How To Mortise(Cut) A Door Hinge With A Router?

How To Mortise A Door Hinge With A Router

Did you ever discover yourself in a scenario where you had to replace the existing door of a room with a new one? If yes, then you will understand the struggle of fitting a new door in place of the old one.

In the majority of cases, we have seen that homeowners or carpenters have replaced the door frame along with the door to avoid the hassle.

However, replacing the door frame will definitely cost you money, so many people look for ways of fitting their new door in the old frame. You will have to adjust the door hinges to the new door by aligning it with the frame. To do so, you will first have to mortise the door hinges in their proper place.

There are several methods that carpenters or professionals use to mortise a door hinge properly, but we are going to use the easiest method and that is to use a router bit.

Therefore, in this guide, we will discuss how to mortise a door hinge with a router along with other factors associated with the job.

What Does It Mean To Mortise A Door Hinge?

If you have ever replaced an existing door, you will notice that there are no hinges set on the new door. These hinges are set up depending on the locations of the couplings on the door frame.

Mortising a door hinge means that the side of the door will be sanded a bit to set up the hinge in place. However, this process requires proper calculations and careful execution.

Steps On How To Mortise A Door Hinge With A Router

How To Mortise A Door Hinge With A Router

As we discussed above, we will discuss the steps of cutting a door hinge with a door hinge router as it is the easiest method. These steps are:

Step 1: Calculations

The first step of mortising a door hinge is to take proper calculations. Hold the new door next to the door frame and with a pencil and measuring tape, mark the places where the hinges will go. Make sure that the calculations are on point otherwise the door will not set.

Step 2: Select The Door Hinge

Door hinges typically come in two types; one is square-edged while the other one is round around the edges. You will have to make a choice before mortising the door as the shape will have to be according to the hinge.

Step 3: Set Up The Mortising Tools

When it comes to mortising tools, it refers to a mortising jig and router bit. The mortising jig is specifically used to mortise door hinges while the router bit sands the door to set the hinge.

There are quite a few mortising jigs that come with a pre-adjusted router bit while in the majority of the cases, you will have to set it up. Take the router bit and place it in the jig and make sure that you properly adjust the length of the bit depending on the width of the hinge.

Step 4: Score The Door

After setting up the jig and the router bit, it is now time to score the door to make sure that the size and location is correct. Place the hinge on the door to score the shape of it on the door with a scoring blade.

However, make sure that you put a bit of space on the hinge and do not place it completely on the door, so it adjusts to the frame properly.

Step 5: Mortise The Door Hinge

Once you are done with scoring, you will now have to mortise the door hinge properly. Set up the mortising jig with the router inside on the door but make sure that the jig is turned off.

Once the jig and the router are in place, turn it on and mortise the door according to the scoring in a clockwise direction. You have to make sure that the area is equally sanded otherwise the hinge will not set properly.

Step 5: Add Finishing Touches

In most of the cases, you will notice that the edges of the mortise are uneven and the router jig cannot easily reach those areas. To smoothen out those parts, you area. Once the entire area is evened out, place the hinges on the door and see if it fits perfectly or not. Hold the hinge to the door and drill the areas where the nails will go.

Tips And Precautions On How To Cut Door Hinges With A Router

Proper Measurements

When it comes to mortising a door hinge on a new door according to the existing frame, you will have to make sure that the measurements are in place. Each and every door hinge has to be in its proper place and at equal distance from one other. Use a measuring tape and pen to put down the markings in place.

Be Careful While Setting Up The Jig And The Bit

While setting up the bit and the mortising jig, you will have to be careful and make sure that it fits perfectly.

Place the router bit in the jig carefully and adjust it according to the width or thickness of the door hinge to make sure that you do not mortise more than you have to.

Wear Protective Eyewear And Gloves

When turned on, the router bit is sharp enough to cut or sand wood, meaning that it can easily hurt your fingers if you do not maintain proper precautions. Wear protective gloves and make sure to keep your fingers away from the bit.

Do not forget to wear protective eyewear as it will protect the wood sanding or pieces from getting into your eyes.

Carefully Chisel The Last Bits

As we discussed above, there are quite a few pieces or areas that are hard to reach with the help of a mortising jig and router bit. In cases like these, you will have to use a chisel blade to remove the rest of the areas.

You have to carefully use the chisel blade to make sure that you do not mortise more than you have to or hurt your fingers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It Essential To Mortise A Door Hinge?

Whether you are installing a new door or replacing an existing one, you will have to mortise a door hinge. Without mortising the door hinge, you cannot connect it with the door frame and the door will not fit in place.

2. Are There Any Alternatives Of Mortising A Door Hinge?

There are quite a few alternative methods that you can use to mortise a door hinge instead of using a router. You can either do it with the help of a chisel and hammer or you can mortise it with the help of a router bit without any jig.

3. Can I Mortise A Door Hinge By Myself?

If you are aware of woodworking and have the required tools, you can mortise a door hinge by yourself. However, we do prefer the work done by professionals as they are more accurate and even.

If you are doing it by yourself, make sure that you get the calculations and scoring on point, otherwise the whole process will fail.

Final Words

Replacing an old or damaged door with a new one is one of the most basic home improvement projects. Even though replacing a door is not a tough task, mortising a door hinge does require hard work and concentration.

But now that you know how to mortise a door hinge with a router, you can easily replace your existing door without having to replace the entire frame. Make sure that you follow the precautions properly and work safely.

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