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Thread: No Mortise Hinge Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St George,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    43

    No Mortise Hinge Problem

    Hello all,

    I come to you with a problem that has been plaguing me for awhile. I just completed another shaker clock, an exact copy from the popular woodworking magazine and I can't get the top door to stay closed.

    I know that the door is flat and level because I made sure of it and just checked it 10 mins ago. The door is 10.5" wide by 11" in length. The hinges are no mortise style with the hinge being 2' long with a leaf width of about 3/4".

    I use rare earth magnets 1/4" in diameter both in the frame of the door as well as the case. Now with the case laying on the workbench and the door laying in the proper position without the hinge, the pull of the magnets keep the door closed. I then attached the hinge to the door and with the part that should be attached to the case just loose on the case the magnets are still holding the door shut. The pull is fairly strong. The problem I have is that as soon as I attach the leaf of the hinge to the case the door won't stay closed when hanging on the wall. It will open about 1/8". I noticed the pull of the magnets isn't very strong when the hinge is attached to the case.

    What I don't understand is why this is happening. Like I stated the door stays closed by the pull of the magnet without the hinge being attached to the case,but as soon as the hinge is attached to the case the door wants to open when the clock is hanging on the wall.

    I don't have this problem with the bottom door, it stay shut all the time with the magnets. I have made sure that the screws attaching the hinge to the door and the case are not above the level of the hinge. They are countersunk slightly into the hinge.

    Can anybody help me to trouble shoot this problem and correct it please? Could it be the hinges or something else? I can say that because of the glass the top door weighs about twice the bottom door which is the same width but about 20" length.

    Your ideas would be a great help. Thanks

    Stephan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Zushi, Japan
    Posts
    739
    Stephan,

    I would first look at the screws holding the hinge and door in place. With no-mortise hinges if the screws are even just a little proud the hinge won't close properly. The other possibility is the hinges are not on the same vertical plane meaning the door is hanging out a little on top.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,891
    The only thing I can think of is that the frame face, where you are connecting the hinge, on the cabinet is not 90* to the side - it may (or something else may) be forcing the hinge to sit on the cabinet at an angle that forces the other side of the door away from the cabinet.

    Without the door attached, have you laid a straight edge across the opening to see if the two frame sides are in the same plane? Have you attached the hinges just to the cabinet frame to see if they lay flat and parallel to the opposite (latch) side of the frame?

    You've probably done all this, but I can't think of another cause right now.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,188
    I use the tip I found in the magazine.

    I cut an extra stile when Im making doors to hange with hinges.
    I mount a set of hinges on that stile, then predrill the holes on the door, its much easier to line up then trying to place with entire door.

    Check to make sure the entire door's frame is exactly 90 degree angles.3 degrees may not be noticable to eye, but will mess up two hinges compatability.(i know, cause Ive made so many mistakes)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    The only thing I can think of is that the frame face, where you are connecting the hinge, on the cabinet is not 90* to the side - it may (or something else may) be forcing the hinge to sit on the cabinet at an angle that forces the other side of the door away from the cabinet.

    Without the door attached, have you laid a straight edge across the opening to see if the two frame sides are in the same plane? Have you attached the hinges just to the cabinet frame to see if they lay flat and parallel to the opposite (latch) side of the frame?

    You've probably done all this, but I can't think of another cause right now.
    Agreed.
    Go ahead and run clown, with those big floppy shoes, you won't get far.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    35

    Shaker clock

    Hello can I ask a ? what kind of wood did you use to make the clock ?????
    I have made a shaker clock and using non mortise hinges and rails and styles and glass in small upper door and lower longer door, rails and styles have mortise and tendon joinery are yours made this way?? I am having same problem and I haven't hung mine on the wall yet . I believe the problem is the wood I made mine from kiln dried cherry , it seem's to be a perfect 90 degrees
    but someone told me if you take your doors and lay them flat on say a flat surface such as a counter and you find by pushing down at the corners that it will give you the feeling that it rocks your out ,please to check your doors and let me know if they are not perfect this will cause warping or binding in the corners hence gap of 1/8" or more, I haven't attached magnets to mine yet and I have 1/4 " glass in both my doors , I have seen other's with a swing latch on exterior of side to keep the doors tight and locked flush but there's still a chance that the wood is under pressure in the corner if you go to a professional woodworking site of I believe Charles Niel he addresses this problem in one of his articles he makes these clocks as well. Happy hunting let me know what you find as well, There is a way to make a cut I believe to relieve the pressure in the wood so there is no warping but that means making the doors over probably . I hoped I have helped later. Doug
    Last edited by Doug Bellamah; 05-06-2009 at 03:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St George,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    43

    Re: problems

    I know that the door is flat and level in all planes. I was extremely careful with that because I had that problem with another clock. I know that I made sure the screws holding the hinge were countersunk below the surface of the hinge. There are no face frames to hold the hinges, they are just screwed to the side of the case, I will check to make sure that the sides are 90 degree. I am pretty sure they are but will double check tonight.

    What do you mean by the hinges not in the same vertical plane? They look to be attached the same distance in on the case. How much out would they be to make a problem. The clock is made with oak and the doors are all straight grained. The grain lines run in a straight line from the tops of the stiles to the bottom.

    Sorry I don't have a digital camera or else I would take some pictures to show the problem. I don't understand why the bottom door doesn't have the same problem. It is attached on the case the same way.

    Stephan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475
    stephan i too have had trouble with those type of hinges.. one door fit great and the other didnt i ended up tweaking the bend of the hinge to get it to close right it appeared to hinge bound but i had it test fit first and they worked great then took off and gotthe hinges mixed up another thing is possibly you have your magnet in the wrong direction. but the hinges are my first place to look they are other companys that make those type of hinges and my next set will be normal mortise type ...just isnt worth the head ache. i took a hand brake for aluminun facia or siding to bend the hinge a touch to get it right.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St George,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    43
    Larry the first thing I did was think that I put the magnets in wrong. That wasn't the case though, because when the door isn't attached to the case the magnets pull the door closed when the door and the case are about 1/8" apart. I am beginning to think that there is a problem with the hinges. For the other 3 clocks I used hinges from Lee Valley and these hinges I got from another supplier.

    Stephan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St George,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    43
    Well with the help of a PM from Chuck I figured out the problem. The case was 90 degrees to the door so that wasn't the problem. Chuck suggested that I back the screws off a touch and see what happens. Well I took the screws out of the hinge on the case side and put them back in again, but not as tight as before. I just snugged up the screws so that they were below the surface of the hinge and WOW it worked.

    The pull of the magnet closes the door when it is about 1/16" off the case. That is good enough for me. The door hangs and swings properly. I think that I must have deformed the hinge just enough when I cranked down on the screws to cause the problem. Thanks for all the suggestions and I wanted all of you to know that the problem was solved.

    Stephan

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