Saturday, April 04, 2009

Off the hinges!

Was your Spring Break a good one? Did you get to do all you wanted to? Did the kids have a blast? Here at our house Spring Break was totally off the hinges!!

Literally.

Had two doors that were coming off the hinges and had to fix 'em. I often find my monkey-kiddos, especially my 5 year old, holding on to the door knob and swinging on the doors. They think it's lots of fun--I don't blame them, I remember doing the same thing when I was small enough--but it does soooo much damage to the door. It loosens up the hinges and the door knob and eventually strips out the screws holding the hinge in place.

Even if you don't have Monkeys swinging from your doors your hinges can come loose over time. Older houses with multiple layers of paint can make a door stick and then everyone yanks on the door too hard--this can cause stress on hinges. Newer houses with hollow core doors or flimsy door jams are also notorious for stripping out too, just because the wood isn't as strong.

No matter your situation knowing how to fix your stripped out hinges is a skill that you will use.

It is very simple. You will need: A hinge with stripped out screws, 1/4" dowel, wood glue, a small handsaw (I don't know the real name of this little thing but it is in the picture, I love it! I use it all the time for lots of different projects),A drill with a 1/4" bit, 3/32" bit and either a screwdriver or phillips screwdriver head (depends on the screws you've already got in your door. Are they straight or x? straight=a regular screwdriver. x=phillips screwdriver.)
  1. Place several books under the door to prop it up. This will keep it from warping the hinge as you loosen all the screws to remove the door.
  2. Are your screws stripped on the side of the hinge attached to the door or the door jam? Remove the stripped screws from the top and bottom hinges allowing the door to settle on the books and lean back against the wall.
  3. Now trade out your screwdriver bit for your 1/4" drill bit. Drill out each of the stripped out holes. YES--you are making the holes BIGGER! Just do it! Don't go too deep, usually just an inch is all you need and make sure you're drilling in straight.
  4. Open your glue and dip the end of the dowel into the glue.
  5. Push gluey dowel into the drilled out hinge hole. Be sure to push it firmly and twist it a little to make sure that it is all the way in and the glue is distributed evenly.
  6. Grab your small handsaw and hold it flush against the edge of the door/door jam edge and saw off the dowel.
  7. Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 for each of the drilled out holes. It should look something like this when all the holes are plugged up:Remember if it doesn't look really pretty it is OK. This is going to be covered by the hinge again. However, it is VERY important that the dowels are cut off flush. If you can't get them cut back enough with your little saw then grab a bit of sandpaper (or a nail file if you haven't got sandpaper) and smooth it down.
  8. Now it is time to sit back and relax; the glue has to dry. Go do some laundry, wash some dishes, eat some lunch, play some Wii, whatever it is you like to do. Give it at least an hour, you want the dowels to be in there good and tight.
  9. Alright, the glue is dry and you're ready to rehang your doors--yep, already time to rehang, that was easy! Before you try to rehang the door do yourself a favor and drill a few pilot holes for your screws. Use your 3/32" drill bit and only drill in about a 1/4"deep, you just need it deep enough for your screws to catch. In this picture you can just barely make out the holes, just one on the tip of each sawed off dowel.
  10. Now you're ready to put the hinge back into it's original position and replace the screws. Screw all the screws in partially. Once all the screws are in place and the hinges are straightened, tighten the screws down. You may want someone to help you hold the door still for this step.

I'ts done! Now you have doors that can shut smoothly and completely again--Until the next school break.

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