Making durable wood hinges

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Project by Dan posted 05-26-2014 09:04 PM 3573 views 17 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been working on making wooden hinges that can withstand abrupt forces, will last as long as the box frame and look good. I believe these hinges may accomplish this.

The 3×5 recipe boxes in the pictures are not finished because this project is about the hinges, and I wanted to show how they could look on a project.

The box on the right the hinges are padouk and 7/16” thick. They are two strips of identical thickness laminated together.

Here is the procedure I came up with to achieve this.

On my table saw I first re-sawed a flattened board down the middle to get the approximate thickness of the two halves. .

I then trimmed the pieces to square. My next step was cutting a 1/8” flat bottom crosswise groove on each end of the flats, 1/4”+ in from the ends. The depth of this cut is important. I am going to fit a 1/8” square .014” brass tube in these slots so that it sits halfway in. Actually a tiny tiny fraction more than halfway. When done with this I then wipe it with acetone and glue up the two pieces with the tube in the slots. The square tubes make it much easier to clamp. . .

When dry I trim it up then proceed to trim back the end to 7/32” away from center of square tube. Also make sure it is parallel with hole by running a 3/32 brass rod in hole and checking . Then I run it through the router to get rounded ends. Then Cut finger joints with Incra I-Box.

-- Dan

18 comments so far

View Dan's profile


722 posts in 2042 days

#1 posted 05-26-2014 09:13 PM

Anyway, to test my hinges I epoxied 2 ea, 1/2” hinges to a box that didn’t work out. After epoxy dried I first began dropping it on to a wooden board from about 45”, then from about 7 feet. One hinge tore free from the box at the secon drop from 45 ”. I continued dropping about 4 or 5 more times from 45 ” then finally held it up to about 7 feet and dropped. That is when the 2nd hinge came free from box.

As you can see from pictures the hinge joints were not affected. I think that square tube distributes forces in such a way that it distributes impact load to both halves if hinge.

-- Dan

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722 posts in 2042 days

#2 posted 05-26-2014 09:17 PM

The re sawn pieces were trued on a 24” square slab of marble. Hot melt glued and trimmed with my Ridgid router and redneck router sled, As you can see from the picture of the 2 pieces on edge and against each other it worked real good.

-- Dan

View Jerry's profile


2836 posts in 1798 days

#3 posted 05-26-2014 09:40 PM

Really took me awhile to understand your process, but I think I have it now. Interesting approach, and they do look quite substantial. Looks like another success story for you.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Dan's profile


722 posts in 2042 days

#4 posted 05-26-2014 09:54 PM

Thanks Jerry, sorry I rushed through the explanation, my wife was bugging me to do something.

-- Dan

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10579 posts in 3182 days

#5 posted 05-26-2014 10:08 PM

Very Nice Work Indeed Dan! Thanks For Sharing!


-- (Rick S.)... "Don't Worry About What People Think! They Don't Do It Very Often!"

View doubleDD's profile


7710 posts in 2193 days

#6 posted 05-27-2014 02:56 AM

I think you have something here. Will have to give it more attention. Well done.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dan's profile


722 posts in 2042 days

#7 posted 05-27-2014 03:56 AM

I’m getting the pictures inserted thanks

-- Dan

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722 posts in 2042 days

#8 posted 05-27-2014 03:59 AM

After glue-up. Two pieces glued together with square tube in exact center.

-- Dan

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722 posts in 2042 days

#9 posted 05-27-2014 04:04 AM

I re sawed a board down the middle on my table saw then hot glued each half on marble slab and trued each side with router sled.

-- Dan

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722 posts in 2042 days

#10 posted 05-27-2014 04:11 AM

After truing both sides with router sled I set pieces on edge against each other to demonstrate flatness.

Then cut 1/8” flat grooves for square tube. (See first picture)

-- Dan

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722 posts in 2042 days

#11 posted 05-27-2014 04:17 AM

after glue-up. Thickness was 7/16” So I trimmed end back to 7/32”making sure to keep end parallel with brass rod running through square tube. Then rounded on router. Then set up on Incra I-box to cut 7/16” deep. Always use practice piece first.

-- Dan

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4068 posts in 2042 days

#12 posted 05-27-2014 04:29 AM

That is really cool. Great job and thanks

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1974 days

#13 posted 05-27-2014 11:22 AM

Nice looking boxes and really great hinges they look nice and strong and I like the way you have them fitted to the boxes.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

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13071 posts in 3017 days

#14 posted 05-27-2014 12:13 PM

Hinges looks great as well as whole box!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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217 posts in 2274 days

#15 posted 05-27-2014 01:29 PM

Do you cut the fingers in the table saw with the square brass tubes inserted on the wood?
Can you cut brass with a table saw?

Very nice hinges.


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