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Thread: Hinge Mortising

  1. #1

    Hinge Mortising

    If you occasionally (or often) cut hinge mortises for small boxes, clock doors, etc., you might enjoy this tool.,230,41182

    Although not specifically touted for this purpose, I find it perfect for making the final pass over the mortise bottom to ensure that it's flat and square to the case, and the exact depth for the hinge. This is a problem I've always had, would fuss inordinately to get it right...and often mess it up. I've found that a well-cut hinge mortise is never noticed, but an ill-fitting one stands out like a runny nose. Another use is to cock the plane slightly so you're using the point of the blade, run it along and scribe the bottom of the mortise prior to, use it like a marking gauge. 55 bucks may seem like a lot for a tool to get the bottom of a hinge mortise flat, but having used it this way for awhile now with predictable and satisfying results it doesn't seem like much at all. I've tried using my trim router with some success, but it's difficult to keep it square on the edge of a workpiece, it still leaves a fair amount of chisel cleanup...and somehow it just seems like too clumsy a tool for the job. With a couple of chisels to remove most of the waste and the router plane for final cleanup.....pretty quick it's miller time.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Neat. But I'm puzzle by the patent statement. I'll betcha the Neanderthals can show several examples of near identical items from way back when. I'm sure I have seen them in antique shops and museums.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    It is an improved version of the Stanley 271. Go to Patrick's Blood & Gore and you will quickly see the resemblence. Knowing Veritas though, it probably works better than the original Stanley model. Not that you need to improve it. It is a simple tool that works great! Many made their own out of wood. Google on Old Women's Tooth router or Old Hags Tooth.

  4. #4
    Bill is correct. Lie-Nielsen sells a similar tool:
    and they specifically state that it's based on the Stanley 271 design.

    I looked at both the Veritas and Lie-Nielsen, and opted for the Veritas for the price, and because it seemed to have a slightly larger base (although I never verified that). One major difference is the LN has a square shaft on the blade and the Veritas is round. I thought (for no particular reason) that the round might be better for positioning. In fact it's a bit of a pain in the butt, as I have to tighten the knurled knob with a plier to get it tight enough to not turn under pressure. I'm used to that now, and it doesn't bother me anymore, but I was somewhat disgruntled at first. Of course that wouldn't be an issue with the LN. For mortise cleanup the cut will be cross-grain paring, so it's important to keep the blade sharp. It's small so it doesn't take much work to get it that way...scary sharp works well...I use a piece of scrap with sandpaper attached with spray adhesive. The Veritas comes with some sort of coating on the base, which I think is for rust prevention. I used 3000 grit to rub that off and polish the base, and it now slides better over the workpiece. I have to be alert for rust now, but the trade was worth it to me.


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