Simple Jig for Hinges
I always learn a lot when I teach a woodworking class. At the moment, I’m making an Arts and Crafts Display Cabinet with a great group of guys. We’re just getting to the door and my thoughts turned to hinge mortises. In my own work, I’m typically faced with hanging a single door, two at the most, in a given project. So I’ve never gotten around to making a routing jig to simplify the process. In a classroom situation, however, a little bit of set up pays big dividends.
Using a jig by Doug Stowe in a recent Fine Woodworking article as inspiration, I built a few of my own. Not only will the class get through their mortises quickly and accurately, I’ve got a great jig to use in my own shop from now on.
For more help with hinges, see
- Flawless Hinges in Fine Furniture
- Choosing Door Hinges
- Hinge and Hang the Door
- Easy Knife Hinges
- Knife Hinges on the Router Table
The jig is dirt simple. Just a piece of plywood for a base and a fence to secure it. I clamp it to the case or door and use a bearing guided bit to rout the mortise.
To make the jig, mark the hinge width along one edge of a roughly 6 inch by 8 inch piece of 1/2 inch plywood.
Cut a notch the width of the hinge and about 1 3/4 inches deep. I made the end cuts with a crosscut sled on the tablesaw. Then I wasted away most of the material in between the cuts on the bandsaw. Finally, I headed back to the tablesaw and slid the plywood back and forth as I moved the crosscut sled past the blade.
Now cut a shallow groove for the fence. This ensures that the fence glues up square to the notch and is positioned the correct distance away from the end of the notch.
The hinges I'm using have a ball tip so I aligned the fence to the width of the leaf. If it didn't have ball tip, I'd align it to the center of the hinge barrel.
Glue the fence in place and the jig is done. It's taken me longer to write this blog than it did to make the jig.
To use the jig, set the bit depth using the hinge itself.
Clamp the jig to the work piece and rout away.
Leave the jig in place and use it as a guide when squaring up the corners of the mortise (That's a Doug Stowe trick, awesome!)
Voila! I've been working way too hard at this.