Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Replace Brass Door Hinges

Fig.1 Damage hinge
Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Brass hinges
Cordless drill with Phillips bit
Electrical cord 50 ft.
Hammer with rubber grip 
Primer-white latex
Porter-Cable Router Hinge Template
Porter-Cable Router
Utility Knife - retractable with extra blades
Screwdriver-long  flat tip
Wood chips
Wood putty

Eric Montoya noticed my advertisement in the PennySaverUSA and called me to come to his home in Modesto California. He had a beautiful home and a guesthouses in the back yard. The last tenant had done some strange remodeling and the doors would not close.

This post shows the fifteen steps to repair door hinges and make the door functional again.

Step 1: Identify the problem, is the door listing? Are the door hinges placed correctly? Is the door placed on backwards? Look for problems, look at the door frame is it bowed or damaged? Why is the door not closing? Look at the door hardware, is it protruding or sticking out, instead of retracting. Basically you look at the overall door and determine what needs to be done. In this job the door hinges were not aligned and the top and bottom hinge were misaligned. So the door would not close. Because of this misalignment, the door hinges were damaged beyond repair. A metal door hinge is a type of  bearing that connects two solid objects, like a door and a wood frame. 

Step 2: Fig.1 shows the door hinge is not in the correct position making it impossible to close the door.
Step 3: Fig.2 shows the door pins are placed correctly, but the hinges are so misaligned that they do not line up. The solution is to replace both door hinges on the frame and the wood door.
Fig.2 Hinges
Step 4: Fig.3 shows a hammer pulling the door pin out of the door hinge. Fig.4 shows a flat tip screwdriver with the hammer will aid removing a damaged door hinge pin.
Fig.3 Pull out hinge pin
Fig.4 Screwdriver
Step 5: Fig.5 shows the removal of the hinges' screws. 
Fig.5 Painted 
Step 6: Before the metal hinges can be removed from the door, fig.6 shows the use a utility knife to cut the paint away from the door hinge. All the door hinges need to be cut away because years of paint have held the metal hinge plate to the door.
Fig.6 Razor knife
Step 7: Fig.7 shows the hinge being removed, notice that the paint is not peeling off the door frame. Using a utility knife to cut the paint prevents it from being ripped off the door frame. Only the damaged door hinge is removed from the door frame.
Fig.7 Pulling off hinge
Step 8: Fig.8 shows the door must be removed from the door frame and placed the door on the floor. The next step is the same as on the door frame. Use the utility knife to cut away the door hinge, remove the wood screws and pull out the door pin form its resting place. Notice the brass hinges which comes with #9 brass screws. It is important to use these screws which can carry the torque of the door, and fits properly in the holes on the hinge plates.
Fig.8 Hinge on door
Fig.9 New hinges
Step 9: The door hinges need to be moved to another location on the door, because the door mortise was damaged and the wood was split. The solution is to move the door hinge mortise down the door to fresh wood. Fig.10 shows the Porter Cable Door mortise kit all ready for the Porter Cable Router to make a new mortise for the new door hinge.  This router needed an electrical cord to run it, make sure the power is available or use a cordless router.
Fig.10 Router template
Step 10: Fig.11 shows the Porter Cable Router in place within the door mortise kit, the router will cut through the wood and create a new place for the brass hinge. It would have been easier to just replace the door, but this door was mahogany fire rated 60 minute solid wood door that could easily cost over a thousand dollars. It was determined that the door could be saved by moving the door hinges on the door and the frame. 
Fig.11 Router and template
Fig.12 shows the new mortise has been drilled by the Now the door is ready to hang on the frame.
Fig.12 Old mortise
Step 12: Fig.13 shows a utility knife cutting thin wood chips for the door frame hinge mortise screw holes. The hinge screw holes have been compromised and the wood pieces will give the wood screw something to catch on thus making the hole work again.
Fig.13 Wood chips
Step 13: Fig.14 and fig.15 shows how the brass hinges are mounted on the door frame. Fig.14 shows a torpedo level was used to make sure the hinge is level with the door. Fig.15 shows the wood chips have been inserted into the holes ready to place the brass screws.
Fig.14 Level
Fig.15 Fill hole 
with wood chips
Fig.16 shows the wood screws are being screwed in the bottom door hinge by a cordless drill with Phillips bit. The cordless driver gives the brass screws a tighter fit, almost better then doing it with a hand-held screwdriver.
Fig.16 Placing new hinge
Fig.17 shows both sides of the door hinge have been screwed in, you can see the mortise has been changed to accommodate the new brass hinge. Before the job is done, those depressions need to be filled with Wood Putty and painted with white primer to match the door frame.
Fig.17 New hinge
Step 16:
Now that the door hinges are on the door, it's time to see if the door closes. Fig.19 and fig.20 shows that the door is closed with the new hinges installed. Now Mr.
Montoya can rent his guest bedroom and secure his belongings.
Fig.18 New pin
Fig.19 Job finished

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Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-


  1. Informative and interesting, but I think I would rather let my husband tackle these types of jobs!