Synopsis: Router templates are a fast and correct technique to get a great-fitting hinge mortise. The secret’s a sample bit that lets you create a template sized to the hinge, eliminating the necessity to measure. When you’ve made the template, clamped it in place, and routed the mortise, all that’s left is squaring up the corners with a chisel.
There are a number of methods to go about chopping a hinge mortise. One choice that I didn’t use for a very long time was a routing template. I by no means knew what hinge I’d use for a mission, and it didn’t appear value it to make a brand new template for every time. Second, I assumed templates could be a ache to make. And final, I doubted their accuracy. Nonetheless, educating had a method of fixing my view. In attempting to determine a technique to get a category by way of the method of hanging a door on the finish of a protracted week, I made a decision to offer router templates a glance. It seems that making a template is quick and an excellent match is nearly automated. The secret’s to construct the template across the hinge itself. From there, a brief sample bit makes fast work of the mortising, leaving simply the rounded inside corners to maintain with a chisel. It’s vital to make use of an excellent high quality hinge (which you must do anyway) as a result of the sizes are extra constant from hinge to hinge, which makes for a extra constant match. I’ve had good luck with hinges from Horton Brasses, Brusso, and Whitechapel Ltd.
This system is so quick and correct, I not use it only for educating. I’ve been placing it to make use of in my very own store as effectively.
Begin by making the template
The hinge mortising jig consists of two components, an MDF plate that helps the router, and a solid-wood fence that will get clamped to the workpiece. The plate is notched to create a recess for routing, and chopping that notch is probably the most vital step. The sample bit I’ll use to rout the mortise simplifies the duty. Its bearing precisely matches the diameter of the cutter. Watch out when shopping for a bit as a result of not all manufacturers have this characteristic. I’ve had good luck with a 1/4-in.-long sample bit from Whiteside, mannequin 3000. With the sort of bit, you possibly can reduce the notch within the template exactly to the hinge dimensions; you don’t should account for any offset between bearing and bit. (This offset subject may come up if you happen to use a router outfitted with a information bushing.)
I’ll start with a hinge template designed to chop one mortise at a time. Later I’ll present you find out how to velocity the method by making a jig to chop each mortises without delay. First you’ll set up the ends of the template notch with a pair of deep cuts on the tablesaw. The spacing of the cuts will decide the match of the ultimate mortise, so take a minute to get it proper. Begin by tracing the hinge onto the plate. The depth of the notch might want to account for the thickness of the fence in addition to the width of the hinge. Align the fence to the sting of the plate and set the hinge towards the fence. With a pointy pencil, mark alongside every finish of the hinge. Additionally make a mark to point how deep the notch needs to be. The kind of hinge you employ will decide this dimension. For the standard butt hinge, a rule of thumb is to chop a hinge mortise in order that half of the barrel is inset into the door. For a ball-tip hinge, inset the hinge to the sting of the barrel to depart clearance for the ball ideas on the ends.
To chop the notch, clamp a pair of cease blocks to a crosscut sled. Drive a pan-head screw into the tip of 1 cease to permit for effective changes with out the necessity to unclamp a block. Set the stops to chop a notch barely narrower than you want. After chopping the ends of the notch, head to the bandsaw to take away many of the waste. To get to last depth, head again to the tablesaw. Place the plate between the stops and slide it backwards and forwards, advancing the sled slowly as you achieve this. As soon as the notch is reduce, set the hinge in place to examine the match. Ideally the hinge doesn’t fairly match at this level. To widen the notch, drive the screw cease in barely and make one other reduce. It might take a few tries, however when the hinge simply slips into the notch, you’re set. Now connect the fence to the plate. I take advantage of glue and 18-gauge brad nails to carry it in place.
Michael Pekovich is editor and artistic director of Wonderful Woodworking, and creator of Foundations of Woodworking (2021, The Taunton Press).
Pictures: Rachel Barclay
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