Mortising the Hinges
Hanging doors involves a mixture of precise work and some trial and error. The first step is to choose a hinge and then mortise the case frame to receive the hinge. A common approach for hinge placement is to locate the top of the upper hinge even with the bottom of the upper rail and locate the bottom of the lower hinge even with the top of the lower rail of the door frame. I should have thought ahead and routed these mortises before assembling the case. However, I forgot and routed the hinge mortises in the case after assembly. My router didn’t reach the last inch of the top of the upper hinge mortise. I finished that section with a sharp chisel. It was a little more work, but not that big of a deal. NOTE: Establish the edge of each mortise with a sharp chisel and then carefully route the waste in between. You’re doing a somewhat tricky balancing act with the router on ¾” thick wood, but the cut isn’t very deep.
Hinge installed in face frame.
Routing the hinge mortises in the doors is much easier since you can secure them to the side of a bench. Screw the hinges in place on the case. Use a spacer beneath the door to establish the bottom gap. (I used my ruler.) Mark the hinge locations on the door frame by transferring a line from the hinge to the door frame. Cut the mortises in the door frame.
Fitting the Doors
With the door complete and the mortises cut, check the fit. If the door opening is out of square, you’ll have to do some fitting to attain even gaps. Watch this video to see how I fit the right door to a slightly out of square opening.
Female portion of catch.
Male portion of catch.
In the next blog entry, we’ll explore how I turn a batch of twelve matching door and drawer knobs.
-- Mark, Minnesota