If you are under 35, have never tried to hang a door, or have any
of a life, stop reading now.
OK, so you're a boring fart who has hung doors. Perfect. Read on.
I have hung many doors (mostly internal), and it is always a pain
the arse, when using conventional hinges. Here's
the process I go
1) Hold the hinges up to the doorframe, and draw around them.
2) Cut the rebate for each hinge. There's a special tool you can
for this, but it's hideously expensive and nobody has one. So, you
a hammer and a (probably slightly blunt) chisel, and try to carve
each rebate to the correct depth (equal to the thickness of the
of the hinge) and size. Probably you make a bit of a hash of it,
it's not of uniform depth and has slightly wobbly, untidy edges.
3) You hold the hinge up again, into the rebate, and mark the
4) You drill pilot holes in the frame for the three (or four) screws.
Because the rebate isn't very even, and because drill bits tend to
wander, and because you didn't bother to centre-punch the holes
first, the drill probably wanders a millimetre or so, meaning that
holes aren't quite in the right places, but close enough.
5) You now screw the hinge to the frame. But, because the rebate
isn't very perfect, you have to slip in some old bits of cardboard to
get a good flat fit (or else you tighten the screws into the uneven
rebate and bend the hinge). Where one of the pilot holes is too
out, you widen it with the drill, pack it with some matchsticks,
6) You now remember that you have to rebate the hinges into the
door as well.
7) You remove one hinge from the doorframe, and use it to mark
rebates on the door itself. You try to get it in the right position
line up with the frame), by either measuring accurately or by
the door up to the frame to get the correct height for the hinges,
allowing the necessary clearance at the bottom edge of the door.
8) You likewise hack out the rebates and drill the pilot holes in the
9) You re-fit the first hinge to the frame
10) You now try to hold the door in position (open), clear of the
ground, while you screw the hinges to the door. Again, some
aren't quite right, and one of the hinges is a quarter inch too high,
you spend another half hour putting that right.
11) Repeat step 10 as necessary.
12) The door is hung.
All of this will take a professional maybe 20-30minutes. A good
DIYer will take 45-90 minutes to get it right.
This is all wrong!!!!!
=======The BetterFly Hinge=======
OK, we're going to make a new type of hinge.
To explain it, imagine a normal door hinge on the table in front of
you, opened out. It looks like a butterfly, but with only one
rectangular wing on each side (the hingey bit is the body, right?).
First, we cut away some metal from each wing. We leave (on
wing) two circles, overlapping slightly in the middle. So now,
"wing" looks a bit like a filled-in figure 8. The complete hinge
where "|" is the actual hinge, and the "8"s are the two leaves.
(Obviously, the "8"s also overlap the central body a little bit.)
OK so far?
Now, we turn over the edges around each wing, to give a slight
(maybe 1mm) "lip" all the way around. This can be done as part of
the stamping process when the hinge is being made. The "lip" is
quite thin and quite sharp. It faces outward, when the hinge is
We also now punch and countersink a single screw-hole in the
of each of the four circles (two holes for each leaf - yes, only
We also raise a small "lip" around the edge of these holes, the
as the "lip" around the outside edges.
We now have a Betterfly Hinge.
Here we go.
1) Open out one Betterfly Hinge, and hold it up to the frame in
correct position. The "lips" around the edge of the 8-shaped leaf
(and around the two holes) are pressed against the frame.
2) Tap with a hammer. The "lips" bite into the frame.
3) Remove the hinge.
4) The lips have marked the outline of the rebate, and also the
position for the two screws.
5) Throw chisel away. Instead, get a spade-bit for your drill, one
inch in diameter (a "spade bit" is shaped like a handle-less spade,
also has a spike protruding from the middle of the leading edge).
6) Set the point of the spade bit in the middle of the small ring
(made by the hinge) which marks the screw position.
7) Drill briefly. The spade bit will cut the circular rebate, and the
central spike of the spade bit will drill the pilot hole for the screw
the same time. If you're using long screws or have a hardwood
frame, this pilot hole can be deepened using a normal drill.
8) Repeat for the other circular part of the hinge rebate.
9) Repeat for the other hinge.
10) Fit both hinges to the frame. The rebates will be perfect, and
the screw holes will be in exactly the right places. What's better,
the "lip" on the hinge leaf will now bite into the wood (below the
level of the rebate) as you tighten the screws, giving additional
(hence, only two screws needed).
11) Offer up the door, wedging it off the ground to give the
clearance, with the door in the closed position.
12) Put a bolster chisel or similar between the frame and the
"opening" edge of the door, and lever the door to push it hard onto
13) Remove door. The "lips" on the door-halves of each hinge have
now cut into the door edge, marking the exact positions of each
hinge on the door.
14) Drill the door, as for the frame.
15) Offer up the door, screw the door-side of the hinges to the
frame. Again, the "lips" will bite in to give extra grip.
Job done, perfectly.
The advantages of the Betterfly Hinge are that:
a) It's self-marking on both the frame and door
b) The rebates and pilot holes can be cut simultaneously with a
spade-bit, rather than chiselling and hoping for the best
And yes, I know I've written more steps for the Betterfly Hinge
than for the normal hinge. But it's still a lot easier.
And yes, I know everyone will tell me I'm doing it all wrong.