Wooden Hinges #2: Retrofit wooden hinges

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 01-19-2013 03:00 PM 4161 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Clam Shell Hinges - yet another different wooden hinging method Part 2 of Wooden Hinges series Part 3: Retrofit - making the new hinge »

We all make mistakes. Yes even me. I’ve been working on the design and build of a box for the best part of a month and a half now. You know I don’t like chunky boxes, the sort with way too thick walls. This box is about 125 mm square x 75 mm high. So I’ve made the wall thickness 6 mm, slightly on the thin side but not a problem for a shell or drop on lid box. Except this one has a wooden clam shell hinge (see first part of blog). This was a mistake

as the consternated look on the back of this box shows.

I tried to CA glue the broken pieces back in, to try and fix it, to no avail.

The weight of the box lid is too great for the size of hinge. The grain direction was also wrong.

Now its an anamorphic patterned, EZ Mitre box. A lot of design and build time went into it. I could have cried. I swore a lot, in several languages.

So I had a long think. One of my 3:00 am in the morning, long thinks. I came up with a new angle on what is basically an engineering approach (thank you MOD (DOD) training), retrofit hinges. This is the basic design

The top and bottom are 6 mm long, 2 mm hidden splines which will be buried in the box back (with 2 mm of back material on each side). Here the hinge is at various degrees of ‘opening’ seen from outside

and inside

The ‘meat’ of the hinge is 9 mm across and so much more substantial. The extra 3 mm of hinge will protrude from the back of the box. As its curved this should not look too inelegant. I’ll rescue the original 2 mm brass pin from the box as I will be cutting out material to give room for fitting the hinge as well as routing out slots for the splines to fit into. I’ll detail the make on the hinge as well. This is the type used for Pac Man, an earlier box.

To start I’ve cut and thickness sanded a piece of 4.5 mm Ebony

Cut into pieces 60 mm long

Re- arranged for correct grain direction for a wooden hinge

and glued up and drying, as I blog.

Are you sure Hank done it this way?

Thats all for now.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

15 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4394 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 03:10 PM

These hinges look very good to me Martyn. It is worth all the time and trouble to come up with something so attractive and useful at the same time. I’m looking forward to seeing them fully constructed and then in action.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8706 posts in 3858 days

#2 posted 01-19-2013 03:12 PM

Very good solution Martyn.

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

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4495 days

#3 posted 01-19-2013 04:30 PM

Martyn, that was no mistake, you just became un-hinged. lol
Good post, waiting to see the finished article.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3917 days

#4 posted 01-19-2013 04:32 PM

Martyn Shirley says that I only make two mistakes
All I say and all I do.
I think those hinges will be a lot better and it is the
delicate detail that you enjoy.
I wait for the next part.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4096 days

#5 posted 01-19-2013 04:55 PM

Yes Jamie. Reminds me of the old joke.

If a man says something in the middle of a forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Kate's profile


403 posts in 4935 days

#6 posted 01-19-2013 05:22 PM

I love it when the 3am flashes of brilliance turn out to be actually brilliant.

Looking forward to seeing the final product.

-- Kate,

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3893 days

#7 posted 01-19-2013 06:39 PM

Aw. Looking forward to the end result.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3980 days

#8 posted 01-19-2013 07:05 PM

I am also looking forward to seeing how it works out. Keep at it Martyn. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4942 days

#9 posted 01-19-2013 07:13 PM

I just love those middle of the night thought patterns. Nice to know you get them too.

Looking great Martyn. It’ll be great to see the end result.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3468 days

#10 posted 01-19-2013 07:56 PM

I think Hank did do it that way ! LOL

Good job.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3657 days

#11 posted 01-20-2013 02:06 AM

Early morning is the best time for coming up with solutions ( less distraction when it is quiet). looking forward to the finished box.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3750 days

#12 posted 01-20-2013 02:33 AM

It’s good to know that you are human after all! I thought you were a box making machine. Your ‘fix’ looks like another brainstorm to me. Is Hank popular in the UK? He’s one of my favorites.

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4096 days

#13 posted 01-20-2013 09:36 AM

Country is not very popular here but I liked the Waylon Jennings song about Hank Williams. I find it doesn’t really matter what sort of music you prefer, there are always one or two good songs in other genre out there. Mostly like Rock myself but am also partial to the odd classical, Glenn Miller, Folk song etc.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3750 days

#14 posted 01-21-2013 01:28 AM

Waylon is way up toward the top of my list (but you were pretty certain I was a country fan!). I admire your perseverence in fixing your current project. Best luck and keep us posted.

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

View mafe's profile


13114 posts in 4149 days

#15 posted 01-21-2013 04:56 PM

But I am sure the result will be even better.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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