Viking Chest #2: Wood hinges, need your thoughts

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Woodknack posted 04-10-2014 05:01 PM 6561 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Prototype in recycled pine Part 2 of Viking Chest series Part 3: Worst carving ever and jigs are good. »

Did some experimenting with wood hinges. Both have 5 fingers, one is 1/4”, the other is 3/8”. The narrower size looks better on the chest but I’m trying to decide between 5 – 1/4” fingers, or 3 – 3/8” fingers. (See 3rd & 4th pics) I want it to be strong but also look nice and I have no experience with wood hinges. Both look pretty good but the 3 finger hinge is easier to make. And I’m planning on using a 1/4” maple dowel as a hinge pin—strong enough? The final hinges will be made from ash (pine box) or walnut (oak box).

Mock up of 3 fingers @ 3/8”.

-- Rick M,

8 comments so far

View Hammerthumb's profile


2853 posts in 2004 days

#1 posted 04-10-2014 05:15 PM

I like the 3 fingers at 3/8”. I think they would be stronger. Also, maybe some brass rod for the hinge pins as they will wear better and look nicer.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1658 days

#2 posted 04-10-2014 06:26 PM

I’ve been purchasing what’s called “sanded maple dowel” at a local REAL hardware store, and they’re perfect for hinges because they’re downsized by 1/64”. There’s just enough clearance for glue on the outsides and rotation on the inside. They’re also incredibly strong and smooth as glass.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Woodknack's profile


11829 posts in 2409 days

#3 posted 04-10-2014 06:26 PM

Hammerthumb, those are my thoughts. Reading about wood hinges I found a lot about how to make the fingers, a little about how to position the hinge pin, but almost nothing about finger thickness or how many. I have some brass rod so for the oak version I’ll probably use that.

John, those are the same dowels I used for the mock ups. They work very smoothly especially after a coating of wax. I’ll definitely use those in the practice chest and see how they hold up.

-- Rick M,

View shipwright's profile


7996 posts in 2827 days

#4 posted 04-10-2014 06:56 PM

Have you seen these.
They are integral to the box so there is no visible bump.

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

View Woodknack's profile


11829 posts in 2409 days

#5 posted 04-10-2014 08:24 PM

I did actually, very nice work. The original chest had strap iron hinges and while I’m not doing a reproduction, an external hinge fits the design better.

-- Rick M,

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2696 days

#6 posted 04-11-2014 12:05 AM

How about a leather hinge I think it would work in real nice and fit the type and style of box .
I have used them on several boxes and they work real nice .

-- Kiefer

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2719 days

#7 posted 04-11-2014 12:44 AM

I like both of your hinge prototypes but I would recommend brass or steel pins as they don’t swell and won’t accidentally get glued in place. I cap the holes with wood so the metal doesn’t show.

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

View doubleDD's profile


7444 posts in 2072 days

#8 posted 04-11-2014 02:32 AM

I like the 3/8’’ hinge. Of course that could depend on the size of the build. Leaving the dowel extend as in picture 3 gives me some good ideas.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics