Thursday, August 29, 2013

How To Mortise the Hinges of a Door (aka Installing a Door)

Mortising a Hinge. I know, I know. It begs the question, you want to WHAT a WHAT?!? But, let me tell you the Dilbecks now know how to MORTISE. 
In case you are STILL wondering what the heck I am talking about...

mor·tise also mor·tice  (môrts)
1. A usually rectangular cavity in a piece of wood, stone, or other material, prepared to receive a tenon and thus form a joint.
2. Printing A hole cut in a plate for insertion of type.
tr.v. mor·tised also mor·ticedmor·tis·ing also mor·tic·ingmor·tis·es also mor·tic·es
1. To join or fasten securely, as with a mortise and tenon.
2. To make a mortise in.
3. Printing
a. To cut a hole in (a plate) for the insertion of type.
b. To cut such a hole and insert (type).

Here we are, MORTISING the night away! (or at least Ty is)

The REAL story is that the door between the garage and the kitchen area is old and not up to code. It falls into the category of things (like the loft) we needed to do immediately upon moving into the house. So when we were wandering through Lowe's and saw a STEEL DOOR in the clearance section, we knew we had to go for it. 

So, onto all the Mortising...

Step One... 
Buy a door that already has mortised hinges! We did not realize when we bought this door that it would not fit into the door frame without the hinges being recessed into the side of the door. Learning curve #1. 

Step #2:
Since we had already hung the door on the existing hinges 
(only to discover they needed mortising.... I digress)... 
we were easily able to pencil above and below the hinges on the new door to mark the area for chiseling. 

 Remove the door with your measurements and hinge markings. 

STEP 4. 
We used a small skill saw to make VERY shallow indention on the hinge markings. These served as our starting point for the chiseling. (There is an actual special tool for mortising, but again WHO KNEW we would need it). 

Start chiseling. We went too deep in some areas and not deep enough in others (learning curve #2). Again, without the proper tools it is very hard to get a precise fit BUT the end result for us is that the hinges are flush with the side of the door.

STEP 6. Mount Door on your NEWLY mortised hinges, 
and admire how flush they are with the side of your new door!

Old door


And THAT, is how you mortise, People!

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