Templating Systems for Production Door Installation

Advice on choosing jigs for hanging residential doors on site, in quantity. July 30, 2009

I'm looking for a good manual system to set up for hanging residential doors. I plan to run job lots, so I don't want a door machine. I plan on 30 to 60 doors a month. Most of the advice I have gotten is that plywood jigs are the best. At 30 doors a day, look for a machine.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor J:
The 'ole Bosch hinge template jig is a standard. Been using the same one for about 8 years now. Even has an adapter for a fourth hinge. From your post I gather you need to be portable. So any variation of the Bosch jig would probably work, especially if you're mortising both jamb and slab.

From contributor Y:
We use the Norfield Hingmaster. About $1000 for a 4 hinge setup. We modified ours to work on 2 1/4” doors. It routs the door and jamb at the same time. Twice as fast as the Porter Cable type and more accurate. The Norfield jig cannot do the jamb in place like the PC jig. If you like to bevel your hinge side, the Norfield doesn’t work for that either.

From Gary Katz, forum technical advisor:
For production hanging - new doors in new jambs - you won't need an adjustable jig. All you need are fixed templates. You can make your own or buy them from Templaco. Making your own might sound good, but by the time you buy the materials and the template pins, and count your time, you'll spend more on home-made jigs, and they might not be as accurate.

For new construction I've always used a collection of 4x4 and 3 1/2 in. templates, in 6/8, 7/0, and 8/0 sizes. Yes, it's more to carry around, but you don't have to set up the Bosch template, and you don't have to worry about hurting it. Plus, you don't have to worry about the hinge layout changing because you or someone else tapped the floor with the template! Yes, that happens. On production work, hanging that many doors, you'll want to feel free to move quickly, without worrying about your setup.

The Bosch template, at the same time, is indispensable for hanging new doors in old jambs, where hinge layouts vary throughout a home.

You can also get all your lock and latch jigs from Templaco. They have a boring machine as well, though you might find the Classic Engineering jig more to your liking. It's easier to switch between 2 3/8 and 2 3/4 backset, and no pins to lose when you switch back.

From contributor K:
I use the Porter Cable hinge butt fixture. Very easy to set up and is adjustable quickly for different door thicknesses as well as door lengths and hinge sizes. Once set up, you can move from door edge to jamb routing without changing anything.

From contributor I:
The Bosch is the way to go in my opinion. With the fourth hinge kit and the ability to use simple ripped wood sticks, you have all door heights covered, one jig. If you get into hanging any traditional sash, you are still covered. Can't do that with fixed templates or the Porter Cable. Best part, takes apart and fits in a nice small box.