Jewelry / Keepsake Box with Linkage Hinge Lid

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Project by PhilosopherSteve posted 03-02-2015 08:17 PM 3136 views 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was looking for alternative to hinges when I came across this idea (on a YouTube video). It looked neat so I gave it a try. Getting the linkages right took some trial and error, but I eventually worked it out. The box is typical, splined miters and glued on plywood top/bottom. The box is walnut.

I had to relieve the back edge of the box (where the lid meets the body) to avoid binding as it opens. Due to the size of the box I couldn’t make the top rest flat against the back when open unless I would have the top being below the bottom of the box when fully open- which didn’t look good. So, I had the top sit a little behind the box when opened.

All in all, I like the movement and how it looks. I think brass linkages would look great too against the dark walnut. It’s nice and strong which I was happy about. Since the linkages are just screwed into the sides those screws could eventually work out so I may want to use a small bolt and nut that goes all the way through (might be tricky in the back where the linkage has to be as far back as possible to work right).

I have a video on my YouTube channel if you want to see what the movement looks like :

9 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


3594 posts in 2620 days

#1 posted 03-02-2015 11:07 PM

I like the hinge design. very cool.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3520 days

#2 posted 03-03-2015 03:19 AM

I love it. I’m thinking, too, that the screws working themselves loose could become a problem. Do you think they could be glued into the wood? Do you have any kind of spacer or washer between the box and the linkages?

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View PhilosopherSteve's profile


43 posts in 4288 days

#3 posted 03-03-2015 03:33 AM

Yeah, I have a washer between the linkage and the box. Gluing in the screws might be a good idea, a bit of epoxy would probably do the trick. This was my prototype so I can try out more ideas on other boxes. There is more that can come from this method.

View Boxguy's profile


2763 posts in 2470 days

#4 posted 03-03-2015 03:48 AM

Steve, that second picture threw me. I wasn’t expecting it to actually rest on the “ground” like that. It is a great idea and would work well for a heavy top like a jewelry box with at mirror inside the lid. Since the weight doesn’t tip the box backward when the lid is open you could even tilt the lid backward a bit to make the mirror work better. This is a very nice concept, and I am looking forward to seeing what the next one looks like.

Since all but one of the screws could go into the back or front board in the box, a long screw with a little super glue dropped into a pre-glued hole should keep them from unscrewing. It would be important to keep the hole in the wooden linkage a little loose. Would the linkage look better if it matched the box? Instead of bolts, you might try cap nuts that are made to hold with Locktite on the threads. They would look a bit better than nuts and bolts, especially if you inset the heads. Could the back binding be solved with a bit of downward angle in the top/bottom joint?

Thanks for sharing this idea. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View nayo's profile


294 posts in 2095 days

#5 posted 03-03-2015 01:27 PM

Nice hinge design, i prefer those types of hinges. would a T-nut work there?, if you have small ones over there might give it a try. we have t nut here but only 5/8, and i used them in some of my projects, also i use nut locker to locked them in place.

View majuvla's profile


13376 posts in 3070 days

#6 posted 03-03-2015 05:00 PM

Interesting opening solution.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View PhilosopherSteve's profile


43 posts in 4288 days

#7 posted 03-03-2015 08:05 PM

Thanks for looking everyone. Some more good ideas here for me.

Nayo – I was thinking of using t-nuts or threaded inserts and I might give them a try on the next one. A little bit of titebond would ensure they never come free. We have t-nuts here, but like yours they are a bit large. Threaded inserts can be quite small, though – however they are not always easy to put in place.

Boxguy – It is a bit deceptive how it rests until you see it (I didn’t see it until I had made a mockup!). Nice idea to use this on boxes that would hold mirrors. I was thinking of adding some marquetry pictures to the inside of the back since it is held at a nice viewing angle. I’m sure I could play with the tilt angle a bit too. Cap nuts would look nice, I’ve used them on other projects. I may try another version where the linkages are from the same species to see how it looks. On your last point, when you say use a bit of a downward angle, do you mean taper the entire lid (thicker at front, thinner at back)?

View Boxguy's profile


2763 posts in 2470 days

#8 posted 03-04-2015 03:39 AM

Steve, I cut my box tops off on a table saw. Normally, I cut completely through the long sides first, cut partially through the short sides leaving just a bit of wood, and finish the cut with a utility knife. Here is a visual link.

Using the table saw method you could vary the sequenced a bit and angle the saw blade a bit as you cut through the back side and could choose to do the back side cut last. Three box sides would be at 90 degrees and only the back side would slope.

-- Big Al in IN

View PhilosopherSteve's profile


43 posts in 4288 days

#9 posted 03-06-2015 01:51 AM

Ah, I see what you mean Boxguy. I use the same method to separate tops and I think the angled back cut is a good idea. I’ll have to try it out. Thanks!

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