Secrets of the String Box Revealed #6: Secret Soss

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by newTim posted 08-30-2010 05:15 AM 6363 reads 10 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Cutting Corners Part 6 of Secrets of the String Box Revealed series Part 7: Oh No! »

While I still plan to do a series on my experiences with various box hinges, I thought I’d go ahead and post how I installed Soss hinges on the current string box project. I plan to include the usual step-by-step process, but I think most folks will get the idea from these pictures.

The sides of this box are a little over 3/4” wide so I’m using the Soss 203 hinges which are 1/2” X 1 3/4. These hinges require eight, count ‘em, eight! mortises. And they all have to be perfectly lined up relative to the sides of the box and the back in order for the lid to be flush with the box. The picture below is a dry fit straight from the jig with no fussing. I think the pictures tell the story so if you have any questions please let me know.

-- tim hill

6 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3066 days

#1 posted 08-30-2010 05:28 AM

Those jigs are pretty sweet. It all came out looking pretty incredible.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 08-30-2010 12:32 PM

I love the boxes. What interesting jigs! They look very interesting!

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3139 days

#3 posted 08-30-2010 02:08 PM

I like those hinge , but you lost me in the picturebook
well I gess the day I need it I figur it out…LOL
for now I go the oldschoolway but it sure looks interressting :-)


View dub560's profile


615 posts in 2937 days

#4 posted 08-30-2010 04:02 PM

good work …that’s a sweet looking box you got there

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View newTim's profile


608 posts in 3631 days

#5 posted 08-30-2010 08:28 PM

Thanks all. Dennis… I don’t know where I lost you, but here’s how the jig works. You mark matching centerlines across both the box and lid which are the same distance from the edge (side of the box). These lines represent the center of the hinge mortise. The jig is registered against the outside of the box with the fence and on the inside with a centerline. The jig uses a 5/8” guide bushing and for the Soss 203, a 1/2” bit. You place the router on the jig and zero the bit height to the bottom of the jig (ie you push it down until the bit stops). You then use the top (wide mortise) part of the hinge to set the depth guage/stop for (about 1/4”).

Raise the bit up, plug in the router, and make your first mortise cut. I like to make a series of plunge cuts then clean out the mortise with a final pass. Go slow, be gentle, don’t force the router. I also spray some lubricant on the jig to help the router but you could also use wax. Turn the router off, raise the bit, and lift it out. Flip the other half of the jig over on top of the bottom plate. You will repeat the process, however, you will have to first reset for the depth of cut. Notice that the top mortise is smaller than the bottom?

You place the router back on the jig, zero out the bit (which is now being zeroed to the bottom of the first mortise). The specs say the Soss 203 is 3/4” deep, but I like to cut a hair deeper and make the bottom mortise a little wider so it fits easier. I use a 1/2” block or spacer to re-set the depth gauge (actually slightly more than 1/2”), raise the bit, and make the second cut in the same manner as the first. Then I repeat this for the other three (six actually) mortises.

A couple of tips. Make sure the jig is very secure on the part being mortised. Any slippage will cause the hinge to not fit or worse. Work deliberately, slow down, make sure you complete each step. It is easy to forget to re-set the depth gauge and cut the top mortise too deep. If your mortise is too wide you can adjust (tighten) the jig with layers of tape on the ends. Note: this won’t help you until your next mortise which is a good reason to do practice and/or test cuts.

I will post a more detailed blog showing how I make the jig. In the meantime I hope this helps.

-- tim hill

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3139 days

#6 posted 08-30-2010 08:36 PM

thank´s Tim I bookmark it for to be used later :-)
and by the way the box is very beautyfull
thank´s once more

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