Workshop Interior Doors #7: hinging the doors

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 03-04-2013 07:31 PM 2436 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: the large door Part 7 of Workshop Interior Doors series Part 8: hanging the doors »

Time to put hinges on the doors.

I’m going to use 3 hinges per door, so I mark with pencil by tracing around where they will sit right on the door edge. I then use a sharp knife and cut the outline out to no more than a depth of 1/16”.

Then I get my hinge and set it on the base of my trim router which has a straight bit in it. The cutting depth of the bit (the amount protruding out of the base) is set as the thickness of the hinge, which in my case is about 1/16”. I don’t measure it, I put the hinge there and then adjust by feel until the end of the bit is even with the face of the hinge.
(Always do these adjustments with the router unplugged)

Next, measure the distance (A) from the edge of the router bit to the side of the router base:

Then I clamp scrap wood to the edge of the door so that there is a “fence” exactly at the distance A away from the marked line of where the hinge will sit. As you can see here, there are two pieces of wood even with the door’s wood, to make the distance A. Then there is another piece of MDF clamped higher up so that it makes an edge for the base of the router to ride against.

This photo will show how the router will ride against the fence to clean out the hinge’s recessed spot. Having this fence will stop the router from making the recess for the hinge too wide.

In the same manner I also clamp a stop block on the left side of where the hinge will go. You can also put one on the right side, I don’t because my router base has an uneven back side so it doesn’t ride neatly against wood.

Here you can see how the router bit will cut right along the left pencil line and then along the top line. You can do this without stops, but they make it pretty fool proof.

This shows the cut. After doing this I would go back and remove the rest of the space and then use a chisel to get into the corners:

Here is the hinge fitting perfectly in it’s spot:

You can also buy hinge jigs for hinging doors, where the jig has a preset opening for the hinge and you just ride inside that with your router. I find those limiting, but if I was a professional door hanger and doing many hinge recesses of the same size, I’d buy or make a more permanent jig.

Okay, now since I have 2 door openings with 2 doors each and three hinges per door that means I need to install 12 hinges on my doors!

In the next post I’ll (finally) hang the doors.

-- ~Julie~

3 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3942 days

#1 posted 03-05-2013 02:40 AM

So close now! I’ve even more old school than you. I would use a chisel, because I don’t have a fancy trim router like you have!
Your method works beautifully, however.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2508 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 04:07 AM

Hi Julie … I’ve been waiting patiently for your latest blog! This was great, and now you have to be close to hanging your doors!! Can’t wait to see the visual of that … but I’ll remain patient!!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View hjt's profile


850 posts in 3166 days

#3 posted 03-06-2013 12:39 AM

Very good Julie. I’ve just put of 7 new doors at our rental house. I did buy the Ryobi Jig from Home Depot. It did make it easy. I’m surprised though that I can find jigs for the door to cut out the hinges and handle, but nothing for the door casing where the strike plate goes.

I’m looking forward to seeing those dors up. I’m sure you are looking forward to having the project completed too!

-- Harold

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