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    Part II—Router Template for Perfect Quadrant Hinges





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    Tools and Materials

    In Part I of this two-part series on using router templates to install tricky quadrant hinges, we focused on building a simple template for use with a router, a guide-bushing, and a 5/16-in. straight-cutting bit. Now in Part II, we’ll put our template to work as we excavate our hinge mortises as well as the lid-stay mortises.

    Keep in mind that making your own template for quadrant hinge installation can be a bit tricky. I highly recommend trying out your template on a box mock-up made from scrap wood before committing to a final project. Remember the old adage: “measure twice, cut once.”


    How to Make

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Guide Busing is Key: Remember, the template we made to rout this quadrant hinge requires a 1/2-in. (outside diameter) guide bushing. The bushing rides within the template to create the mortise. So don’t worry when you notice the template’s cut-out is far larger than your actual hinge.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Depth of Cut: Set your router’s depth of cut to the thickness of your template plus that of the hinge leaf. For this particular Brusso hinge, I’m using a 5/16-in. straight-cutting router bit.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Center the Router Bit: Keep in mind that the router bit needs to be perfectly centered within the bushing. If there’s any variance here at all, just loosen the screws on your router’s base plate a bit and slide the base plate around until you’ve achieved a perfectly centered bit.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Clamp Your Workpiece: You’ll need to clamp the box to your benchtop. Then slide the template in between and clamp the lid, to the template’s fence and the box side. Make sure everything is nicely secured.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Bushing Does the Work: Here you can get an idea of what’s going on. the bushing will ride within the template—it’s perfectly sized. The router bit is centered within that bushing, so the resulting mortise will be narrower than the openings in your template.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Rout Away: With everything securely clamped, it’s just a matter of routing out the mortise. But there’s a catch....

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Chip-Out’s a Drag: Notice the chip-out I’ve highlighted in red? There’s an easy way to avoid this from happening around fragile corners. Use a bit of painter’s tape to stop blow-out in its tracks.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Tape to the Rescue: For the opposing hinge mortise, I’ve used yellow painter’s tape to help prevent chip-out. Everything’s now securely clamped and ready to rout.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Mark for Fasteners and Lid-Stays: Now use a pencil to mark the location of the six mounting screws for each hole. Then use your pencil again, to make a quick mark denoting the location of the hinge’s lid-stay mechanism. But keep in mind, the actual mortise you need to cut for the lid-stay is larger than you think (see next step).

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Lid-Stay Mortise Dimensions: When laying out for the lid-stay mortise, you need to take into account two things: 1) the stay is curved, so the actual mortise required is longer than the mortise in the actual hinge. Notice the two pencil lines I’ve drawn out on my bench to denote the stay mortise’s actual required width. 2) This stay is 1-1/2-in. long. That means that each mortise (lid and box base) will need to be excavated to a depth of 3/4-in. We’ll tackle that at the drill press.

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Brad Point Bit Tackles Lid-Stay Mortises: Use a brad point bit to drill a series of holes (side-by-side) for the lid-stay mortises. You can clean things up a bit further with a small chisel later on if need-be. Follow up with a few holes for your mounting screws, and you're done!

    Guide Busing is Keyclick to enlarge

    Here’s the Idea: If all goes well, your lid-stay should fit down into the box about 3/4-in. (maybe a hair more to be safe). Now it’s time to attach the hinges. Here’s a tip. Pre-tap the screw holes using a strong steel screw that’s the same size as your brass screws. It’ll help the soft brass screws go in more easily and prevent the heads from snapping off under high torque. You can also apply a small dap of paste wax to each screw to help send them home more easily.



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