Reply by Mark Mazzo

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Posted on How do I adjust hinges on small boxes

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Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 3880 days

#1 posted 11-20-2007 11:09 PM

There are a number of reasons that the hinges may be misaligned. The screw locations may be one, but the position of each hinge location on the top and the bottom of the box is another possibility. For what it’s worth, here’s how I do it:

When I am setting hinges, I use a “story stick” to mark their location. I cut a stick of scrap that is exactly the width of the box. I then decide where I want a hinge to be located along the back of the box. I cut a notch out of the story stick at that location exactly the width of a hinge. This is done only on one end of the story stick. Then the story stick can be used to mark the location of one hinge and then flipped over to mark the location of the other hinge. Because the stick is exactly the width of the box it will locate the hinges equidistant from each side of the box – it can also be used for both the bottom and the top of the box in the same manner – this locates them precisely at the same locations on both the top and bottom of the box. Once the locations are marked with knife, they can be mortised – half the thickness of the hinge in the bottom and half in the top.

To attach the hinges, start by placing them on the box bottom with a piece of scrap against the inside of the box to butt the hinge against. Mark each screw hole in the center with with an awl. Then drill the holes and mount the hinges with the screws (for very small screws use a small finish nail as your drill bit to keep it from wandering as you drill). Now, place a piece of double stick tape on the top of each hinge and set the top in place carefully aligning it with the bottom. Press down on the top to cause the tape to temporarily stick the hinges to it. Open the box carefully and repeat the steps to mark and drill the holes and then attach the hinges to the top. If necessary as you mark the hole locations on the top, place a pieces of scrap under the top to prop it up to the correct height.

I hope that this helps.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

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