Bosch 83038 Deluxe Door and Jamb Hinge Template Kit
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- Door and jamb hinge template set for metal or wood stops
- Centered connecting rails for good balance; transfers directly from door to jamb (and vice-versa) with hinges on either side of door
- Aluminum construction
- Includes deluxe hinge template, regular and extra large top gauge assembly, template guide, bit, handy metal case
- 1-year warranty
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The door and jamb hinge template set is for metal or wood stops and has centered connecting rails for good balance. It transfers directly from door to jamb (and vice-versa) with hinges on either side of door. It is constructed of aluminum. The kit includes a deluxe hinge template, a regular and extra large top gauge assembly, template guide, bit, and a handy metal case
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Top Customer Reviews
I would recommend this product to anyone who has a number of doors to hang with the same hinge layout. I have only used it on one project so far, but think it has justified the cost.
I feel that the all metal construction will allow the product to provide years of service, compared with most of the alternatives that have a large percentage of plastic or similar parts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I use this tool for retrofit and for new construction and no longer carry fixed templates anymore. For new construction, you simply spend a few minutes assembling and configuring the template and then it is good to go for days of door hanging. It takes just moments to switch the hinge size for different door thicknesses, a time saver compared to fetching another full size template that could be lost in a different part of the jobsite. Retrofitting new doors in old jambs is cake as you can easily match the template to the old hinge layout for perfect mortises that fit the first time.
The rails have holes that engage ball bearings on the template frames. This prevents the hinge layout from changing if you should drop the tool on end. If you have ever used the PC template and bumped it while transferring from the door to the jamb, you know what a problem it is too have the template spacing change on you.
On room additions, it is easy to match the hinge layout for the new doors and jambs to match the old doors due to the adjustability of the Bosch template (this is important in situations where the new doors are close to old doors and the homeowner would notice the hinges not lining up). The kit comes with 2 top guides of different lengths that accomodate any top hinge spacing you will find in the field. The rails allow infinite adjustment so you can quickly match any hinge layout.
One thing the PC has over the bosch is that edge stops retract. This is only an issue when remortising the hinge gaines on an old jamb that has casing and caulking too close to the jamb edge. On the Bosch, the fixed edge stops can sometimes hit the caulking or casing and prevent the template sections from laying completely flat. On the PC, the stops can retract to counteract this problem, but overall the Bosch is significantly more accurate in retrofit situations.
When you first get your new Bosch template kit, you need to fine tune the hinge length stops. From the factory, they are not correct. Two screws loosen and allow an adjustable plate to be moved into the correct position. A quick run on a 2x4 lets you check for perfection before you ever touch an expensive door.
As mentioned by others, the small metal case is much more user friendly than the extra long PC box, but it doesn't hold the 4 hinge conversion kit or the 3 hinge extended rail kit. What most guys do is buy an additional standard kit, and make custom wooden rails for 8 to 10 foot doors. This way you have 6 template sections instead of four, and you can theoretically have 2 guys hanging 6-8 doors for more production.
The nails are very strong, I have spares but haven't had a problem with breakage at all. In fact, you can order from Bosch any part you need and can get stuff shipped next day if the parts are in stock.
The jamb gauges only fit Timely or hollow metal frames, so you need to file them down to fit wood jambs for retrofit jobs. But there are other ways to match existing hinge layouts so I don't recommend the jamb gauges unless you like to order book doors for commercial jobs or do nothing but retrofit.
Like any metal template, when you hit it with the router bit, it gets nicked and the bit can get damaged. But the template sections completely disassemble so any damaged part can be replaced. More than once I forgot to put the template guide in the router and got some healthy gouges in the template. A call to Bosch and all was fixed. Usually, though, you will nick the sides or length adjustment plate and these are quickly fixed in the field. The sides can be "reversed" and the length stops can be filed flat and readjusted. The hinge size adjustment bar can be rotated to move the nick out of the way. Very reliable even when damaged!
This is a terrific professional tool for the professional door hanger. And it works with any router that has a 1/2" mortising bit and 5/8" template guide. It even works for 5/8" radius hinges with a 1 1/4" mortising bit and 1 3/8" template guide. A homeowner would not need this tool, and it is not efficient for hanging just 1 door.
What Bosch does with this kit, is give you three adjustable for hinge size templates for routing, that are attached, and once again adjustable. You can preset the distance between the hinges, and be sure that the templates will be perfectly upright. No off angles, which is all too often the case without this kit. Once you attach the entire apparatus, with the built in pins you rout away. Then you remove the kit from the door, attach it to the hinge jamb and rout away.
This is an all metal kit that should give you years of service.
So why not just buy pre-hung doors and not bother to deal with it? The problem is that in order to trim the jamb to the thickness of the wall, you have to remove it from the door, disassemble it, then run it through the table saw, then reattach it. Or, in the event of a wall thicker than the pre-hung jamb, having to live with a seam, or a very large molding to cover it. With this kit, you can buy doors that are not pre-hung, and buy jamb boards that are wider than the jamb, trim them to size on your saw, then assemble for installation. Additionally you might want to create your jamb out of something other than the standard pine.
My hat is off to the Bosch engineers for designing this one. A complicated job made simple. Highly recommended. This tool falls in the category of most favored tools. It solves all of the problems.
Here's the long answer:
We used to work for a very large custom millwork company, and for a long time we used the Porter-Cable template. Our boss was careless, and regularly nicked the template with the router. Over time, replacing full single hinge templates got costly, so we switched to the Bosch kit because of being able to replace smaller parts. That kit worked quite well and solved those problems.
Since then, we've left that company and started our own. Using our knowledge from the previous company, we chose the Bosch 83038 kit over the Porter-Cable.
That leads me to my need to write this review.
Upon first impression, this kit comes in a nice, sturdy box. When I took the template out, and tried to get accustomed to it, I noticed that the spacer rails did not fit into the templates. After a lot of filing, they finally slid in. I then found that if you slide them past the opening, they lock up again on the raised lettering on the template itself. After more filing, this problem was fixed.
Next thing I noticed, the top gauge assemblies. The stop tab is made of a very malleable metal, and one actually came out of the box twisted. This doesn't make for any kind of repeatability.
I went to set up my router (a Ridgid router, which I Highly recommend) to mortise. Bosch claims that this kit is fully compatible with the "competition's" template guides. While this is true, the provided router bit does not work (safely) with a Porter-Cable style template guide with a ring that screws on from the inside of the router base. In order to get the right mortise depth, the bit has to be inserted with enough of the 1/4" shaft exposed that you seriously risk bending the shaft and/or throwing the bit. If you plan on using this kit with a non-Bosch router, be prepared to use a longer bit.
Getting to actually using this template kit, I had to make wooden rails to accommodate the windows I was mortising, which isn't a huge deal. after that, I noticed that there is no depth setting for 1 1/2" thick doors, so I had to shim the template every time I used it.
The spring loaded nails are most definitely stronger that those on the Porter-Cable. The trade-off is that the larger diameter at the top makes it trickier than it should be to pull the nails out with a standard claw hammer, as the cutout in the claw won't fit around it.
I had spent about a day of mortising and hanging windows, and came to one that gave me problems. I mortised it, and when I hung it, the reveal at the top was 1/8" larger than all the rest were (with the same jig settings). I came to find out that the screw that locks the top gauge assembly had loosened and the gauge had moved. This left me having to hand mortise the hinges 1/8" higher, and do a repair to fill the lower portion of the mortise.
One of the big selling points of this template is that you can get parts for each of the templates if you nick them. I have mortised many doors now, and work at a pretty fast rate. I've never nicked a template. Just don't be careless and you'll be fine.
All that said, this kit has caused me nothing but headaches. We will be switching to the Porter-Cable kit.
This is an addition several months later.
We now also have the Porter Cable template guide, and I use them for different purposes. I find that the Porter Cable is MUCH more adjustable and accurate. The Bosch is slightly better for 6-8 or 7-0 doors, but I don't like it for any other sizes.
We noticed a large problem with the jamb stop (provides the proper gap at the top of the door). It uses a rivet as a pivot point, so you can rotate the stop to fit on both the left and right hand sides of a jamb. We thought that the metal tab (the part that was rotating) was twisted, as door pairs were not being hung evenly. It turns out that on both stops provided, the rivet is not straight, so no matter what, the tab will be higher on one side than the other.
This may not sound like a big deal, until you see the results. When I've hung door pairs, one door always hangs at least 1/8" lower than the other. This is VERY noticeable.
I've managed to fix this problem, but it involved serious modification and using the stop entirely differently than intended.
I would not buy this product again if I had the choice. None of the critical components worked the way they should have out of the box. This resulted in many hours trying to fix the problems with the template, and many hours trying to fix the problems this template caused.
Buy the Porter Cable instead.
Tropical Hardwoods, LLC
It could be a lot better, I was almost thinking of making my own templetes that would be more reliable and accurate. Its hard to beleive that they would sell this on the open market.
I have used the Porta-cable, even thou the Bosch is easyer to set up the porta-cable is built a lot better.