Penguin Tool Chest #5: shipwright-style Box Hinges

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Blog entry by bobasaurus posted 10-17-2011 03:19 AM 4172 reads 11 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Penguin Inlay Part 5 of Penguin Tool Chest series Part 6: Drawer Runners »

After seeing shipwright’s nifty wooden box hinge technique , I knew I had to try it myself. I’m not sure if it’s been attempted on this large a scale, but I’m happy with how it came out. The only change I made to the original technique was putting the grooves on the face of the board instead of the edge, that way the somewhat-unsightly filled groove would be hidden from view on the outside of the tool chest. Here is the initial setup with the grooves still open:

I then filled in the grooves on the cottonwood rail piece and test-fit it with the lid on the tool chest carcass:

I haven’t yet filled the walnut top’s groove… that needs to happen after gluing in the rails, etc. The hinging action seems to be pretty smooth in my initial tests.

-- Allen, Colorado

7 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


13760 posts in 1728 days

#1 posted 10-17-2011 03:38 AM

That is a beautiful tool box in the making. You did a MUCH better job with the shipwright hinges then I did. Yours look perfect and mine just never seemed to fit together right. Your post encourages me to try again.

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

View Bearpie's profile


2597 posts in 2056 days

#2 posted 10-17-2011 04:37 AM

You did a beautiful job and I’ll bet Shipwright would say so too! (Not to put words in his mouth either)

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View SPalm's profile


5174 posts in 2920 days

#3 posted 10-17-2011 04:15 PM

Very nice.
Looks like a really good application – being such a large panel.

I like it very much. Excellent work.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View PurpLev's profile


8520 posts in 2687 days

#4 posted 10-17-2011 04:32 PM

this looks great. I might not even bothered filling in the groove which will allow the top to come off it needed, although for esthetics you might want to fill it in and lock it in.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View shipwright's profile


6185 posts in 1836 days

#5 posted 10-17-2011 04:57 PM

Those look super. Glad to see another application.
Two comments:
1) As strength is always an issue, I’d say that the larger the box the better these hinges are suited. I think that’s what Steve was saying as well.
2) As you applied the hinge directly to a slab top, as opposed to the aproned top that I used, the slot cover is in the same position when closed as the original, that is facing down. That’s a good modification to go with that change. I do suspect however that when finished you won’t see them anyway.

Thanks for posting this, I definitely approve!

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4571 posts in 2074 days

#6 posted 10-17-2011 10:00 PM

This is impressive. Not seen a wooden hinge this large before.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14012 posts in 2144 days

#7 posted 12-14-2011 03:11 PM

Cool hinges and nice box you made!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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