A slight variation on Shipwright hinges

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Blog entry by BobAnderton posted 07-23-2014 02:18 AM 6927 reads 44 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Shipwright showed how to make these cool integral wooden hinges for a box in this tutorial. I liked them a lot but it required planning ahead and cutting the hinge features in the back of the box before assembly. I wanted to be able to assemble a box and cut the lid off with the tablesaw and have the choice of making an integral hinge or using brass hinges later so I developed this slight variation.

An example of the finished hinge is this project.

This was the second box I’d made this way, and I’m going to use some pictures from the other box in this description.
The stock I started with was this walnut

I first made a continuous grain spline reinforced box with the top and bottom set into grooves in the sides, then cut on all sides with the tablesaw to remove the lid. Now to start making the hinge.

The structure of the components that make up the hinge can be seen in this drawing. The horizonal line that runs through the brass rod is at the parting line between the box base and the lid and is a glue joint between the box back material and the semicircular segments that get glued in.

The first step is to make the groove that will receive the brass rod. After cutting the lid free of the box bottom with the tablesaw, I set up a couple of stop blocks on the router table fence and use a 1/8” diameter round veining bit to make stopped grooves that run the length of the back of both the lid and box base, but stop 1/2” from the ends of the box. Then divide the back of the box into an odd number of segments with vertical lines. Mark the waste and use a handsaw to cut on the lines to a depth of 1/4” from the lid parting line. I then use the tablesaw to nibble away the waste between the handsaw cuts and clean up with a chisel. Cut the 1/8” diameter brass rod to length and the box is at this stage.

All that remains is to make and cut the semicircular cap sections to length and glue them in to enclose the brass rod. I use a 1/4” radius roundover bit in the router to make one edge of a piece of 1/2” stock have a round profile, then cut that round edge free to a width of 1/4”. Then I use the same 1/8” veining bit and stop blocks to make stopped grooves in the flat edge of the cap stock. I make stopped grooves because I’ll use the part where the groove ends at the ends of the box. The cap stock is visible in this photo.

Cut segments of the cap stock to length and glue it in place to enclose the brass rod and the hinge is done.
The finished hinge looks like this. A nice feature of making the hinge this way is that it stops at about 95 degrees.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

6 comments so far

View littlecope's profile


3121 posts in 4584 days

#1 posted 07-23-2014 02:31 AM

Clever Thinking and Nice Work Bob!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3772 days

#2 posted 07-23-2014 02:44 AM

Very clever adaptation of Shipwright’s hinge! If I ever get back in the shop from sawing logs, I will definitely try this. Added to favorites.

Thanks for doing this tutorial!

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

View shipwright's profile


8714 posts in 3880 days

#3 posted 07-23-2014 05:54 AM

Nice work.
I can see uses for both methods and I can see the value of your modifications even if you aren’t making the box as a unit and separating the lid later. Because of the marquetry, I seldom do it that way but rather make the top and bottom separately.
Good thought process. Thanks.

I’ll add a link to this in my original blog.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View ChadRat6458's profile


91 posts in 2436 days

#4 posted 12-23-2014 03:29 PM

Is there any tricks to clamping and gluing the caps on? I have a box that would be a great for this.

-- WWW.SKYKAE.COM - Custome Wood Furniture and Signs WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SkyKae.Kreations

View BobAnderton's profile


312 posts in 3872 days

#5 posted 12-23-2014 03:51 PM

Let’s say you glue the caps on the underside of the lid with the brass rod in place, which is easy because the lid’s just upside down on the bench. Then place the lid on the box and make sure the alignment of the two is perfect and tape or clamp the two together. Then it’s just a matter of gluing the caps on the lower part of the box (ie convex side up). I use tiny little wedges to keep the caps pressed onto what they are gluing to for this step. In other words, the wedges are between the convex-side-up caps and the box lid material during glue up.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2931 posts in 2145 days

#6 posted 07-08-2015 12:54 AM

That’s wonderful. Hooda thunkit? You did.

-- Mark

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