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Apr 10 2018

WWYD? How should these doors be hung?

Category: Door Closers,Hinges & Pivots,WWYD?Lori @ 9:57 am Comments (36)

This is a good one!  What would you use to hang these doors, and what type of door closer could be used?  Please leave your ideas in the reply box!



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36 Responses to “WWYD? How should these doors be hung?”

  1. Martin Badke (aka lauxmyth) says:

    Walk back to the designer of the doors and ask for frame specifications to accomplish this. See the fool sputter and have no good answer.

    Gosh are they cute. I am thinking an in-floor pivot closer may work both as a ‘hinge’ and closer. It would have to be about where the 2-9 dimension line is shown. I am not sure how you mount the upper pivot. Leave that to the tradesman at site??

  2. Jack Ostergaard says:

    My first thought is to ask the designer how to hang this. Either they have seen it somewhere and know the answer or they will realize that several laws of physics (or time and space) are being challenged here.
    That said lets start with an center mount floor closer capable of supporting the entire weight. Then straight up from that a “custom” pivot – basically just a pin to stabilize the top. The whole arrangement ends up like a balanced door. All bets are off if it needs to be rated. And that is going to be two expensive pieces of glass.

  3. Vivian Volz says:

    Can balanced door hardware handle the inset bottom edge (8″ from outermost edge, right?)? It would show through the glass, unfortunately, but I think it could work.

    I have a hard time believing you could get a pair of offset pivots big enough to handle the top condition, but that would be my next guess. And I bet, once you got a price on custom-engineering the pivots, the architect would see fit to reduce the slope at the head and/or the taper at the sill to get into a commercially available set.

    I find myself hindered by the fact that I don’t know how door experts refer to the slanting hinge side or the sloping head. Could you enlighten us? Do those things have names?

    • Lori says:

      I can’t tell you what we call the slanting hinge side because it includes inappropriate language. 😀
      The sloping head is basically an arched door. We do have closers that will work on arched doors but the slanting hinge side is problematic – especially in conjunction with the sloping head.

      – Lori

  4. Bob Caron says:

    New doors at Whistle Pig Farm/Distillery in Vermont? I knew that logo looked familiar. A floor pivot/closer goes at the 2′-9″ mark so that you still have at least 32″ accessible clearance. I’ll go with Jack, about the top pin to act as a pivot. A standard top pivot won’t work due to the sloped top. They’ll probably have to drop the pin in from above.

  5. Eric Rieckers says:

    How thick are the doors?

    • Lori says:

      I’m not sure. The thickness could probably be changed if necessary.

      – Lori

      • Bob Caron says:

        Right – that door can’t be too thick. Even 1 3/4″ might be pushing it because as the door opens, the outside face on the higher side will start to rise towards the lower side. I made a styrofoam model and it looks like they might need as much as 3/8″ clearance between the top of the door and the frame.

        • Bob Caron says:

          I’m noticing from the model that the closer you can put the pivot point to the pull side face of the door, the better. My model has the pivot in the center of the door thickness so when the door is open at 90 degrees, the pull face is extending 7/8″ into the down-slope. Moving the pivot point closer to that face cuts down on how far it extends into the down-slope when open.

        • Bob Caron says:

          As I was thinking about moving the pivot point closer to the pull face, I thought, why not beyond the pull face. It looks like and offset hung closer/pivot will do the trick. They will need a custom set of brackets to connect the top pivot pin to the surface of the door and frame. This will solve the problem of excess top clearance between the door and frame. The top pivot pin will be exposed so it will have to look pretty.

  6. Bill says:

    I assume you’ve all been to Disneyworld. Half of the doors at ToonTown look like this (or worse) and they don’t have a problem getting them to work perfectly. I think their hardware of choice is the Rixon F327 Independently Hung Floor Closers.

  7. nitramnaed says:

    They figured it out for Svengoolie’s coffin

  8. Richard Leibowitz says:

    Concealed Pintles, outside corner bottom and same directly above at top

  9. Raymond Holman, AHC says:

    Center-hung floor closers and custom top pivots ($$$$). The frame will probably also need a funky notch at each top pivot location (in the direction of swing) to avoid binding the door. I hope they aren’t planning to swing these doors beyond 90°. Watch the door thickness, too. Can’t exceed 2″ thick with the 2′-9″ dimension. Some pivot manufacturer is going to end up with the “installed” photo in their catalog.

  10. Kelly says:

    How about offset floor closer with intermediate pivots.

  11. LachSr says:

    Do the doors have to be swing doors? Have them as sliding barn doors. The hangers would need to be different sizes for the arched tops, and have a channel in the floor for guides to run in. Could possibly even be pocket doors.

  12. Dave Taschuk says:

    Pivots would be the only way but the frame would have to match the application, no stops past the pivot location, closers would also have to be compatible but without seeing the frame it’s tough to figure out.

  13. Terry Crump says:

    You can’t have a ‘normal’ frame with normal stops, as part of the door will swing into the space, and part of the door will swing out of the space (if the designer insists on this configuration.)
    As Jack alluded to above, this designer must have skipped class the day they discussed the LAWS of physics.
    I think the only way for this to work is to make those side jambs parallel, plumb, and level. You could then use a floor-mounted offset pivot or closer, and at least two intermediate pivots. One at the spring line, and one as an intermediate.

  14. Peter Schifferli says:

    I’d go back to the designer and tell them the hinge stiles must be vertical so that the opening is uniformly 8′-0″ wide at both top and bottom. You would then have an opening that is workable using stock hardware. My two cents.

  15. Vincent Chestnut says:

    These doors would not be handicapped accessible unless both doors opened at the same time.

  16. Jon Salzmann says:

    One way is that you have a “pretty” side of the door that has the sculptural frame and the other side of the opening reveals that this is actually a rectangular door. Then you use offset pivots so that the door doesn’t kick back and maybe a concealed closer since there won’t be space for a surface-mount parallel arm closer. This would all require an elaborate custom frame – but I think you would have that anyway given the complex shape of the door. This approach would be similar to window installation in many historical buildings with ornate window openings on the exterior; often the operable window that sits behind the decorative opening is a simple shape so that it can function. Or you could have a pretty side on both faces and make these into sliders where the frames on both sides is sculptural, but the door slab is actually rectangular but hidden by the wall.

  17. A.J. Vanhooser says:

    You may have to build a model to really see what’s going on here. I think hinges on the slanted edge would cause the bottom and top edges of the door to swing away in a non-parallel direction from the floor which would be problematic for a closer. Very tricky.

  18. Rich says:

    I can see you needing to start a new category. WWYT. “What were you thinking” If the architect can’t tell you how he would hang it, then he should not be designing anything. I can’t remember which country I heard this about, but the story goes that after graduating from school as an architect, the student must serve an apprenticeship in the field having to install the junk he is going to design. Kind of like a residency for a doctor. Possibly Australia? As for this pair of doors, I agree that an in the floor closer and a custom pivot could possibly work. It seems like an awful lot of work for a fancy huge door with a small usable opening. I would demand a 10 year performance bond from the designer to cover the costs of the soon to happen refit.
    There is another possible choice if this look is really what they want. Make the visible part of the doors as above, but the actual rest of the door rectangular hidden in the wall and then make them a dual slider like a grocery store entrance. Both doors would move, but be limited by the “fake pull trim” and the break away emergency exit part would be ridiculous. There are proven examples of odd shaped sliding doors all over the movies. They always work perfectly. Think Star Wars, Star Trek, etc.

  19. Khozema Kazi, AHC, FDAI says:

    I dont think this door with slant hinge stiles will work as a regular door, what ever one does to hang it. however if the designer wants to have this ‘look’ they can make hinge stiles straight but retain the slant design by using decorative add-ons and mask the slant in same finish as frame, use invisible hinges, perko closers. Thus, in effect, it becomes an arched door.

    • Bob Caron says:

      Neat idea – get the look they want but it’s all an illusion. Blend the bottom triangle areas into the frame and with invisible hinges, all you see is the small gap running through what appears to be the frame.

  20. Curt Norton says:

    My initial reaction wasn’t very positive, but I don’t like to squelch creativity, and I love problem solving. What about some custom strap hinges, with the bottom hinges longer so the pivots stack vertically?

    • Bob Caron says:

      It looks like the strap hinge idea would work with all the hinge barrels lined up with the top one. It just wouldn’t look very elegant. Then use either an arch top closer or the independently hung floor closer.

  21. John pringle says:

    I’m thinking some sort of rixson floor closer and a standard hinge at the top. Call it a day!

  22. warren says:

    Maybe someone already said this (I didn’t read all comments) Pivots need to be vertically plumb, jamb same thickness as door, doors need to swing both ways. May have to round edges depending on reveal.

  23. Rich McKie says:

    I agree with the other Rich’s comments.
    Give the Architect/Designer a good shake, then present the pricing for these geometrically impractical doors to the client along with the pricing for some sensible plumb arched doors and see which they would pick.
    Unfortunately as the client appears to be a winery they may have more money than common sense so this may not work.
    These would likely be fairly high frequency doors so I can only imagine the reaction of the poor locksmith/carpenter who attends the “Doors binding/not working” service call in a couple of years time.

  24. Rich McKie says:

    Hi Lori,
    After taking another look at the drawing and reading where these doors are located Another thought
    comes to mind. Being in Vermont weather stripping would likely be a major concern (Assuming these are exterior doors)and these doors would be a weather stripping nightmare, both initially and maintenance-wise as you could not have a frame stop to locate the seal in it would have to be a bulb type seal mounted in a kerf cut in the edge of the door and alignment would have to be perfect to prevent the cold Vermont winter wind (and snow!) from blowing through the gaps. Good luck with that!

  25. Edward J. Clark says:

    Hey I am the guy who came up with this door concept. Thanks to the folks who appreciate some creativity and out of the box thinking. We have ideas about how to make these doors work, we just figured we get some input from some folks more knowledgeable about door hardware than we are. We are just generalists, not specialists.

    At this point these are concepts not actual designs. I find that our work is always improved when we work collaboratively to develop a concept into a design that works. Sometimes the concepts just won’t work, sometimes they do. I would hate to only limit our idea to easily workable ones. I guess some folks don’t enjoy a challenge. I do.

    Most of the issues folks have pointed out are ones we have raised ourselves. But the coolness factor is pretty high here – the doors mimic the shape of the still located directly behind and centered on them. It also echos the shape of the Whistlepig bottle. And these are interior doors, so weatherstripping is not an issue, nor are they rated.

    We are planning to use some pivot hinges in approximately the location shown by the dashed vertical lines. The upper pivots could be set level within a mortise at the top of the door. Geometry needs to be figured out, with a notch in the frame to accept the pivot and the door on the inside when it’s opened. The bottom pivot would be a closer pivot. Stops would be provided on the inside of the door between the upper pivot and the floor, and on the outside of the door above the upper pivot (doors swing in). Seems pretty doable to me. I am not trying to go to the moon here, just make something cool.

    Thanks to most of you for the positive input.

    • Bob Caron says:

      Hi Edward,
      Yes, interesting design indeed. I have a Whistlepig 10 year old rye at home and it is a cool bottle. Also that it mimics the shape of the still is neat too. If you saw my comment above, putting the pivot point as close to the pull side face of the door will cut down on how much top clearance you will need.

    • Michael Freiert says:

      Edward, Fun idea.

      I’ve done similar doors in theater productions using an offset pivot hinge. A more “typical” hinge with the pin & pivot point at the outside of the widest point. The lower hinges use that vertical pivot point, but have a much longer leg to attach to the outside of the door, more akin to a barn or gate hinge, but with several inches between the pivot point and the edge of the door. I once used an in turned pin roll to conceal the actual pivot point with a faux out turned pin along the door edge. It was great watching the actors play with the thing for half an hour trying to figure out why it didn’t pivot on the “hinge”.

      For a closer, I’ve used several of the type that can work with an arched top door, although at that size, you may need to resort to an in frame counter weight type, just at the upper hinge. If you’re not familiar, it’s not dissimilar to an old fashioned double hung window counterweight that drops within the wall, but using an exposed cable.

      If going with top/bottom pins through, the integral closer units will make for an easy single mfg solution.

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