How to Make a Hinge Jig


There is no denying that using full mortise hinges really elevate your piece from good to great; however, installing them can seem very intimidating. This simple jig can be very useful and will take the fear and guesswork out of cutting the mortises for your fine hinges.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch by 6-inch piece of 1/2-inch plywood
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 2-inch by 6-inch by 3/4-inch piece of hardwood
  • Two screws 1/4-inch by 1 1/4-inch

Making the jig

  • Center a leaf of the hinge on an edge and at the center of the 4-inch by 6-inch piece of 1/2-inch plywood. Trace the leaf onto the plywood to create a template for making the mortise.

  • Measure out from these lines to accommodate the distance between your router collet and the router bit you will use to cut the mortise. For example, if you have a 1/4-inch cutting bit and a 1/2-inch collet, the difference is 1/8 of an inch; when you divide that in half, you get the offset, which is 1/16 of an inch.

  • Cut the section out you just marked using the best and safest method you have available. Your layout lines are the outside lines of the cutout, so you want to make you cut just up to these lines.

  • Lay the 4-inch by 6-inch piece of 1/2-inch plywood on the surface you are going to mortise. Align the front edge of the plywood with the front edge of the workpiece. Mark the back edge of the workpiece on the plywood.

  • Place the 2-inch by 6-inch hardwood strip on these marks and attach it using the 1/4-inch by 1 1/4-inch screws. This is the fence that will butt against the outside of your workpiece.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use the same size hinge for many projects, you can simply reuse this jig over and over again for consistent results.
  • Woodworking can be dangerous. Always read and follow the manufacturers instructions and always use safety glasses.

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