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Durability of wooden hinges.

2021 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lateralus819
I'm making a keepsake box for a friend, to store a family bible. I don't know how much it will be opened, but because of the way I've shaped it, there isn't much room for a typical hinge.

I'm thinking of doing wooden hinges that are mounted on the outside. I was thinking african mahogany, I'm just not sure on the longevity of it?
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My experience with wooden hinges I made is not all that good. Softwood or poplar hinges I made failed. Oak worked best but one of them also failed (broke), These were 3" wide hinges 3/8" thick wood with 3/8" box joints and 1/4" dowel as hinge pin. Metal hinge pins and smaller holes may work better. Fun to make but time consuming.
I make a wood hinge from Maple in the style of a finger joint. If done with close tolerances and some of the fingers rounded, a 1/8 brass rod through the middle they work well and are very durable. But even out of 1/4" stock they are still kinda bulky looking. What about using barrel hinges? They are invisible and take very little room.
I dont know if a barrel hinge will work Wrangler. The top is only about 1/4-5/16 thick where i need to mount it. Same for the box lip. The real issue is the screws will poke through or i would use a brass hunge.
I have made several sets of wooden box hinges using the Incra hinge system. They are finicky to make and if you do not use good tight grained wood, they have a tendency to "blow out" when you drill them. I have found that if you use a non-brad point 1/8" bit it works better but you still must drill real slow and back out a lot to clear the chips. They are really fun to make and really add to the WOW factor of a handmade box. Customers can't believe that they are really handmade from wood. I recently purchased the Incra I Box, and this simplifies the cutting of the blanks. I always make 2 or 3 sets of blanks for every hinge that I need, just in case of drilling blow out. You can drill and screw them to the box, or just glue them in mortises. I prefer the glue in method because they make a cleaner look I have had no problems with durability in my hinges on boxes, but I guess if you bumped the external hinge leaves real hard, they might crack, or if you stressed them open real far they might break. But like I said, no problems with mine so far. Try them out, they are fun to make.
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I need a pic of your box to be sure how to advise you BUT if the top is wider than the box, "Patron" style wooden hinges are simple to build, very durable if made of any decent hardwood, and stop just past 90 degrees. And they are very unobtrusive. Check my projects for LOTS of examples.
The box is sculpted from 4/4 in the middle of the box, down to 3/8" at the top/bottom. The top sits on a ledge, which has a reveal of about 1/4 around.

I've been getting frustrated to no end today. Tried a few different designs.

Problem is piano hinges and the like just wont won't as the screws are too long.

Bleh, should of thought of this prior to sculpting!
Patron hinges won't work for this one!

I'm stuck! Maybe trim that lid to where it fits inside the box and use brass pins?
i have some boxes with wooden hinges i made 16 years ago they will last forever with proper use.sounds like your lid is to thin for that type of hinge.
I know they are gonna have to mount on the outside. I'll figure it out eventually heh.
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