Box question: Fixing slight lid slant due to non-swaged hinges

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Forum topic by Llarian posted 09-29-2009 06:23 AM 1764 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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128 posts in 3632 days

09-29-2009 06:23 AM

I just wrapped up making my first attempt at a jewelry box, and for some reason thought the Brusso stop hinges sat complete flat when closed, which apparently is not the case, ever so slightly. There’s a minor gap in the rear of the lid with the tops of the hinges flush, which I didn’t expect.

Unfortunately, me being stupid, I didn’t test the hinges as well as I should have before putting on the finish, so I don’t want to do something destructive like cutting the mortises down further.

I’m guessing my best option at this point would just be to add some sort of pad between the lid and body in the front. I’d have a gap, but at least it would be even at that point, which would probably be more aesthetically pleasing. Does anybody have any suggerstions on that? I suppose I could just use felt circles or something, but for a solid wood box with all brass hardware, that seems a little out of place.

Alternately, I’m open to suggestions for actually fixing the gap, but I doubt there’s much I’d be willing to do at this point, I’m amazing I got this far without ruining the project, so I don’t want to risk doing anything that involves chopping or cutting at this point. :P

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

7 replies so far

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 4013 days

#1 posted 09-29-2009 07:48 AM

You didn’t post any pictures, but maybe you could file down the hinges. Or just get thinner ones.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3455 days

#2 posted 09-29-2009 08:32 AM

File the front edge of the hinges like jsheaney said and make sure your screws are fully seated in the hinge. If the screw heads stick up even slightly it will cause your hinges to hit and not close all the way.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4243 days

#3 posted 09-29-2009 03:01 PM

Actually, the felt circle route is not a bad solution. I’ve done it, and the upside is that it adds a nice “feel” when you close the lid.

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

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#4 posted 09-29-2009 04:40 PM

they make clear ” buttons ” in different thicknesses ,
and i have also drilled a 1/4 ” hole in the corner and inset a pencil eraser in them ,
and used a flat spacer and a sharp razor blade to trim them to the right height .

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

View Vulture's profile


23 posts in 3205 days

#5 posted 09-29-2009 06:23 PM

I build jewelry boxes regularly and I can empathize with the pain you are feeling right now! All of the suggestions posted so far are great ones. Another possibility, if you don’t feel that it would detract from the overall appearance of the box, would be to add decorative brass corners to the front two corners of the box where the lid meets the carcass. They will likely create enough “elevation” to match the gap that the hinges currently create…so now it will look like the gap was intended.

-- Kevin, Vancouver, WA

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 3632 days

#6 posted 09-29-2009 06:28 PM

Filling the hinges wouldn’t help, the extra elevation is in the hinge barrel, and there’s nothing I can do to change the geometry of that, its a solid brass hinge that isn’t removable.

The brass corners idea is interesting, I hadn’t considered that. I’ll have to think about how it’d look.

In the meantime, I think I’ll at least try some felt circles. The more I think about it, the more I think it might not detract from the feel of the box, and it would make it close a little softer.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View jsheaney's profile


141 posts in 4013 days

#7 posted 10-03-2009 06:13 AM

I meant take the hinges off and file the underside of them, where they meet the wood; not where they meet themselves. If they are brass, it might not be too difficult and any file marks would be out of sight.

For that matter, I don’t see why you wouldn’t just deepen the mortises. Even if you have finished the piece, the mortises don’t need any finish. You just need a very sharp chisel. Again, no pictures, so not sure how much material you’re talking about, but a marking knife and/or a marking gauge can reduce the likelihood of any mishap. The hinge itself will hide any but the most egregious mistakes.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

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