Routing hinge mortises
I had a fair number of doors that needed hanging, and I wanted to take advantage of my router and my 3/4-in-dia. straight bit to make quick work of the hinge mortises. I had tried freehanding the mortises with mixed results. So I decided to make the hinge-mortising template shown in the drawings.
I started with a piece of 1/2-in. plywood, to which I attached the leaf of a radiused butt hinge aligned to the edge of the plywood as it will be placed on the door or jamb (drawing 1). Using the hinge as a guide for the router’s base, I routed a shallow groove in the plywood. The inside edge of this shallow groove became the cutline that I followed with my jigsaw as I made a circular cut in the template (drawing 2). Next, I cut the template along the dotted lines to make it more convenient to maneuver.
To cut a hinge mortise, I screwed the template to a jamb and followed the curved edge of the plywood with the router’s base (drawing 3). I used the same 3/4-in. straight bit, set at a depth equal to the thickness of a hinge leaf, to make the cuts. By the way, I placed the screws that hold the template to the jamb in positions that allow their holes to be covered by the doorstops.
Ray Freud, Cherry Hill, N.J.
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