Roll Around Tool Cabinet #11: Made JIGs Today: Dovetail On Table Saw & Butt Hinge Mortising JIG

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 02-07-2017 05:43 AM 1574 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Fastened Frame and Panel Back onto Case Part 11 of Roll Around Tool Cabinet series Part 12: Sixteen Hinge Mortises Routed »

This roll around tool cabinet is a project I took on so I could learn new techniques and processes. This will be my first frame and panel project build. Besides that I have also chosen to use some new techniques in this build.


I have seen others on the Internet use their table saw to cut dovetails. I will use a Gregory Paolini process to cut my dovetails and pins using L-style fences fastened to my INCRA 1000HD miter gauge. I am following my INCRA miter gauge manual for the instructions to make a sub-fence. I am using those dimensions for drilling the 3/4 inch diameter countersunk screw holes with a Forstner bit to a depth just over 3/8 inches deep and finishing drilling the through holes with a 5/16 inch diameter drill bit.

I expect delivery of the oval flat nuts 1/4” – 20 oval or rectangular nuts I ordered from this Wednesday. Until then I am using extra 7/16” hex nuts I have on hand. I did purchase four 1/4” socket head screw 3/4 inches long – 20 tpi at my local hardware store and additional screws at my local Lowe’s store. You can see how those hex nuts are fitted into my aluminum INCRA fence in the photo shown below.


I will also be using mortised butt hinges for the first time. So I have studied ways to mortise in the butt hinges. I will be making some simple mortising JIGS, I received my DADO cleaning router bit this morning. I bought it with a 1/4 inch shaft so I could use it with my Bosch Colt router. This router’s base is small enough in order to cut these shallow mortises within 1 11/16 inches from the corner of the face frame where the butt hinge will be mounted.

I am building a few simple mortising JIGs so my butt hinges with be flush with the stiles and face frame where they will be installed. As I was laying out the dimensions for this jig I stumbled upon a standard process that I could use in order to move the jig from corner to corner on the face frame to cut the mortises. For instance, on the upper two doors, I wanted to start the mortise as close to the face frame’s corner as I could. For these doors that is 1 11/16 inches from the corners. I can fit my Bosch Colt router’s base with the 1/2 inch straight bearing guided bit to that position. I measured the length of my butt hinge to a small fraction over 2 inches. Thus, the 1/2 inch thick plywood plate I would cut the following dimensions: 2” plus 2*(1 11/16”) equals 5 3/8 inches by 5 inches. The width of the butt hinge is 3/4 inches; however, my face frame is only 5/8 inch thick. Thus, my butt hinges will extend beyond the width of the face frame by about 1/8 inches. This means the hinges will be mortised across the width of the face frame.

On my table saw I will cut a U shaped hole 3/4 inch deep, 2 inches wide centered along the 5 3/8 inch length. Along this length I will glue and fasten with pin brads a fence 7 1/2 inches in length and 2 3/8 inches in width. Centered along its length I will cut a U shaped hole 2 inches long and a width that accounts for the 1/2 inch thickness of the plywood plus the thickness of the butt hinge. I have set my mortising bit to that distance by taking actual measurement by feel: the butt hinge laid on top of the 1/2 inch plywood sitting on top of the router’s base. I set the depth of the bit so the bit was flush with these items layered on the router’s base.


I decided to start my butt hinges 2 1/2 inches down from the corner of the face frame where my large bottom doors will be hung. Thus, the plywood plate that my router will sit on to route the mortise for the hinge will be dimensioned thusly: 7 inches long by 5 inches wide. The U shaped hole that I will cut on my table saw will be centered along the 7 inch length. Again the butt hinge is 2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide.

The fence that I will glue and pin to the plate will have its dimensions of 9 inches long and 2 3/8 inches wide.

Since I have a 1 1/2” spacer glued to the inside of my cabinet so I can mount drawer slides in the lower right hand side of the case, I will need to make one more mortising JIG that will take into account this spacer that is proud of the inside of the face frame.

-- --- Happy Howie

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#1 posted 02-09-2017 01:36 AM

Today I completed making the third hinge mortising jig. This jig was made for the lower right door hinges for the tool cabinet. On this ride side is where the drawers will be mounted. A 1 1/2” thick spacer was glued on the right side of the cabinet, the plywood side so the drawer slides will mount to it. This spacer is 1/4” proud of the face frame; thus requiring its own hinge mortising JIG. The additional 1/4” needed to mortise the face frame had to be taken into account.

So in summary, I needed three hinge mortising JIGs: one for the two top small doors and two hinge mortising JIGS for the bottom doors, one for the left side and another separate one for the right side door.

-- --- Happy Howie

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