Mortising a Door For Hinges

Mortising a Door For Hinges

Follow these practical and useful tips and instructions on how to mortise a door for hinges! It’ll save time and effort, leaving you with a neater installation.

• Pencil
• Square
• Marking Gauge
• Wood Chisel
• Rubber Hammer
• Drill

The first step in hanging a door is determining whether it is to be hung right-hand or left-hand. A right-hand door means the hinge is added to the right side, a left-hand door means the hinge is on the left side.

A. Use a small square to mark the location of the hinge on the door.

B. Use a marking gauge to indicate the area of the door that the hinge will not cover. This area is called the setback.

C. Use a chisel and rubber/plastic hammer to score the marked area. Be sure to use a sharp chisel and make sure it’s the correct size. Next, make shallow cuts as deep as the hinge leaf is thick. Tap the chisel lightly for better control of the cuts.

D. Remove the wood you have cut away. A sharp chisel will ensure this job is faster, easier and safer. After you have made the recess to the proper depth and smoothed it with the chisel, you are ready to mount the hinge.

Use a nail punch or a drill to start the screw holes. Fix the leaf of the hinge tightly into place on the door with a good screwdriver. Use counter-sunk screws. Position the door and hinges in the frame making sure that the vertical position is correct. Put spacers under the door if needed.

Mark the position of the hinges on the door jamb. Remove door and follow steps A - D above for the jamb. Apply the same procedure to fix the door to the jamb. After the door is done, swing it a few times to check for alignment.

Make necessary adjustments to the door and hinges for proper positioning. In some cases, a door needs light planing or sanding in a few spots, or the hinges may need slight adjustments for proper alignment.

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