Piloting for Continuous Hinges

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Self-centering drill bits (also called “Vix bits”) are great for quick, accurate drilling of pilot holes for hinges. Unfortunately, they don’t work very well for continuous (“piano”) hinges. That’s because the leaves on continuous hinges are too thin to allow the beveled nose of the spring-loaded bit housing to fully seat in the countersunk hinge holes.

Piloting for Continuous Hinges

When faced with installing about 10 feet of continuous hinges for my tool cabinet doors, I came up with a great solution. I went to my refrigerator door and pulled off a couple of business card sheet magnets to use as risers. I knifed them into small pieces that I stuck on the underside of a hinge leaf between each pair of screw holes. After clamping the hinge to the cabinet, it was now raised enough to allow the nose of the bit housing to seat fully in each hinge hole. When done drilling the pilot holes for one hinge leaf, I switched the magnets to the next one. It really sped up the work and ensured perfect alignment of the hinges.

—Paul Anthony, senior editor

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