Making The Very Small Wooden Hinge....part ll

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Blog entry by Dan P posted 10-26-2016 01:54 AM 2116 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After flattening and cutting to length the hinge “halves” are now ready for scoring and gluing. The scoring is to create a small channel as a guide for the drill bit. I was tilting my flat tooth saw blade to 45 degrees and running the pieces across just barely touching the blade. This works OK for getting down as small as a 1/16” pivot hole but I wanted to go smaller.

The guitar supply place (name escapes me) carries a .023 wide 6” diameter blade for fret cutting guitars. I bought this and rigged it up with my Skil Saw attached to the bottom of some MDF with the blade just barely sticking through. It works great with just the right amount of down pressure. (notice a lot of this is about “feel”).

Here is a picture of the hinge halves being scored in my makeshift saw..

Now I set up for glue by putting halves together with slots matching then I use a .027 music wire piece and make sure it sits nicely in groove and moves back and forth. Then glue pieces and continue moving the wire back and forth to clean out the channel. Here is a picture of glue up with .027 wire still in hole.

EDIT.. Picture no longer available (P.B.) Use different clamping process now anyway. See part 3.

I always let them sit overnight for drying. Then clean of the edges especially around the slots. I will even use a center punch a little if I have enough width on hinge to spare. Then take it to the drill press with a .0465 drill bit. Lightly using a guide gig bring the bit down and let it guide itself into the hole, from both sides. maybe a couple times because I need to get a .047 wire through this.

Then I check the hole for squareness by having the wire sticking out. These hinges are 3/16” thick so now I trim back to as close to 3/32” from center of pivot hole as I dare. (usually hit it pretty darn close, as in these hinges)

EDIT.. refined process. see part 3.

Edit added this line. Then I built a finger joint sled and used a Freud 3/32 rip blade flat tooth and cut the fingers.

After this I take them to my sandpaper table and use two pieces of wood 3/32” thick for support and round the ends. The music wire works excellent for this without bending. The picture below illustrates the process, but different hinge.
EDIT. Refined this process also. See updated picture.

And the finish box!

Perfect fit!

-- Daniel P

9 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30600 posts in 3353 days

#1 posted 10-26-2016 02:40 AM

Totally cool

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


257 posts in 2982 days

#2 posted 10-26-2016 09:59 AM

Great stuff. Thanks. I was thinking to buy the Incra hingecrafter but hesitated because 3/8” thick is the smallest hinge, while I like smaller… I am now encouraged to do like you.

-- MrLaughingbrook

View Redoak49's profile


5103 posts in 3003 days

#3 posted 10-26-2016 11:08 AM

Thanks for showing this

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 2907 days

#4 posted 10-26-2016 12:26 PM

Thanks everyone!

-- Daniel P

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3705 days

#5 posted 10-27-2016 12:19 AM

Perfect !!!

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

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 10-27-2016 01:15 PM

Thanks Andy!

-- Daniel P

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 2907 days

#7 posted 10-30-2016 03:32 PM

To get a consistent distance from center of pivot hole to end of hinge, the method I use, shown in the picture, works well.

-- Daniel P

View IRISHMIKE's profile


7 posts in 4728 days

#8 posted 05-26-2020 07:06 PM

I don’t see dimensions or instructions on cutting the tabs, am I missing part of the post somewhere?

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

755 posts in 2907 days

#9 posted 05-27-2020 12:57 AM

Mike, I go over the finger cutting sled I use to make the cuts in my last blog post. Also some upgrades to clamping an gluing are in my project post “Hard Maple Soft Maple tough little hinge”

I need to organize my process into one blog post.

Thanks for reaing.

-- Daniel P

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