how to fit hinges, which way to hang a ledge and brace door

Traditional ledge and brace oak doors are a highly desirable addition to any cottage, barn conversion or period property.

What Hinge Size Do I Need?

As a rule of thumb, the hinge should cover just over half the width of your door.

Standard internal doors, with a width between 26” and 32” will require 18” strap hinges.

Most doors are now made from a five random board construction. Historically, the hinge was used to fix all boards in place. Modern doors would therefore require a hinge that would almost cover the entire door. T Hinges today are used purely for aesthetic reasons, and the proportions are more important than any perceived mechanical advantage.


Can I Use Hand-Forged Nails?

We are often asked if hand forged nails can be used to fix the hinges in place. Although this would give an authentic period look, it is not advisable to use these type of nails.

As time goes by, the hand forged nails will work themselves loose, and you will be constantly banging them back in. We would recommend using traditional black japanned dome head slotted screw. 

Tip: use a Number 8 wood screw about 3/4” long.

How Many Hinges Should I Use?

This is another question regularly asked, especially by customers with heavy doors, wondering if they should use 3 hinges. 

Unless the doors are truly heavy, a pair of hinges will be just fine.

Please bear in mind that there is very little difference in strength between 12”, 15” and 18” hinges. If you use 3 hinges, the top hinge will be in tension, the bottom hinge will be in compression, and the middle hinge will be mostly redundant. If, however, the door is truly a monster, go for a 4 hinge solution.

How To Fit The T Part Of The Hinge?

Not sure how to fit door hingesThere is often a dilemma in the fitting of the T part of the hinge on a gate. Do you cut away the architrave and expose the hinge, or do you chisel out the back of the architrave so that you can only see a part of the T?

My answer is that there are no hard and fast rules. Whatever works best for you.


  • Bend the hinge at 90 degrees and offer it up to the inside edge of the door surround (not traditionally laying flat on the surround face).
  • Mark around the hinge and chisel out a rebate.
  • Fix the hinge in place.

Using this suggested method, the problem of the hinge cutting into the architrave is eradicated. I personally prefer the look of this. The only drawback is the work involved in cutting the hinges in, and you must bear in mind that the screw holes on the reverse side will have to be countersunk to allow the door to be closed.

how to install t hinges on a gate