Routing Hinge Mortises
This month Fine Woodworking introduced a “clever new jig” to guide the routing of mortises for butt hinges on small boxes. I introduced the type of template and routing technique in an earlier issue of FWW, but also in my books dating back to 2001, and in an article I wrote for Woodwork magazine while this century was quite young.
The jig they introduce is in fact pretty nice, but certainly not state of the art. In order to do left then right, the jig needs to be taken apart and reassembled between steps. I have a similar jig (as shown) that does not need to be altered in use. In fact, you simply slide the jig left, clamp in place, then rout, then slide right to rout the matching hinge mortise. Blocks of wood along one edge and at each end make certain of its location on the box. So it is essentially fool proof. Squaring the corners of the mortises is done with a chisel using the template as a guide. The photo shows how it can be clamped on the left and right on the lid and body of a box.
This jig is useful for boxes up to 11 inches long and took less than 15 minutes to make. It can be just as quickly made for other sizes of hinge. I plan to make another one for even smaller boxes.
Make, fix and create… Teach others to do likewise.