I am over the other side of the pond but check this site regularly for inspiration.
I have just finished this Walnut box and thought I’d use Ian Hawthorne’s new Neat hinges for the hardware, It is always a tough decision which hinges to use and usually the deciding factor is down to price but if you are going to spend time and effort making a box and it is going to be a thing of beauty (hopefully) then it seems a shame to spoil it by fitting cheap hardware which always looks out of place and detracts from the finish.
I also decided to use one of his Neat Locks, I think a box always needs something at the front and it’s either a handle or a lock, obviously a lock is added value.
Ian’s older type hinges had a knuckle which had to have a small recess cut to allow it to open, these new hinges are made differently and do not require any additional cutting, they make fitting hinges a breeze. Anyone who has tried to fit quadrant hinges will know the problems of making two cuts on each corner and then cutting out a mortise for the stay, these hinges require no more than one cut each corner and screwing in, four passes on the router and job done.
The setting up of your router table is important and it requires some scrap, this is where some forward thinking comes in and a short length extra needs to be produced when cutting the sides of the box. Fitting instructions come with the hinges and lock and a few minutes setting things up accurately pays dividends, my little 8mm cutter actually cuts 8.5mm (I will have to invest in a spiral bit) so the slot is slightly larger than required and leaves an unsightly gap. The hinges and lock measure 8mm across so leave plenty of wood either side of the hinge if you cut your box sides to a minimum of 13mm. As the box needs to be in Lincoln tomorrow I didn’t have time to make an escutcheon but will do so next time.
These locks and hinges are highly polished and add that bit of quality to your box, the lock mechanism is firm and secure without any play and locks onto the striking plate firmly but it also moves freely, all in all I think they are well worth the investment for a box you are spending time and effort on.
Ian is one of the premier box makers in the UK and is a really helpful chap, he also does a 180 deg opening hinge for games boards and writing slopes etc. just Google Hawthorncrafts or Neathinge.