A quick tip for fixing new doors that don't hang correctly in an old frame.
Sometimes a new door will hang cockeyed in an old frame, despite the fact that the door and frame are properly sized, square and plumb. This can happen if the depth of the hinge mortises is slightly off, if there’s a twist in the jamb, or if there’s any variation in the butts themselves.
To remedy this situation, most carpentry books advise shimming the hinges to throw the hinge pins closer to or farther from the jamb. This trial-and-error method takes quite a lot of time. Instead, simply close the door and remove the hinge pins from either the top and middle hinges, or bottom and middle hinges, and temporarily shim the bottom of the door so that the gap is even along both edges of the door. Now take a 6-in. adjustable wrench or smooth-jawed pliers and carefully bend the hinge knuckles until they once again align, and replace the pins. I know that this approach sounds brutal, but it does work. If necessary, you can pull a door as close as 1/32-in. of the jamb without making it hinge-bound. In fact, making minor adjustments with this method will automatically relieve the stiff action of bound hinges without ever having to loosen a screw or cut a cardboard shim.
Dave Walter, Oakwood, IL