Installing Hinges on a box. Would you teach me?

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Forum topic by HuntleyBill posted 05-01-2011 07:42 PM 16291 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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109 posts in 3112 days

05-01-2011 07:42 PM

Hi Everyone:
I am working on a small keepsake box for a gift and am trying to put hinges on the lid. This box is about 11” x 11” and the sides are 3/4”thick cherry. I tried recessing the hinges using a sharp chisel. The end result is horrible to say the least. Yes, I only installed a minimum of screws as there is no point going further!!

Because this box is so small and the top of the lid is tapered, I didn’t think my big 6” base router would work well to rout the recesses. So I used a chisel and as you can see in the pictures, that I slipped a few times and removed chunks. I glued them back in but I think it just added to the crappy look.

(Sorry about the out of focus picture)The over sized recesses came from fitting the lid after I cut out for the hinge and found I was slightly off center. In order to save the box, I’m thinking that I should buy another set of hinges that are a little bigger to cover up the over-sized recesses, which means I have to do it all again!

There has got to be a better/easer way!!
So…my questions are:

1) How does one measure and fit the hinge to line up perfectly on the top as well as the box ( so the lid actually looks like it fits right?
2) How do you cut the recess on such small items so as not to butcher the surrounding wood?
3) How do you get tall the hinges to align perfectly straight so one or both don’t look crooked?
4) Should I be using a different kind of hinge? If so, which one?

Thank you for your advise.

-- If you think you can, or think you can't...your right!

4 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3310 days

#1 posted 05-02-2011 03:16 AM

what I do is clamp the lid and box together with the lid in the open position so it looks as though it’s two boxes trace the hing and rout with my router inside the lines this way you can open the recess more if you have too also I have a palm router too for working on boxes this helps.

another thing I do is use a pencil with the retracable led the mechanicle ones to trace the hinges on the lid and the box this way if I ever did have to use a chisel I would get much better results with the fit you have to measure the leaf and the barrel of the hinge so your really going as deep as half the barrel size. don’t get me wrong I still have a little trouble with hinges me I really can’t get the top to sit flush with the sides and front. But I always think go smaller than the hinge when cutting the mortice for them.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3310 days

#2 posted 05-02-2011 03:36 AM

You can also fix this and no one will know just trim the back of the box and lid thenglue in a different wood this way you can start over with the same box but now you have contrasting woods and just add more of that wood some where else in the box like make a tray or add an inlay.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2814 days

#3 posted 05-02-2011 04:26 AM

Here is a good link to your information Tauton's

-- Mel,

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3310 days

#4 posted 05-02-2011 05:16 AM

jeepturner that link shows everything I said very nice but now it has pics.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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