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.
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!
Here is the new hinge pin glued up waiting to be rounded.
I thought it would be fun to do it by hand/eye today. Quiet and relaxing work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ok, the the glue-up on the lid went well as shown below.
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?
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.
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.