Just for Fun... #63: A Tale of Two Hinges...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by littlecope posted 06-25-2012 01:29 AM 2483 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 62: The Well-Traveled Project... Part 63 of Just for Fun... series Part 64: A Return to It... »

I spent the better part of a day, almost two weeks ago, cogitating and musing on an idea I had for another set of wooden hinges…Time to make Hinges...

The idea was to make a simple set, in the style of what I’ve begun calling “Finger Hinges”...This time I wanted two smaller ones, to put on either side of the box, rather than a “piano” style across the whole back… I also wanted them to thin almost to a point, as the fingers extended…The idea...

I had a very hard time visualizing the cuts and cutting order with these!! I don’t know whether I was over-complicating the matter or whether I’m just no darn good at making them!!
But finally, after eight or nine hours, I came up with these parts…The rough-cut pieces...

This will never be a production shop, that’s certain…
Before I could find out if these little guys were even going to work, I had to cut and clean-up the brass pins I’m going to use…Here they are...

I immediately found out that there would be further shaping in order for these to turn freely against the box…"Nubs" to be filed down...

When I was finally more or less satisfied with them, I put them aside and did the final touches on the box itself…Used a leveling wedge for the pinning process...Filling in run-outs...

And then I stopped… for five days!!
You may laugh to hear of it, but I was very anxious…
Even though I pre-drill holes (slightly under-sized) for the wooden pegs that will hold these on, I had a galling suspicion that these tiny parts were going to split on me when I did the attaching…
Finally I bucked up my courage enough to at least start the process.
First by clamping it in my handy box-vise…Clamp-up for attaching hinges....

Secondly, I gathered the necessary paraphernalia for gluing..Ready for hinge gluing...

There’s a reason I clamp the front of the box only. If there is any discrepancy between lid and box, it will appear only in the back, where fewer folks will notice! To that end, when I’m gluing them and applying finger pressure, I’m also trying to pull the two halves of the hinges away from each other…Finger clamping the finger hinges...

Two more days passed before I had the courage to drill these and begin pegging them on!! These are small, barely a 1/4” wide, and I was to use 1/8” pegs… Not a lot of wiggle room!!
But ultimately, all of my self-imposed apoplexy and worry was for naught, they went in without a hitch…After pinning Hinges...Hinges are a Success!!

All set, right?
Actually, yes and no!!
The hinges worked flawlessly, except for one thing…
Because I made the raised panels of this box “proud” of the sides, when the lid was opened, the whole box rocked backwards… a regular “Rock & Roll” box…Rock & Roll Box...

This won’t do!!
but I found a scrap…A handy scrap...
That was just the right thickness to stop the rocking…...Of the right size...
And I came up with an in-elegant, but effective way to correct the problem, by making a couple of little feet for the back…
I glued them on, and then “toe-pegged” them one way…Little feet toe pegged one way...

And then the other way…...And then the other...

No more rocking for this Baby!No more "Rock-back" when it opens...

Phew! This one is finally winding down… I had an idea for a latch for the front, but the box is telling me that she doesn’t need one this time…
A little more sanding, and this one will be off to the finishing department… :)A little more sanding left...
24 June 2012

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

13 comments so far

View lew's profile


12154 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 01:53 AM

Great job, Mike!
I really like the way you integrated the “lid stops” into the hinge. Neat idea!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2745 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 02:07 AM

Ya done good here Mike. The hinges are mega cool! The incorporated ‘stops’ were a great idea (something I wouldn’t have thought of til too late). I’m also a fan of the pinned box joints. I may try some of this type hinges but I promise that power tools will be involved! I can’t imagine cutting everything by hand like you do. My hat is off to you for this effort.

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

View patron's profile


13611 posts in 3396 days

#3 posted 06-25-2012 02:30 AM

aye captain

engaging !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18314 posts in 3731 days

#4 posted 06-25-2012 05:05 AM

Thgose look great! Nice job Mike ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3488 days

#5 posted 06-25-2012 08:54 AM

Beautiful box, Mike. As usual, your hinges are superb.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Porchfish's profile


833 posts in 2588 days

#6 posted 06-25-2012 11:49 AM

Very nice Mr. Mike ! Please post a photo of your “finished” box …the hinges are terrific !

Don S. Havana Fl.

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3359 days

#7 posted 06-25-2012 02:11 PM

bravo mike for taking your thought on, and going through with it, they look really nice and im sure your proud of your new creation, it spurs me on to try to design my own unique set…i to am looking forward to seeing this all come together with a finished box…grizz

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

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3042 days

#8 posted 06-25-2012 09:31 PM

You are certainly the hinge master. Your ingenuity is amazing and you have produced another fine and unique box!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3246 days

#9 posted 06-26-2012 06:58 AM

Mike, your box looks great!!!! I know the feeling, you’ve invested time and money….let’s procrastinate in case the wood cracks, that way payday is one day closer for the do over, all that worry for nothing!!!

PS lets watch the big words, I almost had a stroke looking up apoplexy on wikipedia.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Lenny's profile


1607 posts in 3582 days

#10 posted 06-26-2012 02:46 PM

A beautiful set of one-of-a-kind hinges Mike. I’m glad it all worked out well for you.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3557 days

#11 posted 06-27-2012 09:55 AM

Thanks Everybody!
Andy: I’m flattered (and honored) that you think these are worth emulating, they really are quite simple to make. I do use the Scroll Saw to cut out the rough shape, but it’s all file-work from there…
This particular set works better than most… They make me smile when I open the box! When it reaches the stops, the lid “shudders” to the open position with a little spring-type action… I guess you’d have to see it, to appreciate it, but it’s very cool…
The pinned box joints… I won’t claim I invented them, because they’re too much of a simple idea to not have been done before, but I had never seen them, and it just seemed like a logical way to connect them…
On this project, I couldn’t help but notice how much and how many pins are actually cut and used! I used up a 3’ length of dowel and part of a second one, about an inch at a time, pinning the box together and attaching the hinges and feet…
Bob K.: My Dad had his own business. One time, he got a letter from one of the businesses he did work for, asking him to simplify his billing… It seems his billing practices were causing the girls at the main office to become “Apoplectic”... My Dad had to look it up too, and howled with laughter when he read the definition! It became a favorite word of his and, in turn, mine… :)

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3389 days

#12 posted 06-27-2012 02:45 PM

I Didn’t become apoplectic with this new box Mike, just a little unhinged. Speaking of hinges, I really like these new ones. The box is beautiful too. Looking forward to seeing it finished when you post it as a project. Also, thanks for showing us how to make these hinges!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3144 days

#13 posted 07-03-2012 10:16 AM

I think these finger hinges are beautiful.
What a fine box.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics