Well, yesterday I decided to mortise my box to accept the hinges. I don’t have a jig for this, but since they are very small hinges I decided to free hand them with the router and a straight bit. I practiced a couple of times on a piece of scrap and got the depth perfect, then I made my cuts on the box and they turned out great! Next I decided to connect the lid and the box with the hinges and here is where the problems started…
My original plan was to connect the lid to the box, close it, and sand all the edges flush so that everything fit perfectly. After sanding I was going to take everything apart again and then stain and finish all my parts separately. Then after all the finishing was completed I was going to reattach the hinges with the added strength of some gorilla glue to ensure the small brass screws don’t back out over time.
Well, the first problem I had was lining up the lid to the box and attaching the hinges. I attached the hinges to the lid first, then laid the lid on top of the box. Now can anyone tell me how to screw the hinges to the box with the lid shut to ensure they are lined up properly? Well, I sure couldn’t figure it out, so I tried to eyeball it (and I’m sure you all can guess how that turned out). Suffice to say, after attaching the hinges to the box, the lid was crooked. Crooked enough to be very noticeable, but not so much where I could just unscrew it, drill new holes, and screw it back in. If I were to attempt that, the new holes would be too close to the old holes, making very big holes.
So, now what? Well, I pondered this problem for several hours in disgust, then it hit me: I put some glue on some tooth picks and stuffed them in the screw holes and then broke them off. This gave me some more wood to drill against when I reattached the hinges. It worked great too, and on my second attempt, I nailed it and got the lid lined up very nicely to the box.
So then came the next step, sanding around the edges where the lid and the box met to ensure they were perfectly flush. No problems here as the lid and the box were finally mating correctly.
Next I was supposed to remove the hinges again so I could stain and finish the lid and the box separately. Well here is where my second problem occurred. As I mentioned before the hinges are very small (1”X1/2”) and made of soft brass… So when I go to unscrew them I realized that I bunged up the head on some a couple of the small screws. Now I can’t remove separate the lid from the box for finishing, and worse yet, I can’t reinforce the hinges with gorilla glue during reassembly. Oh well, I can still finish with the lid and box connected, so I guess I’ll just hope the hinges hold strong over time…
I would post some pictures, but I didn’t remember to take any. So I guess you all will just have to imagine this blog in your head! I started staining tonight, and so far so good. I will take some pictures and update you all on the progress in the next day or two or three! ;-)
-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO