Exercises in Woodsmithing

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Project by jjw5858 posted 11-22-2011 02:19 AM 2321 views 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey gang, hope all is well in the world of LJ’s. Once more thanks for all the comments on my past projects and all of your inresting and talented posts/projects, they are terrific!

I have seen some really inspiring examples of wooden hinges on here and other sites, and I just had to see if I would be able to play along and learn something…..and believe me….this was as usual, an all handtool affair. So time to pull the power plugs!....Just for a couple of minutes….lol

I was thinking..without the great craft work of the blacksmith we woodworkers cannot do what we need to do….so…..I thought…what if a blacksmith was unavailable for me to go to and I needed hinges created…...would I be able to take on this challenge..and produce something workable without any prior experience of ever trying it??

So I thought of how I had made lap joints in the past….by sawing down notches in the soon to be joint and then chisled it out…….off I went to investigate this possible process.
I like to call this excursion…Exercises in Woodsmithing!

Pic 1. Laying out my handsaw cuts in some maple
Pic 2. Making those crosscut notches for the chisel to pare down (Make sure to scibe your sidelines where needed)
Pics 3-6. Hinges……..with some small work yet to be tended to… boring the holes for the other 2 of 3…..things like that…lol

I used some small experience I had gained in making dovetails to do my barrels (or a form of a knuckle joint), then took the ole trusty Stanley Eggbeater Drill and bored in the pin holes.

Got some poplar 3/16 dowel for the pins and with some candle wax got them in there homes and up and turning. A mini rats tail file that I have….a blessing indeed for filing in the drilled holes.

This was a very tegious exercise in slow moves and the understanding of brains versus braun. Definitetly may not be for eveyone to try this way that I did it…..and I am not 100% sure of just how tough they will hold…although they seem pretty stout.

My first attempt I made the thickness only 1/8….and they snapped like white chocolate in my hands with little pressure… I thickened to 1/4 and it seems pretty strong and durable now.

Penciled a pattern to liven it up a bit, cope sawed and filed…and even a small experimental chip carve on the first one…..for the hell of it…see how it could work and hold up.

I hope someone might get this hinge craze as I did and enjoy finding your own method and style by doing so.

Everything was handmade and a real lesson in using intincts and new ideas as well as some trusty old tricks.

Enjoy your holiday friends and thanks for looking in!

Be well,


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

5 comments so far

View Doug's profile


1178 posts in 3734 days

#1 posted 11-22-2011 02:50 AM

Cool! Are you going to use them on a project?

-- Doug

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4551 days

#2 posted 11-22-2011 06:29 AM

very nice Joe
It’s great to Challenge yourself. They look great to me. I think I might have used maple or Ipe for the pins but who am I to say. a job well done.
BTW I really like all of the tools you’ve made,


View mafe's profile


12845 posts in 4063 days

#3 posted 11-22-2011 01:34 PM

They are really fine, look elegant and not as ‘heavy’ as wooden hinges often do.
Best thoughts,

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

View JoeinDE's profile


450 posts in 4297 days

#4 posted 11-22-2011 05:04 PM

Nicely done. Having done this work power tools, I fully understand the amount of time that you put into each and every one of these hinges.


View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4089 days

#5 posted 11-23-2011 01:54 AM

good job :-)
keep up knocking them out

thankĀ“s for sharing


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