Today's availability of pre-hung doors has somewhat simplified
the fitting and hanging process for the finish carpenter. Pre-routed hinge gains in both
the door and the jamb eliminate any guesswork. Only with a custom-built
door does the installer have to lay out and fit hinges and associated
hardware. Regardless of what type of door is being installed
(pre-hung or slab), doing it properly is still somewhat difficult
to do repetitively; it's just that some of the rules have changed.
By coincidence, we find ourselves again examining the fertile
mind of Aaron Thomas Binkerd of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. As
stated in the Featured Patent section of this newsletter,
Mr. Binkerd was most prolific in producing useful tools for
woodworkers. He had two patents granted on the same day, December
4, 1888, and with consecutive patent numbers, 393,880 and 393,881.
The tools described are somewhat different, somewhat similar,
yet totally complementary to each other in use.
This tool is described in the first patent as a gage
chisel used to cut a hinge recess. Fixed cutters along with
a depth-control device (screw) provide repeatable marking and
scoring at the intended placement of the hinge. Two outriggers
guarantee that the placement of the cutters is consistent, depending
on the thickness of the door and the location of the hinge.
The patent also states that with some reconfiguration, the tool
could be used to work on the jamb to replicate the same cutting
dimension. The iron ring on the tool's wooden handle can be
taken as evidence that this tool was well used. The gauge is
made of bronze with steel cutters and adjustment screws and
is marked with "Pat Mar 6 88".