Hand Tools Archive

Hinge installation *PIC*

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
It is spring, or at least it was until today when the temperature dropped 40 degrees. Spring flower hikes and garden planting has slowed the display cabinet. Today's bad weather drove me into the shop.

Power tools remove a lot of material quickly. In cases where a little material removal is needed power tools can remove too much quickly. It is in these cases where I turn to hand tools. One of my favorite, because it works so well and requires so little skill to use, is the router plane.

I am fitting doors to display cabinet. I don’t do this operation often enough to ensure a good fit on the first try. Indeed, when I test fit the door I thought the gap (1/16”) was too great. To get the gap closed to a more ideal 1/32 I needed to increase the depth of the hinge mortise 1/64”, a trivial task with the router plane.

First I made scoring cuts with a chisel, driving it into the mortise at a steep angle (so as to loosen a chip) to an estimated 1/64” depth. Next the router plane easily deepened the mortise the required amount.

I haven’t snugged the screws for the picture. When I do the gap will close to an acceptable amount with no risk of binding.

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