Cool Hinge Project #1: Create Hinge Pattern

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Blog entry by Laserdude posted 11-27-2011 11:29 PM 1775 reads 1 time favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cool Hinge Project series Part 2: Begin Creating The Inlay Patterns »

The fall cleanup is finally over & and I am finally finding my way back into the shop. I am very eager to get started with some new projects this season. As it turns out I have a cedar box base left over from last year, and before I start a new project I want to finish this box. The box is @ 4” x 7” x 2” tall with a maple base.

The Lumberjock community seemed to like the hinges I made on a Black Walnut Box I posted earlier this year. This enthusiasm has motivated me to try to make another box with a new wood hinge design. I want to create a design where the hinges will integrate into the pattern on the box cover. Before we get too far, we should consider the level of contrast we are trying to accomplish in the box cover. Since we are using the eastern red cedar base, I have decided to use a maple cover which is very light in color. The contrast will look really cool if we make the cover inlay design & hinges out of red cedar. This should make the cover really stand out….....

The cover will be on hinges, so we will overlap the cover by 1/8” beyond the base to make an overhang or lip on three sides of the box. After studying the appearance of the blank cover, I have decided to make 1” beveled edges. This should give the illusion the cover is smaller in thickness, and will soften the profile of the finished box.

The beveled edges on the cover leave a working area of 3” x 5” for our design & hinges. We need to go to the computer at this point, and try to create a graphic that can be used to integrate a hinge within this space. After contemplating the design I settled on a floral type of pattern, where I can use the stems as a portion of the hinge. The design ended up in a symmetrical pattern, and the stem size was increased for improving the strength of the hinge.

The next step is to laser engrave the graphic to the cover. We only want to cut the depth of the graphic to @ .030 into the maple. This will allow the cedar inlay to be accurately located in the cover to maintain symmetry, proper spacing, and will complete our artistic intent for the design of the cover.

At this point it is important to finish sanding the cover. I want the maple surface as smooth as possible before we start to glue some of the cedar inlay when we get to that step. As we progress further we must be cautious not to damage the surface as we continue to work on the cover.

Later this week I will post the next steps on this cover/hinge design….....................

-- Dave

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