I have a door that is rubbing at the bottom corner away from the hinge. The gap between the door and the frame on the hinge edge is wider at the top of the door.

I think the culprit is the middle hinge which has its mortises cut slightly too shallow on both the frame and the door. I need to deepen them by about 1/50th of an inch on both sides.

The mortise has rounded corners, so a chisel is not a solution.

I have heard of people using forstner bits rout out hinge mortises, but it seems like a hack to me. I need to remove an even, thin layer of wood and I think using a Forstner bit would just be too ham handed and end up cutting too deep.

On the other hand, I will not be able to manipulate a full size plunge router on the frame.

What is the solution here? How can I evenly remove 1/50th of inch of wood from the two mortises?

  • 3
    Chisels are a solution — you can do it conventionally and just work into the rounded corners carefully with the corner of the chisel once the main rectangular area has been done, or you can use one or more chisels in scraper mode to work inwards from the edges. But the way to do this is with a router, either the manual or the powered variety.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 18:19
  • How exactly did you come up with the measurement of 1/50th? Normally woodworkers use fractions that are (negative) powers of 2, and machinists use thousandths. I'd call this a heavy 1/64. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 17:25
  • 1
    If you don't have a router or router plane chisels should work fine. Just use a bigger chisel bevel down to remove the material and deepen around the corners with a utility knife or a small (1/8") chisel. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 17:30
  • 1
    If the door doesn't close well, it's easier to shave the swinging side (non hinged side) with a handplane. Take the door off the hinges and plane down (or sand down) the part that rubs, the repaint. Any alteration to the hinges is much more difficult, and less likely to solve the problem. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


Use a router to deepen an existing hinge mortise. With a steady hand, this can be done without any guide. Use a straight bit and carefully remove the wood to make the mortise deeper.

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