Easier still, simply shim the hinge. Put cardboard between the door jam and
the hinge. Use the Yellow Legal Pad backing type cardboard.
By using 1 to 4 shims on each hinge you can also take out sag pretty
I always used to stick a nailset in between the hinge leaves and then
close the door until the gap got right.
Quick and dirty old carpenter's trick.
Tom (dirty old carpenter - not quick)
Thos. J. Watson - Cabinetmaker
Hinge side has virtually no gap and binds a little... while the strike side
has almost 1/4". But please explain why the hinge side gap should be
smaller--assuming there is enough room on the strike side for the door to
Because the hinge side doesn't have to have clearance for the
swinging edge of the door to swish past. Hinge side gap
results from not mortising the hinges deep enough (a bad
idea, because those hinge edges are putting significant
load on the mortise edges, you want ALL the hinge buried
If strike side gap is 1/4", I'd suggest removing the
trim from the strike side, then fitting new wood wedges between
the stud and the frame, shrinking the door opening. The trim goes
back and covers up the wedges, and it's a tight door again.
The hinge side gap does not change with changes in the seasonal
cycle. I'm not sure where you are and what the humidity and
temperature swings are like, but you should adjust doors only when you
know where in the yearly expansion cycle you are (assuming wood
doors). If you adjust a door without taking into account where in the
cycle it is, you are very likely going to be revisiting the problem
later in the year when the door starts binding.
You need to insert some cardboard shims behind the jamb side hinge
leaves. That will take care of the hinge side binding and shift the
door in the opening so that the objectionable gap is less
A strike side gap of 3/16" or less is acceptable and does not warrant
extreme measures. There are other things in your house that probably
require attention and deserve some of your time.
Possibly the hinge is binding. When I install hinges, instead of a
flat mortise I cut a beveled mortise to insure no binding. It's
easier/faster to use a sharp chisel than a router. You might get by
with cutting a slightly deeper mortise.
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