Drilling Holes for Door Hinges

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Forum topic by DIY_G posted 03-25-2014 03:52 PM 3175 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1549 days

03-25-2014 03:52 PM

First off, Hello to all lumberjocks members. My name is George. I am a beginner woodworker and I just came across this forum.

From what I have read so far a 35mm hole (via forstner bit w/ drill press) is needed to install hinges. Unfortunately I don’t own a drill press. So my question to you guys and gals is has anyone tried using a 1 3/8 inch forstner bit with a cordless drill? Or a 1 3/8 straight bit with a plunge router? If anyone has can you please share your results? Did it or did it not work? Did the hinges sit perfectly in the hole?

22 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3888 posts in 1793 days

#1 posted 03-25-2014 04:47 PM

If the doors are made with soft wood, drilling may not be necessary. I’ve never used drill press or router for screw holes; just a hand drill as you mentioned. Welcome to LJ. You can use a nail to center punch the hole before drilling; just hold your drill as 90 degree as possible. One way to do it is by doing it in front of s mirror of better yet have someone watch you.


View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 1636 days

#2 posted 03-25-2014 04:53 PM

You might want to look at this
They have a smaller kit if you don’t need everything

-- steve, simple and effective

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4205 posts in 2334 days

#3 posted 03-25-2014 05:27 PM

Not cheap but works great. Drilling 35mm hinge hole is not a job for a cordless drill use a corded drill.

edit to add

I have never knew or saw a 1 3/8 router bit. Does such a bit exist??

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3256 days

#4 posted 03-25-2014 05:51 PM

I use a drill press with a fence set up with stop blocks. Makes it easy peasy to drill repeated 35 mm holes in just the right spot. I made a template from a piece of door stock with both holes drilled in the exact spot from either end and spaced accordingly in from the side (3mm?). Set up is quick and easy; results are perfect.

I think you should consider other options and practice on some scrap.
Good luck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3005 days

#5 posted 03-25-2014 06:22 PM

You can probably use these boring bits, since you have a plunge router w/variable speed. I’ve drilled lots of holes with a router, you need to use the lowest rpms. Use an awl or small drill bit to mark the center of hole, the drad point on the boring bit will find it. Just practice on some samples first. You problaby will need a sleeve for it, since most are 10mm shanks. Lots of different brands and prices. You will want to make sure your router base has an opening large enough, some do, some don’t
best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View DIY_G's profile


5 posts in 1549 days

#6 posted 03-26-2014 01:42 AM

Thank you all for your suggestions. It’s very much appreciated.

I was doing some research and I came across the Freud router bit 12-186
What are your opinions about using large sized bits on a plunge router. My router has a variable speed so I can lower to 10,000 rpms.

View barringerfurniture's profile


223 posts in 1737 days

#7 posted 03-26-2014 01:57 AM

I use a 1 3/8” forstner bit in a cordless drill to drill for those hinges all the time. Works just fine. Usually those hinge packages come with a template to mark to screw locations too.

I know they say 35mm but 1 3/8” is fine and once the screws are in, they’re solid as a rock.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3005 days

#8 posted 03-26-2014 02:27 AM

DIy-G I think you would do better with a boring bit to cut hinges in. The straight bit you show would be hard to control straight in and out. It would want to wonder around. Those bits are more for rabbeting or cutting grooves. Sorry my previous link doesn’t work properly. Or like Scott says a drill will work, if you don’t have very many to do.
Best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3256 days

#9 posted 03-26-2014 03:17 AM

@ OP – since you are just getting started in woodworking, a drill press could be a great addition. You would be surprised at how often you will use it.

Harbor Freight sells one that is fairly affordable, especially with a 25% discount coupon.

Good luck. That big bit in a hand held router could be dangerous. Please be careful.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1590 days

#10 posted 03-26-2014 04:02 AM

A drill press is one of the more inexpensive bench top tools you can acquire. I have a very cheap Ryobi bench top drill press that I use all the time. I bought a new table saw lately and today was my zero clearance insert day. I made 8 table saw inserts for all the blades I have and frequent dado setups.

The drill press was the tool I most used for the table saw inserts. Everything from putting a sanding disc in to round the corners to drilling 4 corners for set screws.

Like what was mentioned above if you go the cheap benchtop version of the drill press you will want to make your own table with a fence and stops.


View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2032 days

#11 posted 03-26-2014 11:52 AM

Do you have a radial arm saw? If you’re in a pinch to get this done and you do have one…. Most RASs have a threaded shaft on the motor opposite where the blade mounts. You can screw on a drill chuck, raise the arm up all the way and insert the forstner bit. Lower the arm to drill. Be sure to clamp the piece to the table so it wont walk or take off on you.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2322 days

#12 posted 03-26-2014 12:11 PM

I’d suggest you pick up a used or cheap bench drill press. It’s not that you can’t drill these holes with a hand drill but you won’t have much depth control or repeatability. Plus you van make stops so all hinge holes are in the same place. Put the $40 you’d spend on the router bit towards a DP.

View stnich's profile


118 posts in 2950 days

#13 posted 03-26-2014 12:28 PM

Try one of these. I’ve
had one of these for years and use it for all kind of things.
I’ve also just made my own jig by drilling a 35mm hole in a piece of wood
and attached a fence to it. Clamp the jig to the door and go a head and drill.
You just have to come up with a way to be consistent with the depth of the hole.

View DIY_G's profile


5 posts in 1549 days

#14 posted 03-27-2014 02:34 AM

I’ve decided to put the project on hold for 2 weeks and until I pick up a drill press.

I am thankful for all of your opinions and suggestions. Thank you all.

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1590 days

#15 posted 03-27-2014 03:11 AM

Even with a very cheap drill press you will be happy for years to come. If you go cheap like I said before you will need to add a table and a fence to it, home made.

Look at my oversized table with the white melamine top in my workshop for my table and fence setup on my cheap ryobi drill press. If you want better close ups pm me and I can send ya some.


showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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