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



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  • RIchard Spall on Apr 27, 2017

    I found this article very helpful, especially the remarks about the various ways to attach the hinge to the door frame. I would also like your opinion about which way round the door should be fitted into the door frame. Is there a convention about this? I think the planked side is more attractive than the braced side and so you might want the planked side facing into a particular room. I presume the only way to achieve this is to hang the door on the side of the door aperture which is nearest to the room which you want the door to open into (if you see what I mean!). My son has a house (built in 1914) which originally had pine braced doors, now replaced with modern ones. He wants to put back pine braced doors. On the landing there are four doors. They all open into the rooms, ie they are hinged from the bedroom side of the door aperture. If the braced sides face out onto the landing this could look quite ugly. If on the other hand the planked sides faced out onto the landing, then how do you attach the hinges to the doors? Can you attach the hinges to the braces inside the rooms ? Also, is there a convention for the height of the latch from the bottom of the door? Thanking you in anticipation.

  • Glyn on Mar 28, 2017

    That was a good write up, as a joiner myself I can tell you what the 3rd hinge is for – its to stop cheap, mass-produced doors form warping (hence the popularity of the 3rd hinge since Howdens has ruled the World and ratty white “oak” doors have become “solid oak doors” in the minds of the masses) it provides absolutely no other purpose – a heavier door should simply have heavier gauge hinges, 2 of them.