Anyone try the Kreg hinge jig?

In my work, I rarely build more than a "one off" to replace a cabinet. Hav en't done a kitchen full of cabinets in 20 years... don't miss it! I used to use a plastic jig with index lines to mark where I drilled for hidden hi nges. Marked, then off to the drill press. My little gauge is long lost ( see the Rockler version) and I have simply marked my doors one at a time si nce I will usually do no more than two to six doors on a replacement.
But one of my amigos is going to build a few cabinets for himself and wants to put concealed hinges on the doors. I am used to measuring and for mult iple doors or hardware pieces I always make a marking jig. (That way, if I screw up everything is wrong!) He can't measure well, doesn't understand j igs, and has no drill press.
I found this, and remember it was quite a bit more $$ in an earlier iterati on. Gets great reviews, and even comes with that pesky 35mm bit with carbid e cutters! Seems like a helluva steal, but just interested to see if anyon e has used one of these. They sell them everywhere, about this price:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Seems he could just clamp with a couple of squeeze clamps and drill away af ter getting set up. Certainly inexpensive enough to buy for the few cabine ts he is going to make. Would really like to try it out myself!
Anyone use one of these? Thoughts? Keep in mind this isn't a production t ool and he isn't opening a shop. He might do about 6=8 doors on this fir st go around.
Robert
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On 1/11/18 4:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

*IF* it's a great bit, it might be worth the price to just try it out. I bought a really nice cutting bit and use my small (portable) drill press set up with stops. https://www.woodcraft.com/products/forstner-bit-carbide-tipped-35mm That's what I use, with a shop vac to suck up the chips, when I have o drill a lot of these. That jig seems like a good way to go about it when you only have a few doors and don't already own a good bit. I can't imagine that bit being sharp for very long, but again, if you're only doing a few doors, ok.
--

-MIKE-

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The only concern I might have is with the cam adjustmnts that position the jig from the stile edge of the door. That distance, normally 1/8" on euro hinges, is critical. Too far away from the edge and the door will rub the face frame every time the door is opened or closed.
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On 1/12/18 8:43 AM, Leon wrote:

Seems he could just clamp with a couple of squeeze clamps and drill away

I watched the promo video on that link. I guess the pros for it are the depth stop and horizontal guide, the guide holes for the hinge screws, and the fact that the 35mm bit is quickly removable. BTW, it *is* the same style of bit I have, with the carbide cutters that slice a the circumference of the hole before hogging out the inside-- so I guess that's another pro.
The cons in my mind... -The have an adjustable edge stop, why no integrated vertical positioning stop? -Two clamps!? I mean, I know there's no way to clamp the center of the thing. My guess is, after about 3 holes, you're going to quit using one or both clamps. Once the 35mm bit enters the surface of the door, it's not going anywhere.
In any case, considering I high quality 35mm bit can be 30 bucks, alone, I think it would be great for someone who's not real confident at drilling for cup hinges. I'm not sure that would save you or I any time or accuracy. I can use a marking guide and have door 6 hole locations marked on the door by the time I lined that thing up to a mark. Then I can have the first cup hole drilled, free hand (using the height of the bit as a depth guide) before I'd have those two clamped attached. That would get me through 3 or 4 doors, until I decided I wanted to set up a drill press station.
If someone were buying this to replace hinges in their entire kitchen, they'd be better off getting a drill press and setting up a station with stops. You can get an able bench-top press for well under $100.
--

-MIKE-

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I'm not following. Isn't that what the cam adjustments are for on the jig? Are you saying that they may not be sturdy enough to hold it well?
And Mike, good thoughts on the drill bit. They sell this contraption at Woo dcraft so I can go over there sometime next week and make sure the carbide bit has two little ears on it that cut as well. I remember way back when wh en the cheaper sets did not have that.
Robert
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On 1/12/2018 10:47 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I would want to see how the cams lock to the predetermined position. If a friction fit they could simply slip out of adjustment, cams by design are supposed to slip over a surface. With out a hard solid stop I would be skeptical. Not saying that this is a problem but I have bought some Kreg jigs that were not well thought out. The Shelf pin jig for instance. If you use more than one shelf pin jig the assembly binds. BTDT.

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On 1/12/18 10:57 AM, Leon wrote:

From the video, it looks like there's a pretty good "click" happening when the cam is turned. It looks like it needs a good amount of force to turn. I don't know if that means anything, but it's just something I observed.
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-MIKE-

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On 1/12/2018 11:08 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Yes, if it clicks into a detent setting it should be adequate.
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On 1/12/18 10:47 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It does have the "ears" on the edges. https://www.kregtool.com/store/c61/hardware-installation-accessories/p407/35mm-concealed-hinge-jig-bit/ Considering they sell the replacement bit for 17 bucks, it makes me wonder how long it would stay sharp.
The expensive bit I have did noticeably dull about 2/3 into the project for which I bought it. The "ears" didn't dull and still cut perfectly clean edges, but the flat "hogging" cutting edges seemed to slow down quite a bit. At least they're flat and can be resharpened on the fly.
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-MIKE-

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On Jan 11, 2018, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote

I have never used this jig, but when I did my usual Amazon assessment by reading thr one-star reviews, then too-star, and so on, a few bg themes emerged: The forstner drill bit is too dull to be used, from the start. The design does not allow adequate shaving excavation. The plastic bearing that aligns and locates the fostner bit soon melts (probably due to and/or triggered by the dull fostner bit heating up).
At which point I baled out.
Joe Gwinn
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On Friday, January 12, 2018 at 3:24:15 PM UTC-6, Joseph Gwinn wrote:

I am glad you pointed that out. When a product only has 3% one star review s, and 3% 2 star reviews, I just glance a them.
After reading you post I went to them and read all the reviews. It seems t hat at least most want a hard use, professionally engineered, metal jig wit h hardened drill inserts and infinitely adjustable location controls made f rom metal to meet their standards. When WoodPeckers release their jigs to t hat standard (such as their doweling jig), they are in the $500 - $700 cost range, when available. For my buddy, I doubt he will do more than 6 doors on this project.
This is a $30 jig that includes the bit. Could there be improvements? Sur e. Hit that price point? Doubtful. Will any jig make everyone happy? No pe. BTW, reading the 4 star reviews, on most reviews I wasn't sure why the y gave it a 4 instead of a five as the reviewers seemed pleased. And one of the guys that gave it three stars said that the bit didn't hold up when us ing it in his router...!!
The salient points made by Leon and Mike are certainly the most pertinent. (Thanks, guys!)
I found that the cams have 1mm click stop movement. No reports of them not being adjustable enough to work well, except in one of the one star review s where one cabinet maker declared that sometimes it all comes down to 1/2 millimeter for accuracy. From a plastic jig with a hand held drill? Yeah, right. If it comes down to 1/2 of one millimeter (0.019") to make your pro jects correct when using a hand held plastic jig, then you should be doing brain surgery, not making cabinets. So, I will check Leon's box.
So Mike, your observation seems to have some merit as a few folks thought t he forstner bits weren't sharp. This could be something, it could be nothin g. Forstner bits weren't meant to be used by hand, so it's hard to get a g ood take on this one. On one hand I would doubt that the home woodworker wo uld know that drilling hard white oak with this contraption by hand would b e a bad idea, but on the other Kreg doesn't provide any warning about drill ing really hard woods, small knots, or anything else. It also doesn't warn against running your drill at high speed. I think I will meet with him to check out the bit before he uses it if he gets the jig at WoodCraft.
While I can't find anything I like better, my complaint would be different from both of those. It has a scales on it to enable you to measure every t ime for accuracy. For me, the key to a good jig is its repeatability. I d on't like the fact that this jig requires a manual placement each time it i s used to determine the offset from the top or bottom of the door. I think Kreg licensed this from someone that was making it as there are multiple p roducers of this jig. Many Chinese stores on Aliexpress have this jig and have had it for some time. The Chinese version looks almost exactly like th e Kreg but it has stop pins on it to speed the indexing and placement and c omes with the 1/16" drill bit. With two adjacent sides positively indexed, you should probably be able use just one clamp in operation, which isn't a vailable on the Kreg.
If my buddy was a little more trusting of his skills, I would help him do w hat I did when these jigs were almost impossibly expensive and still didn't work. First, with a bunch pf doors to do, I used my bench drill press and a lucite marking jig from Woodcraft. Then, a 35mm bit and a stop collar. Done.
These days, if I had just a few to do I would make my jig out of 1x4, with indexes in where I wanted them, and using the 1x4 setup as a guide, drill d own with a bit/stop collar setup. Yes, the jig would only be good for one s ize hinge from one manufacturer but would be quick to make and test. Sadly , he is still at the phase of his woodworking experience where he feels he needs exactly the right store bought tool for the job, so a two sided frame of 1x4 with a template centered in it would be too much for him to trust.
Thanks for the input!
Robert
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On 1/12/18 7:25 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I suspected that the bit might not be the best, but surly the thing can cut 12 holes. I just made a test cut in some rock maple with the bit I got from Woodcraft. The holes edges, cut by the pointed wings, were pristine. When it got to the flat cutting edges for hogging, it slowed down a lot and stalled. Of course, I may be going too fast. But also, all the edges on this bit can be hand sharpened.

If I had a woodworking school or taught it, after learning proper tool use, I would spend the next sessions in teaching how to build 10 or 12 essential jigs. And I wouldn't show them any up front-- they'd have to make their first attempts with their minds and intuition.
No building anything until they learned to build simple jigs.
--

-MIKE-

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I have a couple of cabinet doors that need hinges, so I ordered the Kreg jig, it arrived yesterday. I'll give it a try this afternoon and report back. First impressions were that it was definitely worth the price - the forstner bit looks well made with nickers and full carbide cutters.
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On 1/15/18 9:21 AM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Looking forward to the report.
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-MIKE-

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tl;dnr The jig worked as advertised.
After removing from the blisterpack, and RTFM, I removed the handy click-on protective cap from the bit, wiped the thin coat of light oil and inspected the carbide cutters.
There are two full radius carbide cutters with two diamond shaped carbide nickers leading each cutter by 90 degrees.
<
http://www.lurndal.org/images/forstner_bit.jpg
After removing the drill collar from the base, I installed the bit and snugged the stop collar up to the ledge milled into the shank at the correct point to produce the correct depth-of-cut. The supplied allen wrench stores conveniently in a snap-in space on the bottom of the base of the jig.
I clamped the stock in the tailvise, then clamped the jig to the stock/bench, chucked the bit into the drill, installed the guide into the base (a quarter turn locks it in place) and drilled the hole effortlessly. The bit cut clean and fast.
<
http://www.lurndal.org/images/done_drilling.jpg
Two holes on the jig guide a 1/16" bit to pre-drill for the hinge screws.
<
http://www.lurndal.org/images/final_hole.jpg
The offset from the edge of the stile was exactly as specified per the manual with the offset adjustment cams set to 5. The cams are solid and will not shift in use.
Worth the price, at least with one hole drilled so far, I see no reason that this wouldn't suffice for someone who builds a few cabinets anually, and may even be more convenient than a drill press in some cases.
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On Monday, January 15, 2018 at 9:21:15 AM UTC-6, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Like MIKE, I am too! Will be good to hear from a voice you can trust.
Robert
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On Monday, January 15, 2018 at 10:21:15 AM UTC-5, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Awaiting the report!
If possible, please include your opinion on longevity. I eventually will need to install 40-ish hinges in doors made from 1 x poplar.
As Leon has mentioned, Kreg jigs typically look like a great idea, but don't always live up to their (own) hype.
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On 1/15/18 1:15 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Do you have a drill press? It goes pretty fast with a press and vac hose attached.
--

-MIKE-

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On Monday, January 15, 2018 at 2:48:14 PM UTC-5, -MIKE- wrote:

Yes, a bench-top DP, for which I made a 18" deep x 24" wide table for.
I'm sure it will work with a couple of stops attached, but I'm still interested in the jig - as apparently are you. ;-)
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On 1/15/18 1:55 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It would be nice to have in a toolbox in the van for just such an occasion. IF it's all it's cracked up to be. I don't like jigs that make the job slower than I could do it without the jig. :-)
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