I was reading an article about blogging in Inc. the other day, and one paragraph really resonated with me:

“The thing most people don’t understand is that the difference between a blog post and a magazine article is the difference between conversation and presentation,” notes Strauss. “If I were giving a presentation on a stage behind a podium, the expectation is that I’m going deliver a fully developed idea with everything tied up in a bow and a potential Q&A at the end.  In blogging, it’s important to blog about a particular topic without being complete. If it’s conversational as a blog is supposed to be, you get a chance to say one thing or one idea, and then it’s your customers’ turn to talk or respond.

When I first started this blog, I always tried to have a completely formulated answer to the question (it’s a personality flaw).  But over time I realized that I can just start the conversation and other people will chime in.  I received a question last night from a hardware distributor that I couldn’t completely answer.  The conversation went something like this:

Ken:  “Do you have a preference, or is one better than the other, when it comes to swing clear hinges and beveled versus square edge hinge stiles?”

Me:  “I can’t think why it would matter as long as the hinge is of the proper type to match the door edge.  I checked the Ives catalog and their standard is square edge, with an option for beveled.  I think the hinges must accommodate the edge so that the door sits in the same position when it’s open, so I guess we have to consider what happens when the door is closed.  I like beveled-edge doors (regardless of the hinge type) because I think they bind less.   So basically, beveled edge doors are my preference, swing-clear hinges appear to be sold for square-edged doors standard with the availability of beveled.  I think you could argue both sides but I don’t think there’s a clear winner.”

Ken:  “I agree, beveled edges on the hinge side do bind less.  However, on full-mortise continuous hinges I like to use a square hinge edge since a beveled hinge edge works against you on clearance.  Since the pivot point of the hinge projects out from the face of the door and frame, the hinge actually opens a little bit to match the angle of the bevel, this causes the door to move which increases the gap at the hinge side and closes the gap at the lock side.  This has a tendency to increase the amount of clearance needed for this type of hinge.”

Me:  “Huh.”

So, Dear Readers, I know you have opinions on this matter…in fact, I can almost predict who will be the first responders.  Square edge or beveled edge doors, and WHY?

Thank you to Ken Adkisson of Isenhour Door for getting this conversation started.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who chimed in on this topic.  My friend and fellow code-head Zeke Wolfskehl sent me this drawing which illustrates the effect of the door edge on the clearance:

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