Previous owner decided to recess the hinge plate below the previous (larger) hinge plate. While the door closes, you have to pull it closes otherwise it will "spring" back open. The door makes contact with the jamb (on the hinge side), which I believe is caused by this.

I am going to go buy some new hinges, but how to I make the jamb look decent, while still having it functional to put on new hinges? I read this post for some inspiration.

I was thinking of filling the entire recessed portion with body filler and starting from scratch. Is there a simpler method I can do? I read about cardboard etc, but I imagine that looks terrible and is not a long term solution.

enter image description here

2 Answers 2



Go to the local home center and get some of the (free?) laminate counter top samples in the kitchen cabinet section, they are about 3x5 inches. I then cut them to the same size as the hinge plate. Remove the hinge, place it on the sample and trace around it, it does not need to perfect but it should not be bigger then the hinge. I cut them with tin snips.

They are about 1/6 inch thick so sometimes you need to stack several of them behind the hinge.

Place enough of them behind the hinge to bring the hinge flush with the jam, hold the hinge over them and pre-drill, or mark them so you can pre-drill them, then install the hinge over them.

An alternative is to use a Dutchman. There are many YouTube videos on this. I like Tom Silva's tutorial from Ask This Old House.

  • 1
    Yes, that is why i like it. If you are concerned about aesthetics you can use the Dutchman technique to patch the mortise and and then re-mortise. youtube.com/watch?v=UrB4zuUHJdM - It is best to make the old mortise bigger/deeper and then patch. Make a Dutchman and then create the hole the match the Dutchman, not the other way around.
    – Alaska Man
    Jan 15, 2021 at 21:15
  • 1
    I don't condone stealing from the store. The fact that they're free doesn't mean it's right. Cereal boxes work just fine.
    – isherwood
    Jan 15, 2021 at 21:23
  • 1
    I can always buy some shims. Not against that. I am worried that I would need about 30 pieces of cereal box to make up the rather deep mortise; would that not lead to some soggy craziness in the future?
    – Shinobii
    Jan 15, 2021 at 21:26
  • 5
    @isherwood i can live without you condoning my taking some free samples. I spend plenty of money at home improvement stores.
    – Alaska Man
    Jan 15, 2021 at 21:32
  • 3
    I often ask the store employee if there is any older bits or samples that I might have. Even fancy laminate samples are thrown out as garbage if it is last year's style. Asking yields results, people want to help.
    – John Canon
    Jan 16, 2021 at 9:24

Cut a plug of wood to the height and width of the two mortises. Use pine and cut the depth so the plug stands slightly proud when set in the mortises. You want the mortises to be a single mortise so chisel out any partition.

Cut the mortise to fit the plug. With a utility knife define the shape of the plug on the jamb. Cut away any parts that obstruct it's placement.

Wood glue the plug in place. Once dry plane down the plug to be flush with the jamb. Trace the new hinges outline on the jamb and cut the new mortise.

  • 1
    By plug do you mean a "Dutchman" ?
    – Alaska Man
    Jan 15, 2021 at 21:10
  • Do you know if doing something like this would work if hanging a solid core (MDF) door? Would it be strong enough?
    – Shinobii
    Feb 24, 2021 at 21:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.