Opinions on Cheap Hinges

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 10-10-2012 04:08 PM 2450 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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394 posts in 3137 days

10-10-2012 04:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question box hinge big box walnut oak cedar wooden hinge

Well, after a few months off from the shop due to business travel, getting married, etc I finally got back in the shop this weekend and got some real work done. I started off making a few small boxes. They’re nothing special, just something to get the juices flowing again, but I certainly want to complete them. Especially since the wife has her eye on one of them. I’m just not sure what to do about hinges.

Though I love using Brusso hinges, I don’t want to spend ~$30 a box that are nothing more than experiments. When I first started woodworking I used some cheap hinges from the big box store with limited success. Probably more me than the hinges but I’m still a little unsure about going that route.

Does anyone have any suggestions, or opinions, on decent to good cheap hinges? Either for a big box store or online?

Remember, these are heirloom quality boxes. Mostly just scrap oak, cedar, and walnut, but I want them to look nice and work well. I’m not interested in wooden hinges for these boxes, though I hope to try my hand in that in the near future.

Any suggestions, opinions, or comments are welcome!



-- David

12 replies so far

View JT23325's profile


166 posts in 2143 days

#1 posted 10-10-2012 04:23 PM

One option you could use is buying a nice piano hinge and cutting it to length to fit your porjects. I have used this method on several ocasions and have even filed the ends for a custom hinge look. you can get up to 24 hinges out of a 4’ hinge . just depends on what you want to do.

-- Jeff, Ability will never catch up with the demand for it. - Malcolm Forbes

View woody123's profile


53 posts in 3302 days

#2 posted 10-10-2012 04:36 PM

I, like you, hate to spend 30bucks for Brusso hinges. I have used the cheaper hinges from HD and Loews but I swagged them before installing on the box. By swagging, I mean that I put them in a vise and squeeze the leafs together so that the leafs are flat together. This way I can mortise them into the box frame and the box will close completely, all the way around. I like JT’S suggestion to use piano hinges instead of the individual ones.

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3337 days

#3 posted 10-10-2012 05:07 PM

i use these decorative ‘stop hinges’
from lee valley
(they do need to be on flat backs
not overhanging tops)
they stop when the top is straight up
so the weight doesn’t rip them off
when the top flips back

cheap too,41241,41245&ap=1

and some Round Head brass wood screws
(get them in different gauges and lenghts
for wood thickness)

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

View Loren's profile (online now)


10380 posts in 3643 days

#4 posted 10-10-2012 05:20 PM

Barrel hinges have a nice action and small ones don’t cost
that much.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2106 days

#5 posted 10-10-2012 05:21 PM

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3304 days

#6 posted 10-10-2012 07:20 PM

I use 1/8” brass rod for pin hinges in my boxes. I figure they cost about 20 cents per box… but what I like best is that they are not visible when covered with a plug… so only the wood box is seen.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2910 days

#7 posted 10-10-2012 07:28 PM

These are my favorite sites for hardware that won’t cost you an arm and a leg:

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2800 days

#8 posted 10-15-2012 08:27 PM

Gr8 answers, ideas, and links.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3137 days

#9 posted 10-17-2012 05:01 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions! I ordered a few different hinges from Lee Valley and this weekend I’m going try a piano hinge. Thanks again!

-- David

View DLawlessHardware's profile


16 posts in 2080 days

#10 posted 10-23-2012 04:00 PM

Thanks for mentioning us HorizontalMike!

We actually have an entire section for trunk and jewelry box parts. Great prices and great quality. There should be a lot of stuff you can use in this section.

Coupon code “lumberjocks” will get you an extra 10% off.

-- D. Lawless Hardware

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2572 days

#11 posted 10-23-2012 04:54 PM

Dlawless, those are some impressive prices.
I bookmarked your site and will be making a purchase very soon. :)
And props for the LJ discount.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View waho6o9's profile


8189 posts in 2573 days

#12 posted 10-23-2012 04:59 PM

Maybe make your own like fellow LJer Spalm does.
You can make ones that compliment or contrast your work
and I betcha it will look awesome.

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