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Thread: Replacing front door hinges

  1. #1

    Replacing front door hinges

    Hey guys, I'm painting & changing the hardware on my front door and while installing the new hinges, I'm noticing that while the new screws are not stripping out, they are going in quite easily. I'm conerned that they will not stay tight long term. Is there anything I can do like put something on the threads to act as a "thread locker" or any other ideas?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim mills View Post
    Hey guys, I'm painting & changing the hardware on my front door and while installing the new hinges, I'm noticing that while the new screws are not stripping out, they are going in quite easily. I'm conerned that they will not stay tight long term. Is there anything I can do like put something on the threads to act as a "thread locker" or any other ideas?
    If the screws go in easily but tighten up firmly (i.e. not stripped) you're probably fine. If you're concerned then buy longer screws of the same screw size (most likely #8 but could be #10 if commercial grade hinges) so that the head fits into the recess flush with the hinge plate face.
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  3. #3
    Since the jamb is only 3/4" thick, I'd have to buy screws long enough to pass through the jamb, and into the jack stud. Guessin' I would need a 3" screw. Oh, and I would need a screw with an oil rubbed bronze finish on the head.

  4. #4
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    Take a 1/4" dowel and whittle or sharpen the end with a pencil sharpener. Drive the conical shaped plug into the hole with glue.

    Then, the screws will hold.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 04-27-2013 at 11:29 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
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    Best bet is to use wood glue and glue a dowel rod in the screw holes.

    Wooden kitchen matches were perfect for this - but - good luck finding them these days.
    Toothpicks are only so/so - as in 50/50.

    A better but more involved fix is to chisel or route out a small rectangle of wood where the screw holes are located and face glue a small piece of plywood into the recess.
    Save the long screws for when the holes are stripped.

    If you do need to use longer screws --start with 2" or 1.5" - that leaves you a tiny bit of wriggle room for the 2.5" or 3" when you really need them.

    I'm not a big fan of using long screws and going into the studs.
    Unless it's 100% necessary - like hanging a solid heavy door - I try to avoid going into the studs.
    It's all too easy to overdo it and pull the frame out of alignment.
    It doesn't take a whole lot to do that.
    Just a tiny - tiny as in the thickness of a business card - amount of overdoing it can cause you to wonder why you ever decided to undertake this ordeal in the first place.

    Trust me here - a little bit too much can cause you hours of grief trying to get everything lined up again and moving freely.
    The worst is when the strike plate need to be repositioned so the lockset can work.
    (Been there/done that - and I'd almost rather have a root canal before I'd want to do that again)

    Lastly - if you're still intent on using longer screws - only do half of them in each hinge.
    Glue plugs into the other half.
    Again, by doing only half you leave yourself an out should you run into loose screws next time.
    try to remember that the very first step in finishing a project is choosing the material. You want to select wood that has the color and grain pattern than best suits your requirements as "covering up" those things after the fact makes your work much, much harder - Jim Becker

  6. #6
    Thanks for the suggestions. Like I said in my OP, I don't have a problem yet, but I have changed hinges in doors before, and everything seems fine at first, but after several months I can check the screws, and they are all slightly loose. Eventually, they start stripping out. So perhaps the moral of the story is to go ahead and drill them out, fill the holes, and redrill.
    Someone else has suggested to go to a hobby store & purchase THIN CA glue and put a couple drops in each hole. This "hardens the wood & will help the screws stay tight.

  7. #7
    try three toothpicks, keeps screw centered.

  8. #8
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    I'd advocate the opposite opinion than Rich. True and shim the frame to the studs. But on entry doors, I put solid blocking between the hinge and lockset portion of the frame and studs. I use long screws to fasten the hinges (2 or 3 of the five) through the jamb and into the studs. I do the same with the deadbolt / strike plate. With the sold block back behind the frame, you don't pull the frame out of alignment. If someone else hung it, you might encounter a lot of work to rerto fit my method. Kicking my door in would be challenging. This is likely overkill for where I live now. When I lived on the south side of chicago, it made a lot of sense.
    Shawn

    "a little mayhem breaks up the ennui of everyday life"
    "be the change you want to see in the world"
    "adventure is hardship seen from a distance"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Pixley View Post
    I'd advocate the opposite opinion than Rich. True and shim the frame to the studs. But on entry doors, I put solid blocking between the hinge and lockset portion of the frame and studs. I use long screws to fasten the hinges (2 or 3 of the five) through the jamb and into the studs. I do the same with the deadbolt / strike plate. With the sold block back behind the frame, you don't pull the frame out of alignment. If someone else hung it, you might encounter a lot of work to rerto fit my method. Kicking my door in would be challenging. This is likely overkill for where I live now. When I lived on the south side of chicago, it made a lot of sense.

    Proper door shimming should have the shims located directly behind the hinges so that long screws don't pull the frame out of plumb. Most manufacturers recommend this for solid core doors whether entry doors or interior doors. Same is true for the latch and deadbolt. Long screws into the studs will stop the average person from just kicking in the door.


    You can fix your loose screws with a 1/8" dowel sharpened with a pencil sharpener coated with glue and tapped into the screw hole. Let the glue dry for a minute or two then run your screws in. They won't loosen on their own later.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    Proper door shimming should have the shims located directly behind the hinges so that long screws don't pull the frame out of plumb. Most manufacturers recommend this for solid core doors whether entry doors or interior doors. Same is true for the latch and deadbolt. Long screws into the studs will stop the average person from just kicking in the door.


    You can fix your loose screws with a 1/8" dowel sharpened with a pencil sharpener coated with glue and tapped into the screw hole. Let the glue dry for a minute or two then run your screws in. They won't loosen on their own later.

    What he said. Pencil sharpener, dowel rod, glue, thats my trick too. And if I'm hanging the doors, at least one screw on each hinge hits a stud, I run in long steel screws, then back them out and run in the decorative brass or bronze, they do make them that long but they often break if you run them in directly even with a pilot.

  11. #11
    My son and I are maintaining a handful of Victorian buildings in San Francisco. I have few suggestions along the lines already proposed.

    1) I generally prefer a carefully-considered hard wood for a peg. My son and I have come to calling them "trunnels." My father in law, whose buildings these are, thought it was cool to jam in a match stick. Many of these repairs have failed...or fail if the screw has to come back out for one reason or another.
    Further, I far prefer a whittled peg with facets to a round peg. The ridges "cut" their way into the hole and pretty much hold on their own. I do my best to shape the peg to the original hole. In our elderly redwood doors and door frames if the point is too blunt it will split the wood.

    2) If I'm doing several of these, like an entire door, I use yellow glue and let it dry. The simple reason is that wet or semi-wet glue gums up the drill. And plays holy heck with a Vix Bit. I also feel that the glue forced in by the peg will often fill the original lesion. If I can't wait for the glue to dry, I put the sharply-faceted plug in dry and cut it flush very carefully. Just snapping it off as my Father in Law was fond of doing, sometimes rips out too much of the plug and leaves a difficult face for the drill to find the center of. Many of the old repairs have cocked screws for this reason.

    3) It probably goes without saying that if you have the time, leave in one or two of the original screws while replacing the other two or one so the hinges stay where they're supposed to. It takes a hair longer, but avoids the problem of having to rehang.

    4) A very sharp bit in your Vix bit can also make a big difference. If you've already drilled 60 or 70 holes with it, it's worth the effort to replace the drill bit.
    happy hanging,
    russ

  12. #12
    Thanks for the suggestions. This particular door is a 36" raised panel door and is heavy! It's been removed and is getting a new finish. My job is to rehang the door and install the new hardware. First thing I think I will do is plug every hinge hole with the "sharpened dowel & glue" method described. Then re-drill all the holes with a vix bit (having replaced the bit with a new one), then hang the door. Only thing I have to worry about is scratching the door, or smashing my fingers hanging it! Thanks for the help!

    PS. Think an 1/8" dowel is big enough, or should I go with 1/4"?

  13. #13
    It's end gran where it should be edge grain, so in my opinion, the smallest possible insert has the best chance of working. I've never put in a "large" dowel...I just replace the screw hole. Any time I've put in a large plug, I chopped a mortise and put it in edge-wise. It doesn't sound like that's your situation at all. Be careful not to wedge the hole open with a pointed dowel. If that happens you can be sure the screw isn't going to hold. Let us know how it goes for you. It's always good to have another data point.
    Russ

  14. #14
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    Proper door shimming should have the shims located directly behind the hinges so that long screws don't pull the frame out of plumb. Most manufacturers recommend this for solid core doors whether entry doors or interior doors.
    Agreed - however - two things....
    Houses settle and move & what used to be back when the doors went in - ain't always so after a number of years. I've pulled trim off a fair number of doors and found a fair number of splintered and worthless shims.
    Not all installers follow proper - or even sensible methods, let along pay attention to what the mfg. recommends.
    I've seen some pretty wretched things hiding behind casing/trim...

    I'd advocate the opposite opinion than Rich. True and shim the frame to the studs. But on entry doors, I put solid blocking between the hinge and lockset portion of the frame and studs. I use long screws to fasten the hinges (2 or 3 of the five) through the jamb and into the studs. I do the same with the deadbolt / strike plate. With the sold block back behind the frame, you don't pull the frame out of alignment.
    Shawn, were really not at odds on this. I do the same (use blocks - usually plywood) where possible.
    However - in this instance - where the OP wants to snug up some screws that aren't tight/aren't really loose....
    Removing casing/trim & possibly drywall, then dealing with putting it all back together - probably isn't going to happen.
    try to remember that the very first step in finishing a project is choosing the material. You want to select wood that has the color and grain pattern than best suits your requirements as "covering up" those things after the fact makes your work much, much harder - Jim Becker

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