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Wooden Hinges For Boxes - Installation

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Blog entry by stefang posted 1506 days ago 6798 reads 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For those of you who followed my last blog on making a wooden hinge, I have to apologize for being so late on this followup on how to install it into your box.

I was going to use my grandson’s box as an example, but we haven’t done anything more on it yet. However, a box I have had sitting around for some time needed a new hinge because I didn’t like the one I originally installed, so I thought I would take the opportunity to finish the blog.

Here are a couple of pics. As you can see, I flattened the hinge on the back, which is an option with this type of hinge. I didn’t like it much and I also didn’t set the hinge into the body of the box far enough, so when I sanded it flat I uncovered part of the hinge pin. I could have fixed it easy enough, but I just didn’t like it enough to do that.

Click photos to Enlarge
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Here in the first photo I have removed the old hinge and in the second photo I have cleaned up the groove it sits in with a carving chisel and sandpaper wrapped around a glue stick for a sanding dowel. The glue got a little hot from sanding and stuck a little to the sandpaper!

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Here is the new hinge pin glued up waiting to be rounded.

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I thought it would be fun to do it by hand/eye today. Quiet and relaxing work.

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Surprisingly it only took about 10 minutes to do the rounding plus a little more time for sanding. It turned out a little oval, but I think it is good enough. It isn’t good to obsess over everything unless you are a good woodworker.

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This pic shows the hinge after I had cut it into 5 equal sections. I numbered each section before I cut it and I drew a line lengthwise along the hinge to indicate grain match continuity. The tape is holding the hinge in the grain match orientation while the gluing takes place.

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It’s always prudent to do a dry run on your glue-up, and that’s what is happening here. Only 2 of the 5 hinge segments will be glued to the top, and that is where the clamps are placed.

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Here you see I have marked the locations for gluing. I try not to glue too close to the ends of each hinge, as squeeze-out could glue the hinges together.

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Here is the final glue-up. After the glue sets I will glue the 3 remaining hinge segments to the base of the box.

The groove along the back is a little more than halfway into the box base and into the top. This is especially important if you are going to flatten the back of the hinge. Be forewarned that if you do, when you open the lid you will see straight through the back because some of the pins will be halved lengthwise.

The groove is routed after the top has been separated from the the bottom. I tape the box together to make sure everything stays in place during routing. I use a box core bit of 13mm or if you are working in inches it should be 1/2”. The hinge diameter should be the same.

I do the routing on my router table against the fence. I rout it in 3 passes. Precision is necessary here, but not absolute perfection.

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Ok, the the glue-up on the lid went well as shown below.

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Now it’s time to glue the hinges to the box base. The first bad photo shows the marking for the hinge locations and the next one where I have applied glue. Again keep away from the hinge joint. I have been pretty generous with glue towards the ends (insurance or lack of self confidence?

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Glue-up complete. I used some “C” clamps to help put put pressure towards the bottom of the groove in addition to the clamps applying pressure to the top of the groove on the base. This box has some issues. I think I routed the groove a tiny bit crooked, but I think it is work the effort to save it. I will still have some remedial work to do after the hinge glue is dry. I will post it when finished if I don’t accidentally destroy it first.

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I will post a follow-up tomorrow so you can see the result of the glue-up (for better or worse).

I hope this will be helpful to those who want to make this type of hinge. Don’t hesitate to contact me by PM or in the blog comments with any questions. I’m always glad to be of help.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.



12 comments so far

View patron's profile

patron

12852 posts in 1847 days


#1 posted 1506 days ago

very interesting , mike

and different than i had imagined .

very simple , and effective .

thank you !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile

stefang

11826 posts in 1840 days


#2 posted 1506 days ago

Dave, I got the other part of the glue-up done so I am just going to edit this blog and finish up. So if you want to see the end just take a look. I’ll be working on it for a 15 minutes or so from now.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View patron's profile

patron

12852 posts in 1847 days


#3 posted 1506 days ago

yea , boss !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109551 posts in 2083 days


#4 posted 1506 days ago

Good work Mike well done blog.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View stefang's profile

stefang

11826 posts in 1840 days


#5 posted 1506 days ago

Thanks for your indulgence and nice comments. I hope it all makes sense after my edit. Last installment tomorrow to show the results. I’ve developed these techniques to give you pros a good laugh!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1621 days


#6 posted 1506 days ago

thank´s for letting us wait sooooo looooong Mike
better late than never:—)
thank´s for sharing it

Dennis

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2785 posts in 2008 days


#7 posted 1506 days ago

I’ve had my breath held since Part #1!
It feels great to breathe again!! LOL!!
Nice Job, Mike, on both the hinges and the story-telling!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View stefang's profile

stefang

11826 posts in 1840 days


#8 posted 1506 days ago

Thanks PrairieFire, I’m in the first stage of my progress towards competence which is that “I don’t know what I don’t know”. But I’m only 14 years into woodworking so after another 10 years if I’m still here I might know as much as the TeenageWoodworker does now. Of course by that time he will know even more. I’m having a good time though and I hope you are too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View antmjr's profile

antmjr

262 posts in 1690 days


#9 posted 1506 days ago

Thank you Mike, I’ll wait for the following part too.
—-
btw, your flattened hinge solution may be very interesting imo (it’s a pity you haven’t shown us that solution with the top opened, I’d have been curious to see how the flattened hinge looks like when it’s opened).

-- Antonio

View stefang's profile

stefang

11826 posts in 1840 days


#10 posted 1506 days ago

Sorry Antonio, I should have take a photo. It doesn’t look nice. When you flatten the hinge at the back you are basically cutting hinge segments in half lengthwise. When you open the box, the two halved segments attached to the back swing into view and leaves a large gap at those positions which to my eyes ruin the whole appearance. The insides of a box should hold delights, not broken teeth.

I am just about to post the new hinge which was glued-up yesterday.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Roz's profile

Roz

1655 posts in 2292 days


#11 posted 1504 days ago

Thank you Mike, I see how it was done.
This method would not have occurred to me without trial and error. It is a simple, straight forward and ingenious solution for creating a wooden hinge. Thanks

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View stefang's profile

stefang

11826 posts in 1840 days


#12 posted 1475 days ago

Thanks Autumn. That box is now history after a disastrous inlay experience. I used quite a lot of time on making the inlay and then messed up the insertion into the top. Live and learn as they say. I just glued the hinge into the new (Oak) box which replaces this one. I plan to take the clamps off in an hour or so to see how it came out. I can hardly wait! The inlay worked out pretty good on the new box, but not as good as I would have liked. It is so true that practice makes perfect. All of those old cliche’s are so right!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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