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Project by kiefer posted 08-27-2013 07:13 PM 7928 views 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I mentioned in my previous post ,here is the improved version of my leather hinge .
I have reduced the size to one inch and eliminated drilling the mortise by using a jig and dovetail router bit which gives the mortise a flat bottom .
The other advantage is that the plug which is shaped to fit the mortise locks into mortise slightly compressing the leather making a very solid installation .
The hinge now does not rely much on the glue joint but on a mechanical connection .
The joint is made by placing the jig on the marked position which is accomplished by aligning the index marks inside the opening of the jig block .
Once the jig and box has been clamped I simply rout out the mortise .
Next I make the plugs by cutting them on the band saw and finish sanding the size and bevel on the disc sander .
The two pieces that represent the box back and top are taped off with thin tape in the mortise area to eliminate glue stains and prevent the pieces from bonding together .
Then glue is applied to the leather discs and plugs and slid into the mortise and clamped aligning itself .
When the glue is set the hinge is sanded flush and further decoration can be made .
I used the table saw tilted to 45 cut the relive bevel on the joint being careful not to score the leather ,
first time I tried this .
Next step is to obtain some better leather then I have been using ,it will look better yet .

-- Kiefer

16 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2316 days

#1 posted 08-27-2013 07:45 PM

Interesting approach. I might suggest that you try to find some kangaroo leather for your hinges as I seem to recall it is the toughest of leathers and is used in making whips. Just a thought, and keep posting.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2432 days

#2 posted 08-27-2013 08:39 PM

Nice idea and a sure-fire new fangled way of opening up new ideas on the “hinge” subject.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3129 days

#3 posted 08-27-2013 08:44 PM

Very good improvement, Kiefer. I have been looking seriously at using leather hinges on a project.That is slick!.........................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#4 posted 08-27-2013 08:55 PM

Looks like it works like a charm. The leather looks good with the wood also.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2822 days

#5 posted 08-27-2013 09:50 PM

nice development Kiefer.
How thick is the leather after the relief cut?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View ruddy's profile


543 posts in 2963 days

#6 posted 08-27-2013 10:02 PM

Clever indeed… many possibilities.
Kiefer, thanks for posting your ideas.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2691 days

#7 posted 08-28-2013 12:34 AM

Have to check out Kangaroo leather ,where I don’t know .

Will see where this goes any ideas are welcome .

I would be interested to see your project with leather hinges .

Yes it works good and it is clean and easy now with the new system .

The leather is the same thickness as it was when installed ,I do not cut into the leather when doing the relive cut .

Yes there are many ways this could be done and used and I have more ideas to come and share .!!

Thanks everybody and hope you all had a great day ,I made a trip to the sawmill this afternoon and took some little gifts to thank Monika and peter for the big burl .
Well my truck got loaded with some nice wood at no charge ,I guess they appreciated the gifts .
I found out that the wood I used in the box shown above and taken as a gift is called BUTTERMILK PINE and got more of it to work with .Also got a bundle of some very nice white poplar (TIGER OR FLAME )and some tamarack.
I had a great day !

-- Kiefer

View Dave777's profile


303 posts in 4093 days

#8 posted 08-28-2013 01:57 AM

Very interesting, thanks for the info on the leather hinges. Will give them a try at some point.

-- the stone rejected by the builders will become the capstone

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2699 days

#9 posted 08-28-2013 02:22 AM

I HAD to “favorite” this for future use!!!

Thanks for taking the time to post this and an even bigger thanks for sharing the knowledge!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Woodbridge's profile


3548 posts in 2442 days

#10 posted 08-28-2013 02:26 AM

Kiefer, the leather hinges you’ve shared with us are a great idea. thanks very much.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3115 days

#11 posted 08-28-2013 04:19 AM

call me retarded….but I didnt understand the process from the pics/description. haha. awesome looking hinges though!

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

View robscastle's profile (online now)


5085 posts in 2228 days

#12 posted 08-28-2013 07:23 AM

Kangaroo hey ! I can help you out !!

and I think I am retarded too… have you got more pictures? ...I ve got more Kangaroos!!!

-- Regards Rob

View CFrye's profile


10233 posts in 1864 days

#13 posted 08-28-2013 10:53 AM

If I understand correctly, the dovetail bit makes an opening that is wider at the bottom than the surface so that the wooden disc, with beveled edges, wedges the leather in place. Theoretically it could still pull out the hinged end…not likely though.

-- God bless, Candy

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 2632 days

#14 posted 08-28-2013 01:18 PM

Kiefer, if you made one of these up, and then run it thru the tablesaw, about half way thru the disk and showed it as a section, a lot of us might understand it better.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2691 days

#15 posted 08-28-2013 02:02 PM

Thanks ,give it a try if you like .

Thanks and share we do.

Thanks ,glad you found it interesting

Thanks ,Just a round mortise done with the plunge router and top bearing bit and a block with a hole as a guide .

Thanks for the offer ,I wish you where not so far away .
Look at the sketch further down the list.

Thanks , there is glue also giving the bond for leather to wood ,look at the sketch below .

Thanks ,I took the sample in the pics to the saw mill yesterday and forgot to bring it back but here is a little cross section sketch ,hope it helps .

-- Kiefer

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