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Doors & Windows

How do I align hinge mortise template on new door & new jamb? I haven't installed jamb yet

I've a new interior door slab and jamb materials. I have a router, a hinge mortise template, and the correct router cutter to do the job but I'm not clear on the best way to procede to cut the mortises. I did this for 3 doors many years ago with the same equipment but I've no clue how I did it. Do I first cut the mortises on either the door or the jamb & then somehow transfer those locations to the other or is there a good way to mark both the door & jamb in one operation so that they match up?  As a first step, I imagine I need to cut the jamb for the hinge side of the door to length and determine where the top of the door will be with respect to the top of the jamb. Hopefully, you can point me to detailed instructions or video. I think that I can manage the actual cutting operation, once I've got the templates aligned.

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Posted 2013-09-22T03:12:17+0000  by 2DIY 2DIY

They actually make templates for doing exactly that, but they're pretty expensive for a one time use.  Maybe you could locate one at a rental center.   Both Bosch and Porter-Cable make one.



The other alternative involves careful measurement and layout.  The good news is that because you're replacing the door and jamb, the placement of hinges is somewhat arbitrary because you don't need to match anything.  Although if you have any doors nearby, you probably want to get at least close to the hinge spacing on that door.


I found this document online that looks like it has plenty of useful information.  It looks like it comes from a company that sells prehung doors but still has plenty of information.  Gary Katz has written the Doorhanger's Handbook which would be another useful resource.



Posted 2013-09-22T16:10:24+0000  by Adam444


Thanks Adam4  for your input. I was aware of the device you mentioned but knew that it was way too expensive for this one-time application. It's the "careful measurement and layout" approach that I'm planning to pursue, It's just that there are several possible ways for that to be done and I'm hoping to identify the easiest and/or least susceptible to error. Sure wish that I could remember how I did those three doors about 40 years ago; too bad that I didn't buy the rig you mentioned back then (so I'd have it and wouldn't be faced with this problem).  I'll look into the references you mentioned. I'd looked online at several handiman websites and found nothing useful. After looking through all 10 pages of questions in the "windows and doors" part of this site, I decided to post my question. Thanks again for your suggestions.

Posted 2013-09-22T18:50:36+0000  by 2DIY

I'm going to assume we're talking about an ordinary 80" door that you just need to hang.  I would suggest that all measurements start from the top.  Let's say you put your hinges at 7", 29", and 65".  That would be the top of the mortise for the hinge on the JAMB.  For the door, you want an 1/8" gap between the top of the door and the jamb.  So the measurements for the top of the mortises on the door would be 6 7/8", 28 7/8", and 64 7/8".  The net effect is that it moves the door down relative to the frame by 1/8".  It just takes careful measurement and remember to measure at least three times and cut once. :smileyfrustrated:


If you have a router, Porter-Cable makes a nice little single hinge mortise template for about $30, including a bit.  I've used it on a number of ocassions and it works pretty darn well.  I've never used it on the jamb but I suppose it would work but you'll probably need to make some practice cuts on a scap to figure out the exact placement.  You'll need to remove the stop.


Posted 2013-09-23T17:56:32+0000  by Adam444
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