ending up so close to the edge.
If you can find them in a 3 1/2" size, they will be better fit on a 1 3/8" door. 4" can usually work, 4 1/2"and up are for 1 3/4 doors. 6" is for 2 1/4, unless it's a "wide swing" hinge that is like 5x6 or 5x7, made with wider leaves to clear very thick door trims (some doors were trimmed with half-columns, etc).
Casey

FCDesign
Re: Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
FCDesign

Thank you, Casey, for your helpful information. My apologies for not replying right away, but I had problems logging on and am only now able to reply.

I'm good now with the mortising part.

However, perhaps I was not entirely clear about where the screw holes are close to the edge of the door - it's on the knuckle side. Let's take one particular example that I am looking at right now:

Hinges are 4X4
Door is 1 3/4" thick

If I place the door at the edge of the design on the "back" side (where the raised design is 7/8" wide by 4" tall on the door half of the hinge) so that the entire design can be seen, the screw holes that are closest to the design (closest to the knuckles) are only 1/8" away from the design (making them 1/8" away from the edge of the door). This is true for all of the hinges, both 3 1/2" for the 1 3/8" thick doors and 4" for the 1 3/4" doors. It's the side closest to the knuckles where the screw holes end up being close to the edge of the door.

So I'm wondering whether I should slightly angle the screws or cover up part of the design or ???

Thanks

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
Sombreuil_mongrel

If you angle the hinge screws the head will no longer sit flush, unless you use a smaller screw, or come back with a file and dress down what sticks up. Manufacturers would naturally put the screw holes in the right place. I can't understand any situation where a screw hole would be placed so close to the design field. OTOH, I have seen plenty of salvage hinges on ebay with extra screw holes drilled by some handyman/idiot which spoiled an otherwise nice set of hardware.

FCDesign
Re: Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
FCDesign

Perhaps I am looking at this wrong. I will try to upload some pics.

OK, I just spent an hour trying to upload a couple of pictures. . . they are .jpeg, they are less than 97 kb and they are less than the max pixel size, but I keep getting the error "this is not a valid image file".

Anyhow, these are the original screw holes, no modifications have been made to the hinges, and the outside edge of the hole is less than 1/8" from the edge of the raised design. In order to use these two hinges I guess I will angle the screws and file them down so that they are flush. The other hinges that I have appear to have holes at least 5/32" away from the design, so I can probably make them work without any modifications.

Thanks again for your help.

ed21
Re: Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
ed21

The easiest way is to post the photos on a photo sharing site like photobucket and then post the link here.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Installing antique/vintage hinges on new doors
Mastercarpentry

Waiting for the pics when you can. Sorry they can't be posted directly any longer- there were problems with that in the past so it's been disabled and the site hasn't made that notification clear yet.

As I understand it now, you may have to move the hinges inward a little bit, even if it covers part of the design. Of course there's a limit to how far you can go before you hit the edge of the door but it would preferable to having the screws too close to the edge where the door could split and fail. You can probably angle the screws slightly without a problem, say 5-7 degrees which would leave the head only very slightly proud of the surface. Most hinges have a little space between the leaves when closed parallel, and most doors have a 3 degree bevel on the edges too, so there is likely going to be enough space for that. You could also deepen the countersinking on those screw holes slightly to keep the screw heads flush- go minimal so as to not weaken the hinge and use the correct diameter countersink to not widen the hole. Worst case, you could grind off a little of the far end of the leaves so they can fit more toward center. I doubt anyone would notice that part of the design is covered with them setting closer.

Phil

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