Drilling cabinet doors


Wednesday and its time for more on cabinet doors and yet another jig.  This time we had an entire kitchens worth of cabinet doors made by a cabinet company but none of them were drilled for hinges.  Hinges can get crazy.  You might think oh hinges are hinges, but not so much. There are hinges that mount on the outside or are hidden, some that mount on cabinets with face frames or without, several different overlay amounts (when the door is closed how far does the door cover over the stile) and soft close or not and it seems that every different manufacturer has discovered a slightly different way to accomplish these and other features.  But fear not for once you figure out what you actually need a jig can be made that makes it easy to drill many holes with a high degree of precision. For this jig I used a piece of wood cut to 8″ long and I added a strip of wood on the back along one side so it can bump against the side of the door.  The hole is drilled so that it leaves 1/8″ of wood on the side of the door.  Different hinges need holes drilled in different places.  For these doors we decided to put the hinges 3″ from the top and 3″ from the bottom.  So the jig was made with little holes above and below the big hole exactly at 3 inches.  There’s a little nail with some blue tape on it in the picture and that’s to put through the small hole and use it as a stop so they can bump on the top or the bottom of the door so it puts the center hole where it’s going to be drilled right at 3 inches from the edge.  That way you can make them very consistent and it’s easy to line up quickly.  There are three clamps in the picture I’ve got one of them on the upper left hand corner of the door it’s there clamping the the the door to the table beneath it and the other two are clamping the jig in place so that it doesn’t move when it is being drilled.
Thankfully on all the European hinges Iv’e seen they use the same size hole. For all the holes needed at posistions other than 3″ there is a line on far side of the jig that doesn’t show up in the picture that lines up with the center of the large hole. 
   The way I use this jig is to clamp the door to the table with a little bit of the left and near edge hanging over then slide the jig to the right spot for that hole and clamp it down on both sides. Then drill through the big hole in the jig part way down to get the hole started then remove the jig and drill the rest of the way down.  You know when to stop when the drill bit is flush with the surface of the door.  It is definitely more difficult to translate a 3 dimensional thing and a process into words than it is to do it.

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