Canadian Woodworking

Kreg concealed hinge boring jig

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Simple and effective.

Author: Rob Brown
Photos: Rob Brown

When I look at a jig my main thoughts are whether it will be accurate, offer repeatable operations and leave me with the quality I need. It was no different when I looked at this jig for the first time. I do all of my boring for concealed European hinges on a drill press, as I have for the past 30 years. While there are advantages to using a drill press for this oper­ation, what I learned was there are absolutely advantages to using this jig, too.

Kreg Concealed Hinge Boring Jig KHI-Hinge
MSRP: $32.99
Website: KregTool.com

Setup was simple. Within a couple of minutes, I had oriented myself with all its functions. It’s not a jig that will do a dozen things for you; a few basic (yet important) operations are all this jig promises, and it delivers. It will help you bore one 35mm hole to accept the hinge and two 1/16″ pilot holes to locate the pair of screws to squarely fix the hinge to the door.

There are a few simple steps to take before drilling a hinge hole. First, slide on the depth-stop collar to the shaft of the supplied 35mm bit and let it drop to the larger portion of the shaft. There, secure it in place with a hex key. This location will set the depth for a 5/8″ thick or 3/4″ thick door. If, for some reason, you wanted to drill a deeper hole, you can just adjust the location of the stop collar farther away from the cutting end of the bit. Naturally, I checked the depth on a piece of scrap the same thickness as the doors I had to drill and was happily surprised when it fit well and didn’t come through the show side of the door. The 35mm bit then gets inserted through the circular bit base, then the circular bit base gets chucked into a drill. This circular bit base helps steady the bit while boring and locate it accurately in the base of the jig.

 

A Simple Twist
A Simple Twist – The main adjustment needed before using this jig is to set the hinge setback. With a twist of a screwdriver, it’s easy to adjust the setback to between 3mm and 6mm.

 

Next, adjust the setback of the jig to locate the 35mm hole a cer­tain distance away from the hinged edge of the door. Refer to the hinge literature for this info, or do a test fit with some scrap. Once you’ve adjusted the setback, you can clamp the jig in place. Most concealed hinges can be bored sightly up or down the door without a problem. Only some hinges, like those for a pocket door system, will require being bored an exact distance away from the top or bottom of the door. There’s a scale on the edge of the jig if exact measurements are needed. I just added a pencil mark where I wanted the hinge, clamped the jig in place and drilled it. I will admit, this jig tended to move ever so slightly on my first few uses, but once I realized a bit more clamping pressure was all that was needed, I was off to the races.

The process is simple: install the circular bit base in the jig; bore the hole; and remove the circular bit base from the jig. The icing on the cake is next. Once the circular bit base is removed from the jig, two small holes are visible. Drill through them with a 1/16″ diameter bit to bore the pilot holes for the hinge screws. Again, always test the depth of your bit before drilling into nearly completed doors.

Two Easy Pilot Holes
Two Easy Pilot Holes – Once the 35mm hinge hole has been bored, remove that bit and bore the two 1/16″ pilot holes to attach the hinges. This helps keep the hinge plumb to the edge of the door and not split the material while installing the screws.

This jig works as well as my drill press, with only a few slight dif­ferences. If you have a lot of doors to do, a drill press may be faster. But if you’re dealing with large doors, it’s likely going to be a lot easier to use this jig, as the door can sit in place on the bench while you move the jig and drill to each hinge location. Another advan­tage with this jig is that it’s fast to set up and simple to adjust when drilling just a few concealed hinge holes. And if you don’t have the space or money for a drill press, this is the simple and obvious answer if you want to install concealed hinges.

This jig won’t replace my drill press, but it might very well become my go-to for boring concealed hinges. I even spent a few minutes making a simple rack that will locate this new jig on the wall near my other boring equipment. I’ll be using it again soon.

Published:
Last modified: March 3, 2024

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches


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