Wood hinges, Incra HingeCrafter

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Blog entry by MrLaughingbrook posted 04-17-2018 12:11 AM 1704 reads 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought the HingeCrafter and did one practice set of hinges following the directions as closely as possible. All seemed to go well and indicate I could get better with practice. So, when I decided on wood hinges for my current project then I thought I’d make a wood hinge inventory using current project stock plus some exotics scraps to improve my skills and not have to relearn and practice with the jig for a while. 3/8 inch hinges.

A few comments may help someone on a similar effort. Pictures below these descriptions.

1-2. Follow the directions to mill and form the barrel on the planks. However, I found the 6” x 6” suggestion a guideline. And, the 1/16 inch too deep finger length overly conservative, I went with 1/32 and can see I could still do less. On a few I got by with less than 6” plank length while still leaving enough support for cutting the leaf dados. On a few I used longer than 6” and made a second hinge from the middle section left over. On a few I could not do 6” wide, so settled for fewer hinges/latches from one plank.

3-5, Plan to spend some time tuning the box joint fit. I sanded lightly each joint until I had a nice slide fit with no chafe. Do this again after drilling the hole. Take special care drilling the holes on the jig. I found if I cleared the bit half way through each knuckle then I avoided blowout. My leopard wood is very brittle. The soft maple is more forgiving but not as cool. I used a can of compressed air to clear the jig each time a piece was repositioned or replaced to prevent misalignments due chips in the jig.

6, I had a nice set of large hinge blanks to show for my efforts.

7-9, I cut them to length and installed the pins. This gave a me a chance to cut out the blow outs as waste, making hinges with 3×2 fingers and latches of 2×1 from the large blanks. The pins I CA glued on a filed groove no the pin as it entered the the last segment. I used a clamp and block to hold it while I hack sawed and filed the far end. Then punched each end to flair the rod for retention. An anvil and wood clamp worked well.

10-12, My completed hinge blank inventory has interesting possibilities. I like the rosewood set best of course, but they are not for my current project and will go into inventory.

Overall I’m real happy with the HingeCrafter. Another batch should make me proficient, but I don’t need them yet.

-- MrLaughingbrook

4 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


4537 posts in 3460 days

#1 posted 04-17-2018 12:49 AM

Wow – that is a lot of really nice looking wooden hinges. Do you plan to make a lot of hinges? I haven’t really looked into the Incra jig. Do you consider it worth the cost? Can it make a variety of styles or just the standard box style?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View KimAccurso's profile


511 posts in 1252 days

#2 posted 04-17-2018 12:08 PM

Wow, these are very nice looking hinges! I really like the way wood hinges give each box – or even small cabinet, chest, etc – a unique, 100% handmade look. Some nice brass hinges are beautiful too – but these are so unique. The lacewood is particularly nice!

-- Kim - imperfection is the pursuit of perfection

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8517 posts in 1824 days

#3 posted 04-17-2018 02:11 PM

AGREEDED some very beautiful hinges you have handmade ….GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


265 posts in 3079 days

#4 posted 04-20-2018 11:00 AM

Thanks for the kind comments. I was away for a few days.

EarlS, For years I’ve been looking for options other than expensive brass hinges. Home made wood hinges might be the answer and I’ll make more. I certainly consider the jig worth its cost already. As far as styles, I can see many possibilities. I could skip a tooth on the layout of the box joint cut; sculpt them; mount them at least three different ways. Here are some pictures of my experiments on shaping, sculpting and installing them with the knuckle facing the box in a mortise. An arrangement to have 95 degree stop. For the latches I installed a brass pin at 7 degrees into a hole in the case and a 1/8” magnet to snap it tight. Learned some about too much glue and mortise mistake on first one, inconsistent orientation and not enough sculpting, which way is up on a latch, etc. By the time I finished three practice boxes I was ready to use what I learned on my spalted maple box under construction.

-- MrLaughingbrook

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