How to Hang a Door – Suffolk Latch Company


How to Hang a Door

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On a personal note we recently had some extensive work done on our house. Unfortunately because of the age and style of the property our traditional hand forged ironmongery simply would not work. The house is a traditional end terrace workmen’s cottage built in the late 19th century, the original panel doors were heavily painted and ever so lightly worn out, after a little head scratching it was decided the doors were beyond the point of cost effective repair.

The doors we finally settled on were four panel in natural oak that would be finally finished in a water based egg shell lacquer with the door surround and architrave finished in an oil based egg shell white. The knobs we were finally going to fit were our Rosewood Beehive knobs.

I have been a DIY enthusiast for all my adult life, and on more than one occasion have hung my own doors, but with the pressure of work and my love of DIY ebbing away I decided that we would sub out all the work to professional builders.

When it came to hanging the doors our carpenter kindly allowed us to film the process, I must say that after seeing how the professionals do it I don’t think I’ll attempt another door again.

Below is essentially a transcript of the short video we shot.

Tools used for the job.

  • Set Square
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Router
  • Circular Square
  • Tape Measure
  • Nail Gun
  • Pencil

Stage 1.

Using the sets square measure the thickness of the door and scribe a line along the two uprights and the top of the door surround.

How to Hang a Door 01 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 2.

With the pneumatic nail gun tack the door jam into place, you will have noticed that the gun was held at an angle, this prevented the nails from totally hammering home, the reason for this is that if later the door jam needed slightly repositioning it would not be a big job to pull the nails out.How to Hang a Door 02 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 3.

With the door jam in place carefully measure the height on both left and right hand sides. Its important at this point to consider the thickness of the final floor finish, ideally you should have about 10mm clearance.

How to Hang a Door 03 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 4.

Lay the door on a couple of trestles ideally with a towel over each so as not to mark the wood. Remove all protective packaging, pay particular attention to removing any staples that could blunt the circular saw.

Stage 5.

Mark down on each side of the door the measurement’s taken from the door opening and using a guide and circular saw set to the correct depth remove the excess door material.

How to Hang a Door 04 | Suffolk Latch Company


Stage 6.

Place the door now cut to the correct height back into the opening to assess the amount of timber that will need to be removed. Ideally the gap around the top and sides of the door need to be equal, in the case of our doors it was around the 3 – 4mm mark.

Stage 7.

Using an electric plainer remove the excess timber from both sides of the door. Its important that both sides are thinned down for two reasons, firstly to keep the door symmetrical and secondly with modern composite doors the thickness of material on each side of the door is about 5mm thick, it would be easy to cut into the underlying chipboard if all the stock was removed from one side only.

 How to Hang a Door 06 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 8.

Using a sharp Kraft and one of the hinges mark out the position of each hinge. Ours were set about 200mm in from the top and bottom of the door.

How to Hang a Door 07 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 9.

With the router bit and backstop set correctly remove the stock material for the hinges.

Stage 10.

Because a router has a round cutter the cut out for the hinge will have rounded corners, using a sharp chisel and hammer square of the corners.

How to Hang a Door 08 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 11.

Attach the hinges to the door and offer the door up to the opening into its final position, then mark two lines on the door surround where the top of the hinge will finally be positioned.

How to Hang a Door 09 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 12.

Again mark out around the hinges with a craft knife and using the router remove the stock material for the hinge. Square off the corners then offer up the hinges and pre drill some pilot holes.

How to Hang a Door 10 | Suffolk Latch Company

Stage 13.

With the hinges attached to the door you are now ready for the final assembly. The carpenter offered the door up at a 45 degree angle to the opening and used a light weight crowbar and packers to get the hinges to align, then he simply made the final assembly.

How to Hang a Door 11 | Suffolk Latch Company

In a later video and blog we will cover the process behind choosing and fitting a tubular latch. Thank you for reading…


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About Us

The Suffolk Latch Company is based in the picturesque town of Clare on the Suffolk/Essex Border. We specialise in the supply of traditional hand forged black ironmongery.

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