Have you ever struggled to get all of the screw holes perfectly aligned when you are installing hinges? If you do not pre-drill your screw holes in the center of the mounting holes on the hinge, the hinge can be installed at a skewed angle, and/or the screw heads can fail to seat properly, making an ugly installation.
How do the pros install hinges so that they are perfectly aligned, and all of the screw heads are seated properly? They use a tool called a self-centering bit. One particular company has been making these things for a long time, S.E. Vick, and many woodworkers simply call the tools Vix bits.
A Vix bit is a simple device that features a tapered nose that is automatically centered when placed into a tapered hole, such as on a hinge, and a drill bit that protrudes through the tapered nose when the user pushes the drill down into the cut, drilling a perfectly centered hole.
Operation couldn’t be simpler. Alignment takes less than a second, and then you are simply drilling a hole. For best results, you should install one screw to hold the hinge alignment, then drill your other holes, and finally install the other screws. Self-centering bits include depth stops, so you can’t accidentally drill through. Love that!
Simple, perfect hinge mount every time!
Photos By Author
There are multiple sources for Vix bits, and like any tool you will find a range of quality. Mine are from S.E. Vick Company, and are a high quality option that you can find from a number of tool suppliers. A three piece set including drill bit sizes 5/64″, 7/64″, and 9/64″ should meet most of your needs for installing hinges.
S.E. Vick Tool Company
25886 Dodd Road
Lakeville, MN 55044
All Woodworking Articles, One Great Tip