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.
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
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.
--Binge in Moderation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.