Wooden Hinges

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Forum topic by rrdesigns posted 12-26-2011 05:58 AM 22260 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rrdesigns's profile


531 posts in 3209 days

12-26-2011 05:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wooden hinge

I’m experimenting with wooden hinges. I want to use a piano style hinge to connect the two plates of a tortilla press by gluing it into a hinge mortise. I’m concerned about the space required between the pins to keep the mechanism from being too tight without letting it become sloppy. Also, whether or not the hinge will be strong enough or have any issues with seasonal movement if I glue it into a mortise.
the hinge is hard maple and the press is cherry. Any thoughts?

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

6 replies so far

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3458 days

#1 posted 12-26-2011 04:46 PM

watch your endgrain… if I am visualizing what you described properly, you might consider glueing in some wood that crosses the grain of where the hinge part is… I hope that makes sense…

a drawing or pic might help describe the problem.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 12-26-2011 05:52 PM

I made these of oak. I just made them with an adjustable box joint jig I made. I used them on cedar trunks. They are 3” long.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 12-26-2011 06:12 PM

This is a piano hinge version of the hinges in my blog if you are looking for a piano style hinge. I cut them with a simple throw away box joint jig. These ones are only 3/8” thick but the concept works with any size.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3097 days

#4 posted 12-26-2011 09:46 PM

Just in case you missed it, I just did a tortilla press using no hardware. I did not use a piano type wood hinge, but I did make a wooden hinge. What I did should be self-evident here – -

The two vertical pieces that form the hinges fit snuggle and are glued into the base. The dowels in the base are probably not necessary but they do add to the strength. Note that I did some extra sanding on the top portions of these two pieces so the top moves easily without binding. I believe this to be a very solid and durable press that will, virtually, last forever.

Tip – salvage an old bicycle tire inner tube and cut a couple of strips of the rubber. Then glue them to the bottom of the press. It helps prevent the press from sliding around on the countertop. In this application, Barge glue works great. I prefer using fat bicycle tire inner tubes but thin ones will also work.

Another tip – - People who have written about these presses talk about an 1/8” gap between the top and bottom when the press is closed. I did that. After using the press I think the gap should be a little thinner. My recommendation is about 2.5 mm.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View rrdesigns's profile


531 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 12-27-2011 03:35 AM

I’m planning on attaching the hinge into a mortised space cut into the end grain and glued in place using Miller stepped dowels.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2713 days

#6 posted 12-27-2011 04:21 AM

Beth, Those Shipwright hinges would be really cool on that project. I love em and use them on all my shop furniture so I get lots of practice building them.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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