In Tricks of the Trade

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Self-centering drill bits (also called “Vix bits”) are great for quick, accurate drilling of hinge screw holes. Unfortunately, they don’t work very well for many continuous, or “piano,” hinges. That’s because the leaves on continuous hinges often are too thin to allow the chamfered nose of the bit housing to fully seat in the hinge hole, which can throw the hole off-center.

When faced with installing about 10′ of such hinges for some tool cabinet doors, I came up with a great solution. I went to my refrigerator door and pulled off a couple of business card magnets. I sliced them into spacer pieces that I then stuck on the underside of a hinge leaf, placing one spacer between every pair of screw holes.

After clamping the hinge to the cabinet, it was now raised about 1⁄32″ above the surface, allowing the nose of the bit to seat fully in each hinge hole. When done with one hinge, I removed the magnets and attached them to the next hinge. It sure made the job go a lot faster and ensured perfect alignment of the hinges. — Paul Anthony

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