Small Wooden Hinges

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Project by SPalm posted 08-30-2010 03:15 AM 19456 views 219 times favorited 63 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I guess this is kind of a part of a project. But I had so much fun building these that I just wanted to share. I had never tried to build something like this before.

These are maple hinges. The barrel on them is pretty small, 1/4 inch. The flaps or plates are 1/8 inch thick. The hinge pins are bamboo from kabob skewers.

I started by using scraps to create several boards that were 1/4 inch thick. The thickness sander really helped here. I then used a 1/8 inch radius bull-nose cutter in the router table to put a rounded end on the endgrain. Then flipped the board vertically and ran it through the same bit with the same setting to cause the cutter to create 3/4 of a circle.

I then center punched (or pressed) the drill center location. I freehanded the drill operation using just the drill vise to hold the board vertically. This worked amazingly well. I had also tried fences and stop blocks, but found this way to give the best results. I drilled half way, flipped the board and finished the bore. I used a 7/64 bit (just under an eighth of an inch).

Back to the router table, I installed a mortising bit and formed the flat plate. Then a quarter inch bit and performed what is basically a finger joint type operation. I tried a couple different bits and operations here, but the quarter inch vertical seemed to work the best.

I cut them to size and installed the pin. I used bamboo skewers that I had mounted in a hand drill to sand smooth. I found that spinning the pin was an easy way to insert it too. The pin does not seem to need any glue, and I cannot imagine any of them coming out of there.

This is just the beginning, I really feel like these are going to be used by me a lot more in the future.

Edit: I added a drill guide and some other hints in This Project

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

63 comments so far

View NormG's profile


4651 posts in 1786 days

#1 posted 08-30-2010 03:22 AM

neat project thanks for the pics

-- Norman

View lew's profile


10201 posts in 2537 days

#2 posted 08-30-2010 03:25 AM

I see “Littlescope” has started a trend.

Nice work, Steve!

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

View richgreer's profile


4525 posts in 1856 days

#3 posted 08-30-2010 03:25 AM

Very nice.

I use the Incra Hingecrafter to make my wooden hinges. Your approach looks more flexible (and cheaper). Good for you,

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View psh's profile


77 posts in 1777 days

#4 posted 08-30-2010 03:31 AM

Great job!

-- Peter, Central VA

View CharlieM1958's profile


15865 posts in 3000 days

#5 posted 08-30-2010 03:43 AM

Once again, Steve, you have started with an established concept and taken it to an entirely new level. Wow!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1897 days

#6 posted 08-30-2010 03:44 AM

great little toturial on hingemaking :-)

thanks for sharing


View dakremer's profile


2510 posts in 1873 days

#7 posted 08-30-2010 03:49 AM

that is really neat! Great looking hinges. I might have to try that some day! thanks for sharing! they look great

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View learnin2do's profile


871 posts in 1633 days

#8 posted 08-30-2010 04:28 AM

That is just too incredible…
I don’t think you’ll ever catch me even attempting such an endeavor.

-- christine

View rance's profile


4149 posts in 1942 days

#9 posted 08-30-2010 04:31 AM

Steve, good job. I like the change on the bottom right one in the first pic. You make it look so easy. I’ve been wanting to do some of these for a while. I think you’ve inspired me.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Karson's profile


34925 posts in 3182 days

#10 posted 08-30-2010 04:34 AM

Steve: Great. I’ve made mine with Incra Hindgecrafter.

A great and cheaper way.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View sedcokid's profile


2686 posts in 2380 days

#11 posted 08-30-2010 04:57 AM

Great photos and a great project, really nice!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View swirt's profile


1952 posts in 1754 days

#12 posted 08-30-2010 05:02 AM

Nice. I like the one in the lower right with the radiused gaps. Not only are they attractive but they should be less prone to fracturing at the corners (because there are no corners)

-- Galootish log blog,

View SPalm's profile


4972 posts in 2664 days

#13 posted 08-30-2010 05:15 AM

Thanks guys. Yeah, I tried some of those with the rounded gaps. I guess every design has some advantages and disadvantages. Something else I did that was kind of cool was to have different gap widths, but I need to upgrade my router table. I managed to destroy several blanks. So anyone trying this, make a bunch while you are at it. Things can go wrong, and besides, it’s fun to play.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2794 posts in 2494 days

#14 posted 08-30-2010 05:16 AM

These are great. Thanks for the detailed instructions and progress shots.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 2874 days

#15 posted 08-30-2010 05:43 AM

Nicely done Steve… they look great!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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