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Any advice on fixing damaged hinge recesses in a door frame

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tinker

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I am wondering about the best method to repair a door frame where the hinge recesses have been drilled out far too many times. They have had previous dowel insert repairs and the door frame has split through the screw holes. The door frame is quite substantial and embedded in the wall of an old building so replacement of the whole thing is not really an option. It is at least 10cm x 5cm in cross section. The door is a large solid wooden door that weighs a lot, and was previously only supported with two hinges that have predictably become damaged, causing the door to drop.

Would a possible solution be to cut out sections of the door frame around the hinge recesses and splice in a new block of wood, into which a new hinge recess could be made that will better hold screws for the hinges? This could be done with a slight wedge at either end so that the inserts cannot pull out of the door frame with the weight of the door pulling on the hinges.

If such a repair is an option, what type of wood is advised? The door frame appears to be made of a high quality, quite dense softwood. Would a hardwood insert work to provide a strong new hinge recess, or should a softwood or near identical wood type be used? The door frame is painted so matching the grain is not important.

Many thanks for any answers/advice.
 

eribaMotters

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I've had to do what you are proposing several times on our present bungalow refurb, along with splicing in sections around the lock plate area. Don't be surprised if you need a couple of pieces to build up the repair to get a better result.

Colin
 

Cabinetman

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Sounds to me like it’s time to ditch the present top? hinge position and put two new ones in to take the weight of that heavy door giving you three in total.
The split will need to be repaired first, remove the door then use a wedge to open the split and the get some glue in there to cover the full area by using a thin bit of card to move the glue around. Then cramp it up and cut the new hinge recesses. Ian
 

kinverkid

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Plugging a hole with a dowel that you are then going to screw into, especially where a door hinge is to be fitted, is rarely a good idea because you are inserting a screw along the grain. If you drill out the hole, then cut corresponding plugs from a piece of scrap and glue them into the hole 90 degrees to the doorframe grain if you can (if the hole is deep you may need to pack it with more than one plug). Leave it to dry thoroughly before re-drilling pilot holes and re-attach the hinge. This way you will be screwing across the grain which should give a better hold on the thread. Hope all that makes sense.

Gary
 

TRITON

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If you want to replace an entire section, you need to have the ends in a dovetail pattern, so it has a mechanical fixing as well as a glue fixing.

Stile is in red, cut in section is black.
And now you know why I rarely draw the things I make :LOL:
Untitled.png
 

Jones

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Cut in repair pieces first using a good timber either top grade softwood or hardwood. If two hinges were not sufficient use three. When there's a risk the door might warp it's usual to use top, bottom and centre , but if weight is the main concern put two at the top ,the first 4-6" below top of door with a 2-4" gap between them. It's likely those positions will miss the repair section which will be good. On very heavy doors you can use two hinges with similar spacing at the bottom as well.
 

tinker

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Many thanks for all your replies, and thank you for the diagram, Triton, that was what I had in mind. My only other question was for that type of repair, would a hard wood insert be alright with a soft wood frame (although a hard one at that).

Here is a photo of one of the hinge recesses for your interest.

IMG_20211209_162918587.jpg
 

Ttrees

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From looking at your picture , it looks like the last person hammered in dowels which seems to be keeping the joint apart.
I'd clean as much out of any cracks as you can, apply glue before drilling them dowels out and get all the separated timber together first,
And then decide on a big plug or small ones.
 

Setch

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I've had good success squeezing glue into the splits, and then adding screws at 90 degrees to the hinge screws, to pull the split closed.

Best results are achieved by giving the glue time to dry before rehanging the door, but if time is of the essence you can get away with hanging whilst the glue is still curing.

It is essential to drill an appropriate pilot for the screws, otherwise you'll split the frame in two directions and have an even worse mess to fix.
 
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