As many of you know, we’ve been renovating our townhouse which is a rental property we are getting ready to sell. Most of the work has been done by contractors, but I took on a few projects myself, including the one I’m sharing with you today. I’m going to show you how to cut out notches for door hinges the easy way! I had no idea how to go about doing this, but my contractor was going to charge me $1400 to install and paint 10 doors, so I decided I could definitely figure out how to do it myself and save some money. So today I’m showing you what I learned! Hopefully some of you will find it helpful in case you ever have to swap out or install doors in your home.
How to Cut Out Notches for Door Hinges
What You’ll Need:
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- Door Hinge Template
- Tape Measure (or the old doors that you’re replacing, to use as a guide)
Since I was replacing the old dated doors with new hollow core 6 panel doors, I needed to create notches for the new hinges. I bought this RYOBI door hinge template at Home Depot and this made it super simple. I’ll show you how it works.
Now before I actually used this on the actual doors, I practiced with it on a piece of scrap wood which I highly recommend doing just so you can get a feel for how it works.
First of all, you adjust the template based on the size of your hinges. I’m installing 3 1/2 inch hinges so I adjusted it accordingly.
You also adjust it based upon whether your hinges have curved corners or not. Mine have a 5/8” radius on the corners. You can remove the curved pieces from the template if you’re using square cornered hinges. I adjusted it to the proper length and made sure both curved pieces were installed since both corners on one side of my hinges are curved.
Next, you adjust your router depth using this guide on the side of the template.
The template comes with a special router bit for you to use which has a little guard on it so that you don’t cut into the sides of the template.
Then you place your router bit in the appropriate slot. I used the one on the left since my hinges are thin (the other one is for thicker hinges) and then adjusted the depth of my router accordingly.
By the way I absolutely love this little battery powered compact router from Ridgid.
After I practiced on my scrap wood, it was time to cut notches in the actual doors. I used our old doors to mark and measure the spots for the new hinges. If you don’t have existing doors to use as a guide, then measure from the top of the door frame and subtract 1/8” (per the template instructions).
Once you’ve set your depth, you attach your template onto the edge of your door making sure the curved corners are facing the correct side, and tighten it with the little knob on the side.
Then, you just carve away inside the template using your router. Be sure to turn your router off before removing it from the template as I did accidentally bump the side of it a couple times when I tried to pull it out before it had turned all the way off. (Oops!)
This template made the job so ridiculously easy. After you’ve routed for your hinges, you just position the hinge in place and then can pre-drill holes for your screws. I ordered new hinges which haven’t arrived yet so I’m using an old one for demonstration purposes here.
This isn’t sponsored, by the way, I just found this template super helpful and thought you might too.
I’ll be sharing the full townhouse renovation very soon! It’s so close to being done and then it will be put on the market. You can also check out my YouTube video tutorial for this DIY project here: