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Frequently Asked Hinge Questions

Feel free to call 618-395-3945 or write sales@dlawlesshardware.com for more help if needed.

Q: What type of hinges would I normally use for hanging doors around my home?

A: The most common type of hinge used on hanging doors is the butt hinge. When they are for your home, most people call them "residential door hinges." They come in a wide range of finishes and styles. The most common sizes are 3" and 3 1/2" (height) and D. Lawless carries a nice selection to go with any style home or interior. See our selection of Residential Door Hinges.

Q: What size hinges should I use to hang my door?

A: This primarily depends upon the weight and size of the door you are hanging. Doors used for public buildings are generally larger and require a set of 3 stronger hinges (one hinge located in the center of the door) to hold the extra weight. Doors around your home are usually wooden and hollow and will only require a pair of hinges. If you are replacing hinges, simply use the number of hinges previously on the door and you will be fine.

Q: How am I supposed to measure each different hinge type?

A: Most hinges are measured by their height. However, when searching for replacement hings it helps to know all of your measurements and use those while searching. When measuring each leaf, starting at the edge of the hinge pin as the width of the leaf by itself is the important part.

Q: Any hints on mortising and mounting door hinges?

A: The leaf or flap with the most joints (knuckles) is the side that you should afix to your door frame. The cut-outs should be equal in depth, square and plumb, ensuring that the pins will be accurately aligned. Timber movement and shrinkage could mean that the hinges need to be re-aligned at a later date. The correct gauge and type of screw must be used and the cut-outs should be carefully made to provide clearance for the door to open.

Q: What type and size of screws should I use when installing my hinge?

A: First off, one should always use screws that match the material of their hinge. For example, brass screws with brass hinges. If you do not do this, the two different metals coming into contact with each other will cause corrosion. Countersunk screws should be used when fitting your hinges. After the hinge is fully tightened, the head of the screw should be flush or flat against the face of the hinge. Popular sizes for fitting butt hinges are 1 long for a gauge 10 screw for 4" hinges and 1 1/4" long by gauge 8 for 3" hinges. Note that it is beneficial to drill small hole into the wood before fitting screws to prevent splitting the wood. Most hinges purchased retail will come with appropriate screws.

Q: I need my door to open 180 degrees, what hinges should be used?

A: When a door is required to open up 180 degrees it usually needs to clear a projection around the door frame. In this situation you would use either "parliament" or "projection" hinges (difference explained below). The screw holes on these hinges are lined towards the edge of the hinge flap therefore, after fitting the knuckle projects beyond the edge of the door. The further the projection, the greater the angle of opening.

Q: What is the difference between projection and parliament hinges?

A: The knuckle size is the difference between these two hinges. Projection hinges are usually square in shape, i.e. 5"x5". Thus, when fitted you would have a 5" length of knuckle projection from your door. In parliament hinges knuckle size is smaller and therefore a lot less unsightly. The only drawback in using parliament hinges over projection hinges is the strength reduction. This is caused by the smaller knuckle. Ensure that you use the correct size hinge for your door weight.

Q: What type and size hinges should I use when hanging my garden door/gate?

Garden doors/gates are typically hung using either "bands & gudgeons" hinges or "tee" hinges. Both of these have a long strap fixed across the face of the gate. Finishes on these hinges are normally galvanized to protect them against different weather conditions. Since gates are usually higher and wider than ordinary doors, the strap fitted to the surface helps facilitate the extra weight. The size of hinge you should use depends on the width of the gate. Here is a general guide.

1. For light domestic wooden doors/gates with infrequent use the band width should be 33.3% of the door width.

2. For medium weight wooden doors/gates with frequent commercial use the band width should be 50% of the door width.

Abnormally large or heavy wooden doors/gates should be fitted with technical advice. Any wooden door/gate over two meters high but under three meters high must always be fitted with three hinges. We carry some gate hinges and usually just bunch them with our other surface mount hinges.

More to come...
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D. Lawless Hardware is located in the small Midwestern town of Olney, Illinois. Surrounded North, East, South and West by Interstate highways, all an hour's drive away (that's 50-60 miles out here in the sticks for you city folks who drive an hour to work), I like to joke that we are "centrally located in the middle of nowhere". We like it here and we think you would too. Olney has great schools, a junior college, a hospital, 2 industrial parks, 3 recreational parks, a good-sized lake for fishing, boating, and an abundant water supply, a small local all-weather airport, and lots of fresh air and room to breath it. Like all small towns, we appreciate all our local industries, but are always actively seeking growth. So, if you or your company is considering new site locations, please check us out. You can click on the image above for information.

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Dave Lawless