I cut my mortises manually with a chisel and made them a notch too deep, maybe 1/16" or even less, as a result the door closes too close to the jamb and I am concerned how it will work when there is a layer of paint on both sides.

What can I use to pad the mortise on the jamb side to bring the hinge flush with the jamb? I thought there might be some special kind of paper padding for that or should I try luan or perhaps a third solution?


1) A couple layers of duct tape on the back of the hinge leaf.

2) A layer or two of paperboard or non-corrugated cardboard scavenged from discarded packaging.

3) Simpson tie plates, trimmed to fit.

4) Apply spots of a thick spackle or wood filler, then install the hinge leaf, compressing the filler to achieve an exact fit. To prevent the hing from adhering to the spackle, a) wax the back of the hinge leaf with a candle, b) use a layer of kitchen-type wax paper, c) wrap the leaf with kitchen-type plastic wrap. When dry, remove the the hinge leaf and fill any voids with additional spackle.

Note 1: It's odd to me that there is no word for the opposite of deepening: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/11047/antonym-of-deepen

Note 2: 'Frenchman' is the term for a piece of wood shaped to fill in a mortise or similar recess. For example, when converting a doorway to a passageway, one fills the hinge mortises and striker plate mortise on the jambs with frenchmen.

  • I'm in the same situation, I went as far as 3 layers of cardboard (magazine cover thickness) for a total thickness a little over 1mm (a little less than 1/16"). I had to do that because the door is a bit too narrow for the jamb space. Since the mortise wasn't chiseled very well, I thought about leveling it all with a router and replacing the cardboard shim with a single 2 mm wood shim glued on jamb. Will that work? Jan 24 '17 at 23:36

Single thickness cardboard such as what auto parts boxes or shoe boxes are made of is either 0.010" or 0.015" thick. Cut pieces to fit.

1/16" is decimal .0625"

20# copier paper is 0.004"

28# copier paper is 0.005"

Gives you a variety of known thickness shimming materials to get you somewhere near the thickness.

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