Hanging (residential) doors


I have been to a number of DIY type websites, even watched the Router Workshop show on hanging doors. There is one thing that NONE of them ever say. They all talk about positioning of the hinge along the edge of the door (although some just say to position them!!!) from top to bottom but non say how deep along the thickness (setback). Putting them back far enough to just clear the barrel would put them entirely through the thickness of the door so they would be seen on the other side. Looking at the ones around my house, the barrels are set out away for the door a ways. What is the standard? There must be one. I have read articles that gave really helpful advice such as "buy a commercial but marker" or "buy a commercial router template". That's not much help if you want to make your own template. I need a measurement. A recent thread about his brought to mind the idea that a template would be quite easy to make but, it occurred to me, I could quite easily make a template to fit the hinge but, where to position it, I do not know. There are those of you out there that have done one to hundreds of these things. Enlighten me please.
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I haven't done "hundreds", but I've done a few - all without a router. I just made sure the hinges and (interior) doors were the same dimensions as the others in the house and used the other doors as a guide to get my placement and spacing. A router and template would have been nice, but all I had was a limited budget, a hammer and a chisel. Worked out pretty well. Caulking and painting the doors helped mask my inefficiencies with the chisel.
Now that I have a router, I'd probably do it the same way to keep from having to buy the guide. Maybe. I'm always looking for a good reason to buy more tools.
Hope this helps.
--Hedley --Binge in Moderation
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, copying the existing doors would be a way to go but, there must be a standard. I look at it as, if I were starting from scratch, do I know everything I need to know to do the job? In this case, I would have to say I don't.

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You are welcome, CW.
The cynic in me says "what standard?" although I'm sure there is one.
I've lived in some places that may not have been so standard. And I should clarify that I was replacing doors in an otherwise unmolested door frame. I was putting in 6-panels to replace flat door to dress up the joint a little. I'd lay the new door atop the old door and transfer the cut-out lines so as to keep the door frame cut-outs matched up.

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CW wrote:

The hinge gain setback varies depending on the door thickness, hinge screw hole location and number, and to accomodate deeper casing. Usually the gain ends up being about 1/4" in from the edge.
If you're making a template/jig you probably should allow for some variance as the actual door thickness and hinge leaf size vary, regardless of the nominal size.
R
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CW wrote:

It depends on the thickness of the casing. You need to set the pivot point out far enough for the door to stand proud of the casing when opened 180 degrees.
--

dadiOH
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I have three different commercial (3 hinge) hinge templates and they leave a reveal of about 1/4" (of wood showing on the door) when using 3 1/2", 4" or 4 1/2" butts. If you are running butt pockets to fit existing jambs, it's more important to match the inset of the hinge pocket on the jamb. Measure from the edge of the jamb (not the casing) to the inside edge of the hinge butt. Match that to the doors (assuming you're using the same size hinges). If you don't match the jambs you can have the following problems. If you make the pocket too close to the edge of the door the door will hang out beyond the jamb when it's closed. If you don't inset the pocket far enough, the door will hit the door stop when you try to close it. Match the jambs.
If you are making a template you can put a guide stop on the bottom of the template so that it rests on the hinge side of the door. This will allow you to use the same template for the door and any jamb you might need to run. On the jamb you let the stop rest against the edge of the jamb. This will give you a matching inset on both the jamb and the door.
Good Luck.
Mike O.
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. For replacement of existing doors, yes, the advice to match what is already there would be the best approach. I have found (the hard way) that assuming anything about how something was built will bite you in the butt. For new construction, the 1/4" reveal sounds about right judging from the ones I have measured around the house.

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Uhhh... Duh...
I've done at least 50 of them, but I never actually stopped to think about it. As far as I know, there's no particular standard, so long as they are set to the same depth. I put the backside of the hinge 1/4" from the edge of the door, but it's more what just looks right on the first one, and then mortising the others to match than any hard and fast rule. If I remember correctly (though it was about ten years ago, so my recollection is a little hazy) I got the 1/4" figure from just measuring the distance on another door that was already hanging. Double-checking the doors in my house just now is kind of re-enforcing that memory- they're all at 1/4".
You don't even really need a template, though it might be easier. I'd feel pretty confident suggesting that you just set a combination square to 1/4", then run it down the edge of the door where your hinge is going with a pencil seated in the groove on the end, then mark your horizontal measurements.
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The 1/4" is what I have measured on the doors in my house and I did find a site that actually said. 1/4".

I'm considering doing 6 or 7 doors. A router template should take about ten minutes to make. Worth the time.
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