Can mortise cuts for hinges be made with a router?


Hi,
I'm terrible with the chisel and wondering whether a router can be used to make moretise cuts for hinges. I imagine that you would need to have curved corners in the cuts. Is that so? In that case, do there exist 1 1/2" hinges with curved corners?
Many thanks in advance!
Aaron Fude
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Yes to the router. Not sure about the hinges but it's not hard to square the corners after you have the bulk routed out.
Jim

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There is probably not a faster way to do multiple doors, there are router hinge templates readily available or you can make your own, and hinges are also available with rounded corners.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes it can. There are a number of templates out there, or you can make your own. As for the corners, you should be able to square up the corners with a chisel. If that operation is beyond your skill set you probably should look into some adult ed woodworking classes.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes it can. There are a number of templates out there, or you can make your own. As for the corners, you should be able to square up the corners with a chisel. If that operation is beyond your skill set you probably should look into some adult ed woodworking classes.
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approach. You can buy or make a template, but I don't do it that way. I use my "trim router" because freehanding with a router makes me nervous and smaller is easier to control. The bite that you need to take for most mortises is pretty small so even the smallest router is more than enough.
I mark out the mortise just like as if I we going to chisel it out by hand (except no need to mark the depth) and the hog out most of the material freehand. I then clean up with a chisel.
The base of your router should be twice as wide as your hinge so that it can be well-supported. If you are routing the thin edge of a board, it held to clamp a board along that edge for a little extra support.
Try one on scrap first to get the hang of it and you will fine it to be pretty straightforward
-Steve
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As many have stated, it's pretty easy to square rounded corners with a flat chisel, but if you're 90 challenged, you can use a chisel similar to what Norm uses to cut corners for hinges. Norm's is spring loaded, this one is magnetic.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&pD837&cat=1,41504,41541&ap=1
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Hi,
Thanks for all the responses, but I would like to admit that I'm absolutely clueless and have never used a router (rather I'm evaluating whether to get one b/c the number of tasks for which I need one is growing).
Can you point to a reference that talks about how templates work?
Also, to give me the most basic of ideas, for a task like this: do I move the router while the wood is stationary or do move the wood while the router is stationary?
Thanks!
Aaron Fude
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The Woodworking Channel runs the Router Workshop. They rerun a lot. What has been running for a few weeks are various shows but there is one hanging doors. He even show exactly how to built a jig for mortising hinges. Watch them all, you'll learn a lot. http://www.thewoodworkingchannel.com /

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You can gain a great deal of knowledge reading Aaron, but I strongly suggest you take a few woodworking classes first. At a bare minimum, get a woodworking friend to mentor you a bit. There's a number of things you're going to have to experience first hand that reading or viewing just doesn't teach you, especially in regards to safety. A router will be very intimidating at first and can be relatively dangerous if you haven't used one before.
To be honest, I'd recommend you become familiar with a number of hand tools first, like the use of a chisel in this case. It sounds like you're trying to jump into the deep end without going through some of the basics first. No offence intended. I'd sooner you start a little slower now than lament the loss of a few fingers down the road.
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Upscale wrote:

Amen to that, Upscale. I read this thread a bit, and wondered about saying something about chisels.
I was clueless about chisels when I started too, but that's all I had. A router was something I worked myself into. But I took a couple of classes and discovered how easy it can be to use a chisel, and just as importantly, how to keep one blindingly sharp. Which may be the issue here. Once a chisel is sharp, the cuts you're talking about making for the hinges become dead simple.
I'm a great adherent of power tools. They can simplify and speed up a lot of jobs. But at some point, hand tools are gonna come up and have to be used. The squaring off of the router cuts is as good an example as any. And hand tools are not nearly as intimidating as they seem. Not once you have a feel for them. But that comes with a bit of practice.
Tanus
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On 30 Jul 2006 07:14:19 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I typically use a router to cut hinge mortises. It is very easy once you construct a jig and use a collar for your (light-weight) router. It's easy and fast to cut out the round corners with a sharp chisel--I have not yet bought a square chisel for this particular use. I've seen rounded corners in hinges, though not in all sizes.
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Screw the hinge onto the door in the place that it should be. Then trace around the hinge with a sharp utility knife making a cut about as deep as the hinge.
Take off the hinge and it should be easy for just about anyone to chisel it out the area that you just outlined, and you'll have a nice, clean mortise without a router. Just chisel with the grain toward the center of the area rather than towards the edges so you don't run over. If you need to chisel towards the edge, make sure that the line that you cut with the knife is deep enough
I've done it many times. Use the same method for the striker and bolt plates.
Your best friend in hanging doors is a hinge bit or "Vix bit" to get your screws nice and straight.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)54288209/ref=pd_bbs_6/002-9814774-9542469?ie=UTF8
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Some tools that will make the job a little easier:
Corner Mortising Chisel - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 88&sid989 Mortising Jig - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page "90&sid989 Hinge Mortise Router bits (not essential but may be useful nonetheless) - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?paged&sid 989
Dean

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Yes, it's quite common actually. The hinges are readily available with a corner radius to match 1/2" router bits and other sizes also. I believe even HD and Lowes stock them. There are also commercially available router guide jigs for cutting common hinge sizes, or it's not too hard to make your own.
Personally I've always used a chisel and square-corner hinges. Read up on the usual technique and practice a few times and you'll likely use a chisel too.
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