Wooden Hinges #3: Retrofit - making the new hinge

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 01-20-2013 05:56 PM 2415 reads 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Retrofit wooden hinges Part 3 of Wooden Hinges series Part 4: Retrofit - Preparing the way »

A busy day and that’s just making the hinge. First thing to do is cut up the material into four pieces.

then mark up the pieces, including where the slot is to be routed.

The next thing to do is route the pin slot. The pin is to be enclosed (not visible at the ends of the hinge). The hinge is 125 mm long, allowing 6 mm of un-routed material at each end, leaves a 113 mm long slot. To set the router table up for this I installed a 45 degree router bit, marked up one piece of the hinge for two points separated by 113 mm and aligned the tip of the bit on one mark and placed a block of scrap on the fence (attached by double sided tape), so

Repeating this for the other side. Then routed

Doing all four pieces. This shows one half of the hinge open and the other closed

In order to mark up and cut the hinge fingers the pieces were double sided taped together

and the slot routed edges masking taped together (masking tape underneath in this shot).

The fingers were marked up and the waste areas (cross hatched) removed on a scroll saw. Next to round off the outer piece edges. The inners don’t need to be rounded as the box lid cannot rotate inwards ( try looking at a solid metal butt hinge, you’ll see what I mean). These pieces only have one or two contact points so I double sided taped them to a longer, continuous, piece of MDF as a guide for routing.

Here’s the bit used, a 4.5 mm rounding bit.

The pieces together, complete with pin

and all together

Next I routed a 6 mm slot ( on the outside of the hinge) to take the piece thickness either side of the barrel of the hinge down to 6 mm ( the box wall thickness).

Then another 6 mm slot, 1mm further from the barrel, down to the spline width (you’ll see)

and routed the same slot on the inside, down to the spline width

Now the eagled eyed amongst you will probably be thinking ‘those barrel sides are only rounded on one side’. Correct. I don’t have a rounding bit that would do the other sides of the barrel so I routed a 45 degree slope along both sides (just shy of the existing round edges) and rounded these off with a file and sand paper to give this

Then I trimmed off the excess on the bandsaw giving

That’s the hinge made. Enough for me, today. Next time I fit the hinge in the box.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

14 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2443 posts in 2055 days

#1 posted 01-20-2013 06:08 PM

I rarely read blogs here on LJ’s. Don’t want to put radical ideas into my head!! :-) But I have been aware of your blog , and I have marveled at your willingness to break your train of thought & work to take pictures and then the time to do the blog. You are a woodworking/sharing gentleman of the first order. I hope folks take the time to thank you and tell you how much they appreciate your efforts.

View nomercadies's profile


534 posts in 1378 days

#2 posted 01-20-2013 06:36 PM

This is like watching “The Brain Operation Channel” then thinking I can do an operation after watching one of the shows. I will continue watching and being mesmerized by the skills, but … I’m not thinking I will ever do an operation of this delicate nature. Thank you doctor.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View bigike's profile


4042 posts in 2327 days

#3 posted 01-20-2013 06:56 PM


-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View jaykaypur's profile


3708 posts in 1447 days

#4 posted 01-20-2013 07:04 PM

Good job and look forward to the next step.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View amagineer's profile


1399 posts in 1636 days

#5 posted 01-20-2013 07:05 PM

You have conquered the hinge problem with flair.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View stefang's profile


14706 posts in 2373 days

#6 posted 01-20-2013 07:24 PM

This looks like excellent work Martyn and with some very precise routing work too. More importantly the hinges look understated and unobtrusive, which in most cases I prefer , although some decorative wooden hinges can be very nice too if they are not too bulky looking. Your blog is very clear and informative as well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7618 posts in 2342 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 09:14 PM

very interesting, and i agree with mike, i am a fan of wooden hinges and of ways to use them and of different ways to incorporate them, im looking forward as to what will they be attached to…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Sodabowski's profile


2253 posts in 1872 days

#8 posted 01-20-2013 10:01 PM

Yet another great idea put to practice and shared with the mere mortals. Thanks Martyn :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View littlecope's profile


3015 posts in 2541 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 12:37 AM

Nice Work Martyn!
Looking forward to the attachment…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Kate's profile


400 posts in 2914 days

#10 posted 01-21-2013 01:21 AM

nicely done

-- Kate,

View gfadvm's profile


13766 posts in 1729 days

#11 posted 01-21-2013 02:42 AM

I can’t keep up with the process but you have given me some ideas for a new style wooden hinge. I love the whole clamshell design but got lost at the shaping/routing of the hinge ‘bases’. Not to worry though: it will undoubtedly make more sense to me when I see them mounted. Keep on keepin on!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View lanwater's profile


3102 posts in 1973 days

#12 posted 01-21-2013 04:42 AM

All I can say is you are really resourcefull and overflow with ideas.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Roger's profile


17667 posts in 1843 days

#13 posted 01-21-2013 11:45 AM

Coming along nicely. The only thing I see that makes my hair stand up is that little piece and your fingers so close to that cutting bit. Please be careful.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View jap's profile


1243 posts in 1093 days

#14 posted 01-21-2013 01:56 PM


-- Joel

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