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Making a Wooden Hinge for a Box

Here is a pictorial of how I fashioned the wooden hinges for a box I built. Note that this hinge is but one of many possible methods and designs. Frankly I do not see it as the prettiest I have designed – but it fitted with the project.

Tools used were predominantly hand tools, but with a sprinkling of power thrown in. I am sometimes an equal opportunity woodworker!

We have to start somewhere, and what better than the basic stock ..

Set up as if you are to cut a dovetail, but mark out for a box joint instead ..

Saw merrily ..

Then saw some more ..

Stop sawing and do some paring instead ..

Transfer the marks and saw and chisel some more ..

I used a brass washer as a template to scribe the rounds for the ends.

Mark and drill for the steel pivot (I'm going to use a thick gauge nail) ..

With the nail inserted ..

Time to get out the rasps to round out the ends … to the scribed circles (from the washer/template).

... and then the inside of the pins (or whatever one calls these on a box joint) ..

You should be able to move the hinge at extreme angles ..

Now find something round to use as a template, draw a circle, cut it on the bandsaw, and finish on the disk sander ..

More shaping with rasps ..

Suddenly you have these ..

Not quite done. Turn them over and drill a million holes. These will act as keys when the hinges are epoxied to the box. The box gets the same treatment.

This is what it was all about ...

The hinge could have been plainer, square, a rectangle, thinner. In this design here I attempted to replicate the round and tapered shape on the pad of the brace (below). You can see this feature in the handle of the drawer as well. The options for your design are endless. What all have in common is a variation of a simple box joint.

Regards from Perth


June, 2009