I'm doing a reno project and have many doors which need to be replaced or
fiddle with. I've been using the tried and true hammer and chisel to cut or
recut the existing hinge mortises on the frames. My question is: is there an
easier way to do this? Possibly with a laminate router or some jig that can
speed up the process. Cutting by hand works it's just time consuming. Mostly
I need a method that work on the frame not the door. The door is the easy
part, well a bit easier. Thx.
Yes - you can get a Stanley template for use with a router and it comes with
the correct router bit. All you need to do is square the corners if you're
using that kind of hinge. If you have the rounded corner hinges - job done.
As I recall, cost was about $30 for a piece of plastic and the router bit
but it's tough, won't break easily and worked as advertised. Mines out in
the shop gathering dust....
For one door, I use a laminate router freehand. I also have a Bosch
jig that I use if I have a bunch to do. The jig is $225 or so, but
you could probably off it on eBay if you don't need to keep it.
If you have a guide bushing and a straight cutter for your router you
can easily make a jig out of plywood to do one pocket at a time. If
you have a long enough straight cutter you can make the jig where it
lays over the stop so that you don't even have to remove the stop. It
will take a little time to make the jig but will be worth it if you
have many to do.
You can also buy a one-pocket-at-a-time jig or you can also buy the
larger jigs that set up two or three pockets in one set-up. If you
think you may have to do this process on other jobs, I'd go ahead and
buy one. Most of these jigs will come with a guide bushing which may
or may not fit your particular brand of router. We normally use a
1/2" diameter straight cutter which works for a 1/4" radius hinge or
is easily chiseled to be a square corner. Some prehungs we see now
have been mortised with a 1" bit and have the 1/2" radius hinges.
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