hinges on solid core door?

I've got a heavy solid-core door with hinge problems. The original screws have loosened up and stripped out. Several of these were replaced by what appears to be 3 inch decking screws. Now it appears that even these decking screws have loosened up and lost traction.
What's the best way to restore solid hinge attachment to the door frame? These doors are very heavy......
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On 4/12/2008 1:26 AM Elias D spake thus:

Depending on how chewed up the screw holes are, you can try the old trick: get a bunch of small slivers of wood and some glue. Cover the slivers in glue and drive them into the holes, let dry, then re-drill pilot holes. Sometimes this will save the door. (Toothpicks will work in some cases, and are especially good if they're the hardwood variety.)
Whatever you do, don't be tempted to use decking or drywall screws here. Wrong hardware! They're hardened, which makes them much more brittle (hence more likely to break) than the correct wood screws.
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wrote:

Drill the stripped hole; behind the hinge, a little bit larger. Use a wood/? glue and,then insert a wooden dowel. Allow to set. Trim flush and re-drill (pilots) for the hinge screws.
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wrote:

For something less heavy, I would suggest wooden kitchen match sticks in the hole (after burning off the sulfur).
For this, maybe round toothpicks. They seem harder than straight toothpicks, but you can use those too. If the holes are 3 inches, you probably only need one in the bottom of the hole and one in the top, but maybe two in each location.
If the round sticks taper too much to suit you, break off the thin ends and use more than two.

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Part of the solution may be in the hinge sizing and number.
Some doors are 1 3/8 thick, some are 1 3/4. Some doors are 6-8 tall, some are 7-0. Fairly normal hinge sizes include 3x3, 3 1/2x3 1/2, 4 1/2x4 1/2. Good commercial doors have hardwood stiles 1" or more thick, many residential doors have pine stiles. The core of either can be particle board which can do little to hold screws, so longer is not helpful. The mortises should carry most of the load of the door.
A 3-0/7-0 x 1 3/4 solid core door requires 3 each 4 1/2x4 1/2 butt hinges.
I suspect the original screw holes were not predrilled and had the hinge screws forced into pine stiles which split the wood. If the original holes can be glued/filled/stabilized enough to hold screws, great. Other solutions involve changing the door, half mortise hinges, and continuous hinges.
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Most of what has been said is essentially on target, IME. I would strongly recommend the wood dowel method over the toothpicks, and certainly over the matches, which are made with too soft a wood. You indicated that you had a very heavy door, so go with the hardwood dowel; some are birch, some are oak (you may need to got to a woodworkers' type store for those), others are of unknown wood. If the dowel is strong, so will your bond. Make the dowel 3/8in to 1/2in in diameter, no less, no more, if you can. Titebond II glue will do very well.
However, another issue is the quality of the screws; no deck screws, no drywall screws, for sure. You can buy excellent screws at Mcfeely's (web), but not-so-good screws at HD or Lowe's. Make sure that they have nice sharp threads. Make sure you drill the dowel with a bit that is a hair smaller than the shank of the screws, and you will have no problem.
Good luck.
Pierre
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On Apr 12, 7:40 am, snipped-for-privacy@bw.edu wrote:

If you use a dowel and drill an oversize hole to fit the dowel, you'll be screwing into end grain, which is not as strong of a connection, but since the screw is called on to do most of the work when it is in shear, it's not a big issue. If the original screw has stripped the wood, then pretty much any wood glued in the existing hole will work, whether it's matches, toothpicks, golf tees or pieces of wood shaved off the corner of a board with a utility knife. As Dan noted, the mortises do most of the work holding the door up and the screws are just keeping the hinge leaves in the mortises. His comment about the 4.5" hinges is the textbook answer, and it is largely correct as it allows a fourth screw per leaf. You can also use 4 hinges per door, but that is really only an option on new door installations.
The decking screws are a lazy and uniformed way of tightening up a door hinge. The idea is not bad - trying to hit the stud behind the jamb - but it's the wrong type of screw and usually unnecessary. It is worth noting that the correct 3" or 3.5" screw does increase security a small amount, but it presents other issues with expansion and contraction of the wood jamb and framing. People often confuse a longer screw with being a more secure connection. This is only partially true.
If your mortises are cut tight, and use use the standard screws that come with the hinge, there will rarely be problems except for periodic tightening that is inherent in fasteners working loose in assemblies subjected to repeated movement, vibration and slamming, all of which will loosen the fastener's hold over time. The cheapest insurance, as with anything else in construction, is periodic inspection and maintenance. Go around the house with a screwdriver and tighten the hinge screws. Do that a couple of times within a year and you'll quickly determine which doors are problematic and will benefit from the glued slivers trick.
R
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I like Dan's response best. Since the original install failed, I suspect strongly that the original hinges were not correct and or were insufficient in number.
You need large heavy duty hinges and likely you need more of them than were originally used. The other part of the question is where are the hinges. The door frame often is re-enforced at the hinge points and may not have solid wood behind it at other points. I would also suggest not using the same locations for the hinges as you will be working with repaired wood at best. It has already been compromised so consider moving them.

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wrote:

There are plenty of solid core doors with three 3.5" hinges that don't have a problem. What usually happens is someone doesn't pick up on the hinge screws being loose, then the screw threads scrape away the supporting wood as the door is stresses/operated. Then the screws are tightened, it strips the hole, and Mr. Fixit attempts to compensate by overtightening the other screws.

As long as the door and frame are painted - otherwise it'll look pretty bad when the door's open.
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I like to "over design" things. Like instead of using 3 hinges, use 4. And instead of using the screws provided with the hinges, use longer screws.
And also find the largest hinges which can be used which will then have larger screw holes and you can then use larger screws.
I suppose you could even place 2 hinges near the top to give additional support.
Another option would be to router out an opening in the door where a 3 1/2 inch screw (screwed into the hinge) would end in the door. Then use a machine screw and place a washer/lock washer/nut in the routered out opening. Maybe two of these screws for the top hinge, then wood screws for all the rest. (Depends on design or door. This could weaken certain doors or may not be possible on some doors.)
"Elias D" wrote in message

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Elias D wrote:

Alot of the other responses cover everything pretty well, but one item that I use to rework screw holes are golf tees. They are made from a harder wood and are the perfect size to drive into the old screw holes and then saw off flush. Covered in glue, they are the best thing that I have found to solve this issue.
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wrote:

Another thing I consider when doing a repair or especially a re-repair, that you don't say, is how long did it last originally and how long did the repair last. I have things that are 50, 80 years old and a little bit that is older. If the last repair worked for 20 or 30 years, I'll often do the same thing again. Especially if it's easy and I can do it again 20 years from now.
Of course that doesn't changing nothing, especially when the threads that once existed in the wood are partly or totally gone. Even a minimum repair requires bigger screws or or adding wood to the hole. The previous guy did one or the other of these things.
BTW, if you are not removing the whole hinge, you should do one screw at a time, so the door stays in place. If the door is sagging, maybe don't make the final tightening of the screws until you have a helper to take the weight off the hinges, so the screws center. If you don't take the door off, It may be easier to redo the screws in the upper hinge first.
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How many hinges do you have? You should have at least three. I replaced my cheap luan hollow doors with solid about 3 years ago, and added a middle hinge in the process. They've been trouble-free.
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