I am at the moment preparing to replace my heavy duty brass door hinges on my back kitchen door. To do this properly I have to remove the door. In order that I drill the screw holes accurately and centre I have invested in a set of self centring drills, The brass screws that came with the hinges are a size 10 now looking at the chart of drill sizes for this size screw it calls for a .190" diameter drill which is around 3/16" Now I selected the centring tool with that size drill but unfortunately the spring load guide is smaller in diameter than the holes in the hinges and will therefore not work. Do they make special centring tools for this type of hinge the only other answer the way I se it is to buy bigger diameter screws but I am not sure that this is the right way to go about it.

  • I was following until you brought up bigger diameter screws at the end. I'm not making the connection of how larger screws would help in this situation. The screw heads need to fit the countersinks in the hinge, and the hole needs to be centered for the head to be centered in the countersink (otherwise it won't go all the way in).
    – fixer1234
    Apr 21, 2018 at 21:53
  • It sounds like you already have the new hinges and have compared the hole locations and found them to be different. How far will the new holes be from the old ones? If they are substantially different, you can just drill new holes and ignore the old ones. If they are very close (less than the diameter of the thread apart), fill the old holes. You can push in wood filler or just glue in toothpicks to fill the old hole.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 21, 2018 at 22:17
  • 2
    "the chart of drill sizes for this size screw it calls for a .190" diameter drill which is around 3/16" A #10 screw is 3/16", that is not a "pilot hole" size chart. You need a smaller self-centering pilot drill. Apr 22, 2018 at 5:12
  • Thanks for getting back to me quickly it is appreciated. The reason for suggesting slightly bigger diameter screw was that I could then use a slightly bigger self centring drill which would mean that the spring loaded guide would be bigger. But I was looking at a No 12 but on checking the size drill for that one the spring loaded guide on this one was still not big enough. The holes in the hinges are around 1/4" in diameter so as you can see that is plenty big enough to use a bigger drill. I hope this makes sense.. I will just have to drill them free hand and hope for the best. Thanks Apr 23, 2018 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming you're asking about drilling holes in the jamb and the door because the new hinges have different holes. If I've misunderstood your issue, I'll edit.

Mark your holes from the hinge with a sharp pencil. Punch a divot in the middle of the circle with a nail or screw. If you look at it and it seems a little off center, do it again, but angling toward center. Keep making the divot deeper until you think it's dead center. (Nothing wrong with practicing all this on scrap. Nobody was born with these skills.)

Now drill. (3/16" sounds a little big to me, but I haven't consulted any charts, so maybe you should ignore me on this point. Steel screws will be different from brass screws and different woods are, well, different.) Keep the drill bit perpendicular (use someone to look at your angle and guide you if available). If you creep off center, angle the drill toward the center and resume.

If one of your four holes is a little wrong, screw that one last. If they're all wrong (hopefully in different directions), use them to push/pull the hinge to the right place.

If, when assembling the door, the hinges are a little off, feel free to tap them gently with a wood block (to protect the finish) and hammer to encourage them to mesh. If they're way off, loosen the screws, mesh them, and tighten the screws again.

  • Thanks for getting back to me quickly it is appreciated. It looks like I am going the have to perform this task free hand as you suggested since the self centring drills are not suitable. Your right when you say that the holes in the new hinges do not quite line up with the holes that were drilled for the old hinges. Once again thanks for your advice Apr 23, 2018 at 7:28

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