Installing very small hinges on a box

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Forum topic by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 04-28-2009 04:49 AM 1850 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3702 days

04-28-2009 04:49 AM

I recently finished up a small box for my granddaughter (ash body, purpleheart top insert and miter keys) – will post pictures in the Projects section as soon as I can take some!

Anyhow, the hinges I chose use #2 brass wood screws. I cut the mortises on the router table using the “flipping story stick” technique detailed in Doug Stowe’s books and it works great as long as you make absolutely sure that the stick is precisely the same length as the box and carefully set up the stops on your router table. My problem arose when it came time to drill pilot holes for the #2 screws. Normally I use Vix bits to center the drill bit in the hinge hole. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that a Vix bit this small is made. So I had to use the old eyeball technique to center the awl point and the old eyeballs aren’t what they used to be! I found that with the pronounced grain of the ash, it was very difficult to achieve a perfectly aligned guide hole for the drill bit – the awl would start at the point I had chosen as centered, hit the grain, and go where it pleased, thank you very much!

So to my question – does anyone have a better way of doing this? I realize that with the mortises, the hinge won’t be out of alignment by enough to really screw things up badly, but even a little bit requires sanding of the sides, front and back to have the top and bottom sections align so that no offset is felt.

Oh yeah, I also found that my cordless drill will not tighten on a 1/16” drill bit. I am going to get a different chuck for my Dremel that will let me drill the tiny holes with the rotary tool.



-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

2 replies so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3666 days

#1 posted 04-28-2009 01:48 PM

on your 1/16 drill bit put some electrical tape to make it a little bigger

View DonJ's profile


250 posts in 3496 days

#2 posted 04-29-2009 01:24 AM

I’ve drilled similar holes for a small box by using the drill press. You still have the eyeball issue, but at least the drill bit travels straight.

-- Don, San Antonio, TX

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