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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:56 pm 
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The Unika 34811 Compact Hinge Jig is a simple 1-piece router jig designed to allow the user to rout accurate and consistent hinge mortises in both doors and door casings. It will recess both 3in (76 x 20mm) and 4in (102 x 30mm) standard door hinges but is not adjustable. As most doors are hung on standard steel or brass hanges this isn't really an issue.

The Kit Comprises

Image

CNC machined HPL (high pressure laminate) jig plate, 450 x 120 x 10mm with cut-outs for 76 x 20mm (3in) recess and 102 x 30mm (4in) recess, drillings for location pins and securing awls. Hinge centre lines are clearly marked on the jig

6 off 10mm Alignment pegs, nylon, 10mm diameter, in a polythene box with a hanging hole. These are compatible with Unika and other kitchen worktop jigs

Corner chisel. I suspect that this is a Silverline, but it does work OK. It's always useful to have a spare

2 off Fixing (brad)awls. Not as robust as the Trend item, but reasonably solid

What You Need to Supply

A hammer. To drive the square chisel

A sharp chisel. To clean out the corners of the chisel recesses

A door height length of 2 x 1 PAR softwood, or thin MDF, etc to act as a rod, together with a few plastic packers (2, 3 and 4mm) This isn't absolutely necessary as you could always use a tape measure - but I always distruct tape measures for transferring distances and this method (a very old fashioned one) is well worth retaiing

A door clamp to hold the door whilst it's routed. This can be made from 3 x 2 PAR softwood and looks like this:

Some means to hold the door firmly whilst routing it, eg. Workmate bench, home-made door wedge bock, etc

A plunge router. Unika recommends 900 to 1000 watts. Pretty much any half decent small plunge router will do, although I'm sure my ancient Elu MOF69 with all of 600 watts would do just as well. Avoid girt great 1/2in routers and fixed base routers as sure as eggs is eggs you'll end up damaging the jig in short order

A guide bush, 16mm. If you own an Elu MOF69/MOF96 or deWalt DW613/DW614/DW615, Perles OF-808, and a lot of Chinese knock-offs this is available from Trend stockists (code: GB/16) or from Axminster Power Tools (ref: 340927). If you have an Elu OF97 or deWalt DW6321/DW622 the DW item is ref DE6916. Elu MOF131/MOF177 and deWalt DW624/DW625 can be converted to use this type of guide bush with Trend adaptor ref: DW625EK/T10. Makita do 16mm adaptors for some of their routers, but neither Bosch nor Festool make a 16mm adaptor so an intermediate sub-base such as the Trend Unibase may be required.

A centring mandrel for the guide bush

A straight router cutter, ideally plunge cutting, 1/2in (12.7mm) diameter

Using the Jig

Starting at the top of the door mark the centre line positions of all of the hinges.You normally used to aim to have the top hinge about 6in (150mm) down from the top, the bottom hinge 9in (230mm) up from the bottom, but current best practice for fire doors ([url]BS EN 1935[/url]) calls for hinges to be placed at the centre of the door and at 770mm either side of the centre hinge, or alternatively with the centre line of the top and bottom hinge 250mm from the top and bottom edge of the door and the centre line of the third hinge 200mm below the centre line of the top hinge (this is for doors with closers). The jig supports this although I'm a little disappointed that the minimum distance from top/bottom to hinge is about 175mm for 4in hinges and 188mm for 3in hinges, but the jig does meet the standards s I suppose I can live with it - or modify the jig. The easiest way to proceed then is to transfer the markings onto a rod. I used a piece of 2 x 1 PAR (PSE) timber as my rod and placed a 2mm packer at the top of the rod when I transferred the marks onto the door casing. This left the correct gap for the door in the frame. For a door with brush strips I'd use a 3mm or possibly even a 4mm packer to get the desired gap.

To use the jig a pair of the aligning pegs are inserted into the appropriate holes in the jig and the jig is then slid up or downthe door or casing until the hinge centre line aligns with the centreline of the jig. The jig is then fixed by hammering-in the two fixing awls

Having fixed the jig the router is held onto the jig with the guide bush inserted into the opening and the cutter withdrawn. The router is then switched on, the cutter plunged in, the recess routed away and the cutter with drawn. This is repeated for all the recesses on both the casing and the door..

Having routed-out the recesses the round corners can then be squared using a hammer and the square corner chisel. the resulting cut is then cleaned out with a sharp chisel and the hinges screwed to the door (having first piloted them). Finally the door can be hung and any adjustments made

The depth of cut is set using the hinge leaf between the depth stop turret and the depth flag anvil on the router.

It is important to get the guide bush centred on the router - fixing a guide bush onto a router will almost always result in it being off centre. For that reason I recommend getting hold of a centring mandrel such as the Bosch RA1150 or the Festool ZD-OF/D 6,35+8 (catchy product code, eh?)

Conclusions

Why use a jig when you can do the job by hand? Well for a start consistency of cutting depth - which can be hard to achieve even for a pro when the casing is knotty timber. Once set-up it makes multiples a lot easier and faster to do, too

Will it mark my work? Yes, for every recess there will be two small holes, but it should be possible to fill these with either two-pack filler (paint finish) or coloured wax (lacquer finish). Not really a problem IMHO.

Are there things it can't do? Not sure, but I'd be wary of trying to use it on those architect-inspired door casings where the architrave reveal is a scant 2mm. On rebated casings it will be necessary to pack-up the jig on a home-made "rebate filler". Not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of

Is it worth buying? Well at a price of just over £34 (from Tool Station) this jig comes in a bit cheaper than the rival Trend Template Butt Hinge Jig, although with discounting not that much. Also it doesn't allow you to get as near to the top of the door as I'd like for some doors, so I'll probably be modifying my jig in due course. What I do like, though, is the fact that it's made from highly durable 10mm HPL not flimsy acrylic like the Trend competitor. Taking care this should mean good durability if my worktop jigs are anything to go by.

Is it worth buying this if I already have a heavy-duty hinge jig (like the Trend HINGE/JIG/A)? Probably; just think of all those times when you've been stumped by an odd door which is shorter than the big hinge jig, such as beneath a flight of stairs, or when you'd rather re-rout the hinge recess to fit a new hinge on an existing door because the new hinge is a fire rated one and a bit thicker (and the old hinges were fitted by a Gorilla abd are really uneven). This jig covers the oddball stuff like that pretty well.

What could it do with? Unika should really supply it in something better than a cardboard tube with the ends taped over. A couple of plastic plug ends for the tube might not go amiss, Unika. For me it doesn't matter as mine is going to reside in the same kit bag as all my other door hanging and lock fitting stuff, so maybe I'm just griping fo the sake of it

After I've used it for a while I'll report back on how it's doing

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For this message the author Job and Knock has received thanks - 2: steviejoiner74, ultimatehandyman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:46 pm 
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Was it any good?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:21 pm 
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Bill Darr wrote:
Was it any good?

Yes, it was OK. Because it isn't adjustable, like the Trend jig I normally use, the recess is sometimes a millimeter or so on the big side, but nothing the judicious application of some deco caullk wouldn't hide (so OK in older, painted applications). Best used to swing doors in casings with plant-on stops BEFORE fitting the stops (as you'd normally do). If used in rebated casings you do need to make-up a couple of packer blocks to bring the height up the that of the rebate stop. I've probably needed to use it ten or so times since I posted my original review. It's been handy for cleaning up (badly) hand cut hinge recesses a few times, too

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:07 pm 
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"It's been handy for cleaning up (badly) hand cut hinge recesses a few times, too"

I'M GOOD AT THOSE! :sad:

If not too expensive, I might get one for my new place.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:14 pm 
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I don't hang enough doors now days but tempted for when I do

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:17 pm 
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I still use a sharp chisel and hammer :lol: it's usually only 2/3 doors at a time for me so although I've been tempted by one I've always had others tools higher up the priority list!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:38 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
I still use a sharp chisel and hammer :lol: it's usually only 2/3 doors at a time for me so although I've been tempted by one I've always had others tools higher up the priority list!


Make one out of a rip of ply works every time


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:45 am 
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182michael wrote:
steviejoiner74 wrote:
I still use a sharp chisel and hammer :lol: it's usually only 2/3 doors at a time for me so although I've been tempted by one I've always had others tools higher up the priority list!

Make one out of a rip of ply works every time

Always assuming that you have a rip of ply........

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I keep 2 in the van above the racking. 1 for 100mm fire hinges and 1 for 75mm. We tend to use the same hinges on most jobs so saves a bit of time :thumbright:


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