Trinket Box With Wooden Hinges

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Project by HardCorps posted 04-05-2013 08:12 AM 9826 views 19 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first attempt at this type of hinge. I was pretty happy with it when I dry fitted them, but when I glued them in place, the one on the right didn’t fully seat. It stuck out maybe 1/16”. I thought “No problem, the clamps will seat it.”, but with the wax paper and caul in place, I didn’t realize that it still didn’t snug down all the way until it was too late. Oh well, live and learn. I’ll know better next time. I’m going to give it to my brother and his wife and they’ll probably never notice unless I tell them.

The box is walnut with maple splines. The lid is curly maple and black palm with walnut splines. The hinges are lacewood with a 1/8” brass rod as the hinge pin. Size is ~14” x 9-3/8” x 5”. Finished with a couple of coats of teak oil, then 3 coats of poly, followed by several coats of wax.

-- Steve - Ft. Worth

19 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1124 posts in 3287 days

#1 posted 04-05-2013 10:16 AM

Those hinges look just fine. Your next one will be even better. Well done.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4164 days

#2 posted 04-05-2013 10:32 AM

Great looking box and some sick hinges. Well done… Look fwd to seeing more.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Belg1960's profile


1123 posts in 4040 days

#3 posted 04-05-2013 10:46 AM

I really like the idea of the wooden hinges. Could you share a little more info on how you produced them?

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View KnotCurser's profile


2038 posts in 4043 days

#4 posted 04-05-2013 11:31 AM

That look great!

I would also be very interested in knowing how those hinges are made – they look fantastic!

Thanks for sharing this piece.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30585 posts in 3313 days

#5 posted 04-05-2013 01:36 PM

Absolutely love those type of hinges. I need to try them. You did really well on this box.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View sonnyr's profile


143 posts in 3103 days

#6 posted 04-05-2013 02:00 PM

Ditto on knowing how you did those hinges.
Great job.

-- I may be slow, but I'm easy to stop!!!

View Bobsboxes's profile


1476 posts in 3639 days

#7 posted 04-05-2013 02:10 PM

Great job on the very nice looking box, and the hinges are super, I fought these hinges also, I use a piece of heavy foam under the clamp to be able to clamp them evenly.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3841 days

#8 posted 04-05-2013 02:11 PM

Nice box. Unusual design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View abie's profile


920 posts in 4746 days

#9 posted 04-05-2013 02:36 PM

Check out Ruddy’s blog on this method.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View HardCorps's profile


20 posts in 2889 days

#10 posted 04-05-2013 02:41 PM

The hinges are 1/4” wide by 3/8” deep and range in length from 3/4” to 1-1/2”. The process I used to create them is fairly lengthy, but worked pretty well. I first cut a 1/4”x3”x24” piece of lacewood into six 3/8” strips. I then used a couple of shop-made jigs and the Incra HingeCrafter as follows:

Jig 1: I cut a 1/4” slot (3/8” deep) across the short side of a scrap six inch piece of 2×4.
Jig 2: HingeCrafter
Jig 3: I planed down 4 pieces of scrap pine, one 1/2” thick and the other three 1/4” thick. I lined them up and cut a slot 3/8” wide (1/4” deep).

The first step was to insert each strip into Jig 1 and run it through a 3/8” bullnose bit on the router table to cut the radius on the hinge pin end of the hinge.
Then I used the HingeCrafter to drill the hole (1/8”) for the hinge pin in each strip.
I then used one or more sections of Jig 3 (depending on the length of the hinge). I inserted each strip in the jig, inserted the hinge pin in the hole and butted that up against the jig and cut the hinge to length with a flush-cut hand saw. Then, using the same jig, ran it through a 1/4” bullnose bit on the router table to cut the radius on the end away from the hinge pin.
Repeat a million time (actually 26 times in my case).
Then it was just a matter of carefully cutting the slots in the box and lid with a 1/4” spiral bit. The hinges were a hair too wide to fit in the slots initially, but some light sanding on a piece of 220 grit glued to some scrap plywood fixed that. Of course, the hinges have to be assembled on the hinge pin before gluing them to the box, being careful not to glue the hinge pieces to each other.
I’m sure someone else has a simpler way to do this, but this procedure worked for me and I hope it helps someone else.

-- Steve - Ft. Worth

View Boxguy's profile


2889 posts in 3242 days

#11 posted 04-05-2013 03:20 PM

HC, first, welcome to Lumberland. This is an amazing first post. You have really worked at the art of crafting boxes, and it shows in this project. I have never seen this type of hinge, and I really like it. I would have posted it with the hinge showing as my first picture. I wish we had a photo of the inside of this box as well.

There are several species of wood you have used and they are all beautiful; however, with so many it seems a little busy…a little too two tone. Thanks for explaining the process. You can embed photos in your explanation if you want to. My mind is filling with jigs that could make this job simpler…a jig to let you cut all the insets at once and a jig to accept all the pieces in slots to be cut and maybe drilled at once.

I am really impressed with this work, and your craftsmanship. I am looking forward to your next post and to the improvements you are bound to make to your home page. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4122 days

#12 posted 04-06-2013 12:29 AM

Great looking box!

Don’t worry about the hinge being slightly off—just make another box, and give this one as a gift!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View HardCorps's profile


20 posts in 2889 days

#13 posted 04-06-2013 12:50 AM

Thanks everyone for the comments. Boxguy, I agree that it is is a little busy. The next one will be toned down a little. Hope to see some better ways to do the hinges. I’m always looking for ways to improve.

-- Steve - Ft. Worth

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3665 days

#14 posted 04-06-2013 01:21 AM

I think the combination of those beautiful woods worked really well. I saw those hinges when Ruddy first posted them and was totally impressed! They are a little intimidating so haven’t tried em yet but yours turned out well.

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

View ruddy's profile


550 posts in 3914 days

#15 posted 04-07-2013 10:23 AM

Great job HardCorps. Those hinges look very distintive and impressive. I like the two tone effect you have achieved with the lid and the base. I can understand the dilemma you had when you discovered that the hinges were not seated fully.
I found that using a glue with a long set up time made life easier as there is no rush when putting the hinges into place.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

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