wooden hinges strong enough?

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Forum topic by AaronK posted 04-05-2010 05:25 PM 2711 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1436 posts in 2887 days

04-05-2010 05:25 PM

I think it’d be a good idea to have handmade wooden hinges on the blanket chest I’m building. The top is about 40”x20” of 3/4” mahogany. It will be supported on both sides with
rocklers lid supports:

given that the lid should be pretty much fully supported, is it feasible to use 2 or 3 finger jointed wooden hinges? I’m thinking they’d be about 3” long or so, and glued (probably screwed too) in to the back and lid on the inside.

10 replies so far

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2764 days

#1 posted 04-05-2010 05:32 PM

sounds like a plan .

just get the hinge pin and the closer swing in sink ,
and it should work just fine .

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

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

449 posts in 2428 days

#2 posted 04-05-2010 06:13 PM

All the supports do is keep the lid from slamming or going back too far They don’t help with the hinging. Wooden hinges may be fine for small boxes but for something that big you want it to be stronger than you can make it out of wood in my opinion, unless it’s an awfully big hinge.

If you do what you are thinking, make sure to post pictures.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3191 days

#3 posted 04-05-2010 09:17 PM

maybe you could try a dowel hinge like T-Chisel (Tommy Mac) used on his blanket chest. I don’t have the link to the video but if you go over to it should be pretty easy to find

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2727 posts in 3191 days

#4 posted 04-05-2010 09:20 PM

actually heres the link

its episode 15 i think… one second to last one.

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 04-05-2010 09:41 PM

thanks for the link. i think i might watch the whole series actually, since my chest is similar.

his hinge IS based on a 3/4, but the only wood holding it on is a fairly thin, narrow piece on each batten. This is encouraging. For my hinges I was thinking two-three 1/2” fingers, multiplied by 2-3 hinges along the length of the back. I was considering using 1/4” cherry dowel for them, although I might use steel rod. I think i have more faith in the wood then most :-) after all, the dowel is going to be stressed perpendicular to the grain, and that’s very strong. also, the only time the hinges will be stressed is when opening/closing… which is not a whole lot.

I dunno. I’d still love to have more opinions!

View jm82435's profile


1284 posts in 3165 days

#6 posted 04-05-2010 11:05 PM

The only problem I foresee is when the chest is full or has something sticking out the side and someone tries to force it closed (or sit on it), as you said, the pins will be stronger than the barrels… Can you tell I have senseless teenagers in my house?

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3191 days

#7 posted 04-05-2010 11:35 PM

I would go with the way Tommy did it. one its easier and really its plenty strong. much stronger than i could ever see an actual wooden hinge being. for my pie crust table the tilting mechanism is only a 5/8” round tenon that fits in the battons and it holds up the table which is heavy… if you’ve ever worked with bubinga you know what I’m talking about.

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1436 posts in 2887 days

#8 posted 04-06-2010 12:44 AM

only problem with going the way TC does it is that i’ve already made the top, and it’s breadboarded. I feel like those battens on the breadboard is a bit silly – like I could see them somewhere in the middle of the top as an extra precaution against bowing, but actually attached to the breadboards is odd… but maybe that’s a woodworkers technicality :-)

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3191 days

#9 posted 04-06-2010 01:23 AM

haha… true that would look a little odd… i would go with the metal then. not a fan of wooden hinges because they just seem fragile. you’ve got to be pretty confident in the wood too. if one piece has a small fracture or develops one then it’ll probably crack.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

714 posts in 3041 days

#10 posted 04-06-2010 01:46 AM

I would use the metal pin. I had a situation where the pin swelled and the hinge was frozen.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

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