Hinge Installation

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 06-01-2013 05:26 PM 862 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrRon's profile


3891 posts in 2663 days

06-01-2013 05:26 PM

I have always had a problem installing butt hinges. I can align them correctly with the jamb and door, but when it comes to drilling holes for the screws, that is where the problem comes in. I know the screw has to be perfectly centered in the hole in the hinge because if it is not centered, the countersink surface acts like a ramp and moves the hinge out of alignment. My question really boils down to how to get the hole perfectly centered? Before you all tell me to use a “centering punch”, that is what I always use. The punch I use has a lot of slop and the wood, typically soft wood, as in door frames, is too soft to permit the punch to center the mark. The punch always seems to follow the grain of the wood and results in an off-center mark. Is there a better punch available? I’ve thought about “Vix” bits, but maybe they would not be much better in guaranteeing a perfectly centered hole. Right now, I have no way of correcting the problem except for drilling a larger hole, inserting a dowel and trying to recenter the hole.

8 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1997 days

#1 posted 06-01-2013 05:52 PM

I use rockler's insty drive hinge bits. They work fine.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View kdc68's profile


2526 posts in 1697 days

#2 posted 06-01-2013 06:06 PM

+1 NiteWalker.....insty drive hinge bits are essentially the same thing as vix bits…

I use vix bits….no issues as they put a perfectly centered pilot hole by using the chamfered hole of the hinge to guide the vix bit …they are sized by the screw…so they come in various sizes….see NiteWalker’s link

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Gary's profile


8965 posts in 2853 days

#3 posted 06-01-2013 06:15 PM

I use vix but I tape the hinge in place before drilling just to prevent any movement. It works for me

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View RonInOhio's profile


720 posts in 2284 days

#4 posted 06-02-2013 04:15 AM

Not sure if this will help but I will throw it out anyway.

ShopNotes (a special edition on 120+ shop tips) suggested this tip for locating
hinge screws.

Take some brass screws that are the right size for the hinge you are mounting.
file down two brass screws (the threaded ends) to sharp points.
Mount one side of the hinge to the jamb normally.
Take the brass screws that you filed to a point and put them in the other hinge holes from underneath so the points are sticking out. Close the hinge to trap the filed brass screws. Pointed end sticking out.
Position the door and press it against the points to mark the screw locations.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2233 days

#5 posted 06-02-2013 06:19 AM

Adjustable euro style hinges are easier to fit because you can adjust them 3 ways after install.

If the application demands butt hinges, use one of the self-centering bits mentioned above.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2389 days

#6 posted 06-02-2013 12:24 PM

This is how I do it, it’s hard to bore exactly in the middle, if the mortise for the hinge is exactly right, offer up the hinge tight against the long edge. Bore for one of the middle screws just a fraction closer to edge of the hinge and screw it on, so the countersunk screw head pulls the hinge tight up against the long edge of the mortise, do that on all the hinges, hang the door, any adjustments you need to make can then be done with the remaining screw holes. A brad point bit won’t wander, stick it in where you want to bore before pulling the trigger.

View MrRon's profile


3891 posts in 2663 days

#7 posted 06-02-2013 03:49 PM

Thanks for all the good advise. I think my technique is questionable. I will have to take more care when locating the holes.

View RonInOhio's profile


720 posts in 2284 days

#8 posted 06-02-2013 06:24 PM

Sometimes its better to drive the screw with a screwdriver as opposed to a power driver. More control .

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