Trim Around Hinges

Hi all,
I'm adding new trim to all the doors in my house. The material is flat 1x4 MDF. Since the trim is flat, I thought it would look cleaner with no reveal. But that means I need to cut back the trim around the hinges.
I'm wondering about a couple of things the collective experience may know.
a.) How important is the reveal? Is my clean approach stupid for some reason other than the fact that you need to cut around the hinges.
b.) What is the best tool to get the cleanest cut out for the hinge.
Thanks,
-bryan
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bryan wrote:

I don't think your approach is "clean". Are you planning on using a cove bit to follow the hinge barrel radius? Are your casings and other trim totally featureless? Do you like the squeaking sound that a closely conforming "clean" cut will make as the wood rubs on the metal? The gaps that you'll have to build in to keep the hinge from rubbing will be far more objectionable than a uniform reveal.
If you go ahead with the cut to fit plan, how are you going to remove the hinge pins when you want to take off the door? Hint - not. You're now in for removing the screws which is much more of a pain in the ass.
The reveal adds detail (in architectural woodworking, you pay for shadow lines - they add visual depth) and makes it _much_ easier to fit the casing.
R
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Thank you for your reply. You're clearly an *A*dvanced *A*rchitecture *S*cholar. Yes, my trim is featureless. I like it that way; nice and simple, clean square lines. But that's just my opinion and taste of which you obviously possess better of each. And the scraping sound you are referring to and the hinge pin problem is why I intend to cut out the trim around the hinge. I'm thinking about using a router with a raised panel cove bit and to recess the trim around the hinges.
Thanks for all your help!
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bryan wrote:

Quite possibly I do have better taste than you do, but that's entirely besides the point. It's your house and you'll obviously do as you see fit.
Your trim is not featureless, it stands proud from the wall. If you want modern, eliminate the casing entirely. I worked on the old Central Savings Bank renovation in NYC and collaborated with the architect on designing exactly that sort of feature. I also fail to see how three notches constitutes clean lines. I'd call that a kludge. You could rethink your hardware - butt hinges ate not necessarily the way to go.
I would love to see how cutting out around the hinge will enable you to remove the hinge pin. The hinge pin needs to slide up 3.5" before it pops out. Are you planning to extend that clean notch that far?
Do yourself a favor. Make a mockup. Pop for the $5 in trim and cut it until it works for you. I think you might find the effect is not quite what you're imagining.
R
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I forgot to mention one thing. Have you ever tried to line up casing with the edge of a door frame? About ten or fifteen years ago I did exactly what you intend to do (not with MDF though). If I wasn't embarrassed about how it looked I'd run over and take a picture for you. This is one of those seemed like a good idea at the time type of things.
The reveal is there for a very functional reason. Lining up along the whole edge is difficult. Not impossible, just a pain in the ass. The tiniest discrepancy shows up. So you're either left with a lot of sanding and/or filling, or a little bump in what is intended to be one smooth surface.
R
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It's not the reply, it's the suggestion that ones personal taste is so far superior to another's. Of course, it is my time of the month so maybe I just took it that way. In either case, I got a laugh out of it so I guess that would make me an *A*prentice *A*rchitectual *S*cholar. :)
Seriously, to R and all, thank you. I thought I had a great new twist on an old thing and all of my OOB thinking has landed me back to square one. I'm going to do the mock up thing.
-b
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Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention what I think is the funniest part: in my attempt to be clever, I misspelled the word which by itself would cause this post to not happen. TWICE! What an idiot. I hope no one your here knows me. :)
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bryan wrote:

When I was in school, taking an architectural studio, I half-apologetically confessed to a friend in another school's arch program, that I thought I had the best project in my studio. She straightened me right out - "Of course you do, otherwise you'd be doing a different project!" Opinions are like that - if you don't feel you have The Opinion, you probably should change it. That, of course, is different from foisting your opinion on others.
I stated quite clearly that I didn't think the no-reveal-but-cut-out-hinges design was "clean" - still don't. You're trading off and not really gaining anything except a big pain in the ass. You did take it wrong.

Consider the mock-up research. I was just trying to save you some trouble and point out the main issues. I found it pretty interesting that the rec.woodworking replies were mainly about the MDF, although a couple did mention exactly what I said. Some people have to reinvent the wheel for themselves. Before you go taking _that_ the wrong way - I'm one of them.
R
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bryan wrote:

You posted a question and asked for collective input then insult the poster of a considered response stated as opinion w/ a basis for that--not conducive to meaningful dialogue... :(
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bryan wrote:

Well taste aside, the reveal will look far better than the notches (yes, they will be notches) in an otherwise clean installation. I did that once and hated the looks until I replaced all the trim.
Harry K
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wrote:

A final note and reason for the reveal is that the seam between the casing and jamb will likely form a crack in the paint line unless you glue the joint together. By setting the trim back 1/4" or so you create an inside corner out of the joint that can be caulked and is far less likely to show a crack line since the caulk will flex with minor movements.
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