Help please - I am being an silly person with door hanging.

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AJB Temple

Finely figured
13 Oct 2015
Reaction score
Tunbridge Wells
Summary - the door springs open a bit rather than swings cleanly on hinges.

Back story. Bought an old oak studded door from side entrance of former Manor House. It's 30" by 78" and weights about 60 kg. I made and fitted the oak frame, which is dead on square. Could have done with making it 4mm narrower in hindsight.

I am using two heavy duty security hinges (the type with a pin that goes into a hole on the other side of the hinge leaf). (I've made and hung 12 doors in this place, but all of them have wrought iron work strap hinges - have not fitted one with this type of hinge for years).

The door opens and closes fine, but it springs open slightly when I close it, rather than staying shut. Each hinge is rebated into both the frame and the door.

I am assuming that I either need to shim the hinges, or cut the rebates deeper in the frame, but before I do something stupid I thought I would seek advice here. Normally I am not a dimwit, but I have got myself muddled here.

(The door is a nightmare to work. The oak is like iron. Fitted Banham locks and took me ages to cut the mortice slots to size. )
Start with, check that you haven't cut the hinge in to tight, so for example the leaf of the door side is catching the edge of the rebate on the frame. You may even see the frame rebate edge is damaged where it's catching.
It sometimes helps to put a slight angle on the hinge side of the door to stop it being "hinge bound", this makes sure it is clear of the rebate where you can't see it.

If you pack the hinges it can help if you just pack near the knuckle of the hinge and not the full width, this puts the hinge on a slight angle so it's not binding when it's fully closed.
As Bob has posted. As you close the door look carefully at the hinges and see if one or both of them move slightly. Check the gap around the door, is there somewhere that is too small or touching especially on the hinge side.

Are two hinges adequate for the weight of the door?
I’m guessing that the door is slightly bowed and the centre is touching the frame between the hinges causing the spring. A third hinge, or relieving the rebate are two possible solutions.
Also ensure the screws are the right size for the countersunk holes, i.e., check to see they are not sitting proud of the leaf's face because this can be a cause of 'springiness'. Slainte.
OK, Thanks all. I had to jet wash the entire house this morning but will have a look and take photos as this is my afternoon job.

What I can say is the screws are stainless steel and came with the brand new hinges and fit perfectly. The door does not touch the rebate or frame anywhere I think, but will check.
I joined this forum recently as a former tradesman looking forward to dabble with a little home woodworking now the kids have grown up and I have the space. Mainly to learn, but as I know a little about this subject here’s by tuppence worth!

As has been stated your door appears to be ‘hinge-bound’.

A number of causes

1, Hinges chopped in too deep. Both ways can cause this symptom.
2, Gap between door and frame set too small so a ‘leading edge’ is the order of the day (slight bevel). Or alternatively you can pack the hinges if you can get away with this in relation of door size to frame.
3, Although and old door which should not be susceptible to moisture this could be the problem. Timber acts like a sponge and will generally move depending on the conditions. The door or frame or both might be slightly swelled due to the recent wet weather causing the ‘hinge-bound’ problem. If this is a possibility leave it for a few days when you have a dry spell and get a coat of primer on it to seal it when it has had time to shrink back to size.
4, Not sure how wide the material is that you have used for the frame but make sure it is not twisted in itself. This can have a massive impact on how the door hangs. Not likely but the wider the material the easier this is to happen.

In summary I would remove from the hinges and create a leading edge making sure the hinges have sufficient clearance.
As Galleywood said, I would guess it's fouling and springing off the door frame rebate slightly. Does the frame have draught sealing at all or is it just a plain door and frame? if it's got seals take them out and try it, it should close fine and that will tell you if it's binding on the seals or not. If there's no seals you might need to either take a little off the rebate where it's binding, or take a block plane down face of the door where it's binding on the frame to give it a little bit of a bevel, or you can try and pull the hinge out a little. It's the same solutions if you have seals in the door as well.

Sometimes you can actually hinge them too deep and you will have an uneven gap between both sides of the door such as 5mm one side and 3mm on the other. Sometimes to get around packing out the hinges if that's the narrow side I will tape a packer between the insides of the hinges that are 1mm greater than the closed gap of the door and then I will slam the door, this will bend the hinges slightly in favor of making them a slightly wider gap. Tricks of the trade! In this case from the car body repair trade which I happened to pinch it from. :lol:
The rebates in the door are the original ones. I never had the frame.
The draught seal strips are fitted into rebates in the frame.
The frame is made of solid oak. Very well seasoned and 4 inches thick. I doubt it has twisted but I will check.
The door is finished in four coats of outdoor Polyx. Not primed and painted.
The door is not fouling on the frame anywhere I think but I will double check when I get onto this job.

Thanks for the help so far. Oddly enough I am wondering if I have not cut the frame rebate deep enough.
Right. Can't post a picture.

Door is not fouling on anything - either rebate, frame or sealing strips.
It is square in the frame.
Screw heads are not protruding.

The back of the hinge on the frame side is set about 1mm less deep into the frame than the front, though is not protruding from the frame. That is I have cut the frame rebate with a slight chamfer. Could that be causing it?
Damn! I said I was being an silly person.

These are security hinges, which I have never used before. The sockets for the security pins are not deep enough and that is pushing the door open.

Thanks for the help everyone. It just suddenly dawned on me.
AJB Temple":48bc19bs said:
These are security hinges, which I have never used before. The sockets for the security pins are not deep enough and that is pushing the door open.

It's always the simple reason staring you in the face that gets you, been there, done that, so many times. :lol: :lol: :lol:
I had totally missed the fact you were using those security hinges #-o I've personally never had to fit them but I imagine they're a right pain.
AJB Temple":3ofygout said:
Damn! I said I was being an silly person.

These are security hinges, which I have never used before. The sockets for the security pins are not deep enough and that is pushing the door open.

Thanks for the help everyone. It just suddenly dawned on me.

Another possibility noted to add to the list of why a door becomes hinge-bound, I fit doors on occasions and have made the fitting mistakes Mcdemon listed.