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Invisible Hinges First Attempt - Not Invisible Quite Yet

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Project by Jerry posted 02-26-2015 03:26 AM 2138 views 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I’m working on a prototype for a small humidor for a friend, and in the course of that, the invisible wooden hinge thing, and I discover that it is really impossible when you make a box with a lip coming down from the top. Problems is that if you capture the hinge in between the sides, the back edges prevent the box from opening unless you were to round them off, so no more invisible hinge.

The only solution I’ve found so far to keep the hinge perfectly flat on the back of the box is to make the hinge the full width of the box. So while theoretically you could make it almost invisible by matching the species and grain of the dowel used to make the hinge with the back of the box, it will still always be visible on the sides.

This was a practice box and a study for the hinge, so I didn’t take the time to match the hinge grain. I also noted that the cove cut for the hinge dowel was a little too shallow, hence the gaps.

The box features some Black Walnut inlay on the top and 8 keyed box joints in each corner where the original fingers were removed and replaced with Spanish Cedar for accent and smell.

Next one will be better.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/





25 comments so far

View Roger's profile

Roger

19865 posts in 2264 days


#1 posted 02-26-2015 12:03 PM

You are certainly doing some fine tuning. Carry on Jerry, you’re doin gr8

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7475 posts in 1467 days


#2 posted 02-26-2015 01:13 PM

It may not be truly invisible … but it’s dang CLOSE! Nice!

Just like my lathe work, Jerry. Practice, practice, practice! You’ll figure it out !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View poospleasures's profile

poospleasures

544 posts in 1944 days


#3 posted 02-26-2015 01:29 PM

Nice!!!!! I to have been working on these type hinges but you are far advanced to me. I can get them to work OK but have appearance short comings. Have made a little progress. Seems I,m very slow. Thanks for showing.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#4 posted 02-26-2015 02:52 PM

Jerry, That hinge looks darn good from here! Wooden hinges are addictive, aren’t they?

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

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#5 posted 02-26-2015 03:20 PM



You are certainly doing some fine tuning. Carry on Jerry, you re doin gr8

- Roger

Thanks Roger, you always make me feel good about my work.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#6 posted 02-26-2015 03:22 PM



It may not be truly invisible … but it s dang CLOSE! Nice!

Just like my lathe work, Jerry. Practice, practice, practice! You ll figure it out !

- JoeinGa

Thanks Joe, this is definitely not my last one. My biggest challenge so far has been making a perfectly round dowel.Even though my dowels are close they are not perfectly round. I think I will be buying dowels for my next few boxes until I get the process for making them down perfectly.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#7 posted 02-26-2015 03:46 PM


Nice!!!!! I to have been working on these type hinges but you are far advanced to me. I can get them to work OK but have appearance short comings. Have made a little progress. Seems I,m very slow. Thanks for showing.

- poospleasures

Well,I can share what I’ve learned with you. These are the points:

  • The dowel has to be perfectly round and the end of each hinge piece has to be perfectly square. I use a shooting board to the achieve this, but you could also use a crosscut sled with a groove cut in it to hold the dowels.
  • The hole for the hinge axle has to be dead center. In a previous post, I showed jig I had made to drill holes perfectly in the center of the dowels.
  • The groove for the dowel hinge pieces has to be cut with a core box router bit of the same diameter as the dowel. On a 1/2 inch dowel, the bit height needs to be one quarter of an inch, and needs to cut into the box 7/32 of an inch – just far enough to hide the axle of the hinge.
  • When making the router cut for the groove that the dowel hinge pieces will go into, put the back side of the box against the fence with the box opening face down on the router table to make your first groove cut, then put the backside of the top with the solid part of the top facing up IE, the inside of the box facing down to make your second cut.
  • Always use an uneven number of hinge pieces, glue alternating pieces to the top, and the remaining pieces to the bottom.
  • Use paste wax during glue up to prevent the glue from getting into unwanted surfaces, especially adjacent hinge pieces.
  • After the glue up, use a plane or a sander to flatten the backside of the hinge.

Please feel free to send me a personal message if you want to have a conversation about this.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#8 posted 02-26-2015 03:48 PM



Jerry, That hinge looks darn good from here! Wooden hinges are addictive, aren t they?

- gfadvm


Thanks gfadvm, they’re not so great yet but I plan on doing enough so that I can get good at them.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2084 days


#9 posted 02-26-2015 04:39 PM

Hey buddy I don’t know what you are looking for. That hinge looks terrific! I know we are our own worst critics but I have to say you have certainly poured your best into this.
I am sure you saw this in your quest for invisible hinges;http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/23989
If not, it might be a SMH moment.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#10 posted 02-26-2015 04:49 PM



Hey buddy I don t know what you are looking for. That hinge looks terrific! I know we are our own worst critics but I have to say you have certainly poured your best into this.
I am sure you saw this in your quest for invisible hinges;http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/23989
If not, it might be a SMH moment.

- jumbojack

Hey my friend, just looking for a little cleaner hinge.

On another note, I had not seen shipwright’s post and am now gobbling it up, what an amazing craftsman he is. Thanks for pointing that out to me, and thanks for the compliments.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View mdb5972's profile

mdb5972

21 posts in 1293 days


#11 posted 02-26-2015 04:57 PM

I fell in love with using wooden hinges myself. Haven’t tried the dowel method.

Have you looked at the technique of 1/8 blade down the middle of the board, rounding over the edges, insert your rod, and splining the cap to finish the hinge? Might be easier then the dowel trick.

As for sealing the box around the hinges, a inner… argh can’t think what it is called… when you put and inner box to align the top. Have it higher then the hinges, route a grove and put a large o-ring around it.

pop’d to mind when I was looking.

Tea chest I experimented with

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#12 posted 02-26-2015 05:04 PM



I fell in love with using wooden hinges myself. Haven t tried the dowel method.

Have you looked at the technique of 1/8 blade down the middle of the board, rounding over the edges, insert your rod, and splining the cap to finish the hinge? Might be easier then the dowel trick.

I had not seen that method until JumboJock directed me to shipwright’s page showing how it’s done.


As for sealing the box around the hinges, a inner… argh can t think what it is called… when you put and inner box to align the top. Have it higher then the hinges, route a grove and put a large o-ring around it.

pop d to mind when I was looking.

Tea chest I experimented with

- mdb5972

I think I understand what you are talking about. Thanks for showing me your tea chest, it’s truly a work of art.

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View DanielP's profile

DanielP

489 posts in 1352 days


#13 posted 02-26-2015 06:34 PM

Well done Jerry. I like the way you work it out by focusing on a particular part of the box at a time. Making a well built box is more difficult than most people think, I think anyway.

Also, even with the lip you can hide the hinge ends by trimming all around the top of the bottom piece except where the male hinge parts jut out. Cut the grooves on top and bottom before trimmin,g stopping short of ends a length equal to each individual hinge. Router bit being round requires a little clean-up.
The inside of the outside top hinges and outside of bottom hinges do not need to be connected with pin. They will appear connected.

-- --- Dan

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1764 posts in 1108 days


#14 posted 02-26-2015 07:00 PM


Well done Jerry. I like the way you work it out by focusing on a particular part of the box at a time. Making a well built box is more difficult than most people think, I think anyway.

Thanks Daniel, I agree. When I first started woodworking, I thought “I’ll do something easy, like boxes, until my skill level improves.” HA! Boy was I wrong, but box making has been instrumental in helping me improve my woodworking skill because it is so demanding.


Router bit being round requires a little clean-up. The inside of the outside top hinges and outside of bottom hinges do not need to be connected with pin. They will appear connected.

This part I do understand, when I attempted this at first, I cut a groove one inch short of the ends, and cleaned up the corners with a chisel.


Also, even with the lip you can hide the hinge ends by trimming all around the top of the bottom piece except where the male hinge parts jut out. Cut the grooves on top and bottom before trimming stopping short of ends a length equal to each individual hinge.

I’m struggling with understanding this part.. I don’t understand exactly your meaning when you say “trimming”.. Are we talking about a mechanical process of trimming some wood down in some way, if so, I am not quite understanding what or where I would be trimming, or are we talking about adding some sort of trim, IE a veneer or something, to hide the end of the hinge?

Sorry to be so thick, but I want to understand your meaning clearly.

Thanks,
Jerry

-- 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. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#15 posted 02-26-2015 07:54 PM

Jerry, I make all my own dowels using the router table, roundover bits, and square stock. They turn out perfectly round. Paul (Shipwright)’s method using the tablesaw kerf for the hinge pins worked a LOT better for me than trying to drill a straight hole in hard/”grainy” stock. Carry on….

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

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