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Springing wardrobe door

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Bromley

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Hello,

I'm a newbie here, in need of assistance. I am building a wardrobe with three doors, and am having considerable difficulty getting one of the doors to hang without springing back open. I have always found hinges a difficult area, and this one is no exception!

The doors are made of MDF and are 205cm tall. I dowelled and glued a strip of 20x34mm whitewood along the hinge edge, so that my hinges would have something solid to bite into.

I have used flush door hinges (3 per side), so that I shouldn't have to rebate them into the wood. This has worked well on two doors. The final door insists on springing open by 5cm, and I have not been able to work out why.
The hinges have quite pronounced countersinks on the screwholes, and I am using small screws and have made sure the heads do not protrude and prevent the door from shutting. The hinges also have lugs on the door side, to ensure they are properly located, not too far in.

I have tried to screw the hinge to the door jamb as far out as possible, (within reason - I don't want the screw coming out of the side!) I also tried moving the hinges inwards on the door jamb, but as I expected, it sprung more, so I returned to the original holes.

I have planed the door side so there is a good gap between the door and the jamb.

In desperation, and against my better judgement, I rebated two of the hinges into the jamb - that simply brought the door closer to the jamb and made it spring more - so now I have some filling to do!

I am at a loss to understand what to do now, because I can't work out why the door is springing.

Any advice?
 

Myfordman

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Cut a strip of paper and with the door held vertually closed slide the strip all round to see if it is binding anywhere round the edge. Might give you a clue.

Are the pivot axes of all three hinges in line? remove the middle one and see if the problem changes.
 

CHJ

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Suspect hinges are binding, even though you have checked screws are recessed.
As a test, put a packer strip of card under half a hinge leaf down the pivot side.
packer.jpg


If this fixes it you can either pack or recess the outer edge of one or both leaves deeper to splay the hinge.
 

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Bromley

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Many thanks for those replies. I did try the paper trick, and found there was perhaps a tight area at one point, so planed it off - but that made no difference, unfortunately.
Re the binding hinge, sorry I don't quite follow. By the pivot, do you mean on the door jamb side? Do I just put card under half of the hinge? I did try using a thin piece of wood (from an old IKEA Venetian blind) to push the whole of one hinge outwards (the middle one), but that didn't help, either.
 

CHJ

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Bromley":1jmn7x59 said:
By the pivot, do you mean on the door jamb side? Do I just put card under half of the hinge?.
As per the sketch (orange packer) not under the whole of the hinge leaf, does not matter if it's the jamb or door side to test. You need the hinges to still be forming a slightly open Vee when the door is closed,
 

Doug71

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Is the edge of the door square, it might help if you plane the back edge off the door at a slight angle.

Quick rough sketch showing what I mean but exaggerated.

hinge.jpg
 

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LBCarpentry

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Something similar happened to me recently on a kitchen larder unit. Turned out the cabinet jamb itself was bowed slightly. It was putting too much pressure on the third hinge and had actually bent the leaf. I was also using flush hinges. Check the cabinet jamb isn’t bowed by looking down it!
 

Bromley

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Thanks everyone, for your helpful replies.

I looked again at all of them, and the wood I used for the door jamb was indeed slightly twisted (I bought the timber during early lockdown, when I counted myself lucky to be able to buy any materials at all!). CHJ's solution of packing of just the outer half of the hinge, nearest the pivot, turned out to be the most useful tip, and I finally cracked it this evening, after much toil. If I used too much packing, then the door moved out too much, and fouled its neighbour; too little, and it still sprung - it was a question of trial and error.

So, thanks again - I'll be back as soon as I meet my next snag!
 
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