Piano Hinges - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4
View Cat375's Photo Album My Photos
Piano Hinges

I'm building a mobile cabinet with flip-up wings for my miter saw. The wings are connected to the cabinet body with piano hinges. Based on my limited experience with piano hinges and the fact that no matter how much effort and time I put into connecting the hinges, I'm worried the top of the wing and the top of the cabinet won't line up. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but piano hinge alignment hasn't been an easy task (nor has connection, the screws provided with the hinges suck). Any suggestions? Is there a jig or fixture that makes the piano hinge installation foolproof (for fools like me)?
Thanks Guys
Cat375 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 09:37 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 9,045
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
If you fully seat the hinge against the body and the lid there should be no problem. There is not much way for it to get out of alignment.

G
GeorgeC is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 12:27 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat375 View Post
I'm building a mobile cabinet with flip-up wings for my miter saw. The wings are connected to the cabinet body with piano hinges. Based on my limited experience with piano hinges and the fact that no matter how much effort and time I put into connecting the hinges, I'm worried the top of the wing and the top of the cabinet won't line up. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but piano hinge alignment hasn't been an easy task (nor has connection, the screws provided with the hinges suck). Any suggestions? Is there a jig or fixture that makes the piano hinge installation foolproof (for fools like me)?
Thanks Guys

I agree with you the screws that come with most of the packaged hinges are junk. I use a #4 or #5 FH phillips x 1/2" screws I buy in bulk. The difference in size depends on the size of the hinge and the countersink provided.

If you can lay out both members receiving the hinge at the same time, to get the hinge leaves aligned properly, that will set where the knuckle (barrel) will be. I use a fine point pencil and mark out the holes and use an awl to pinpoint the screw point. Piloting the hole is necessary. After piloting, I use a countersink to slightly chamfer the hole. This makes for easy and clean seating of the screw through the hinge.

I don't use a combo countersink/drill, as they aren't precise enough. Using an awl to center punch the marked hole works better than the spring loaded punches or Vix bits.

When installing the hinge, I usually only put in a screw near the ends and in the middle to just check alignment, fit, and movement. If all is well, I'll mark, punch, and drill the rest of the holes. It's necessary to pilot a straight hole, as any cant to the screw when installing may allow the edge of the head to hit the opposing hinge leaf.
.







cabinetman is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 07:43 PM
Rick Mosher
 
Rick Mosher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 943
View Rick Mosher's Photo Album My Photos
Vix bits help a TON when drilling the holes also...


http://www.woodcraft.com/Family/2002022/2002022.aspx
Rick Mosher is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 09:05 PM
Cabinetmaker
 
skymaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Zebulon, N.C.
Posts: 646
View skymaster's Photo Album My Photos
Rick; Damn you stole my post
skymaster is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 10:04 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Vix bits and the spring loaded punches require an absolute perpendicular application to be anywhere near accurate. Them slightest angle will create an offset screw placement.

If the pilot hole is off center due to improper handling and placement of a spring loaded punch, or holding a drill at a slight angle for a Vix bit, screw alignment will be problematic.

If done with hinges, such as butt (leaf) hinges, euro hinge/plates, and even passage doors, an offset screw will move the hinge. This makes a fitted hinge in a mortise out of alignment and the screw head will not seat. Most leaf type hinges will not work properly if the screws aren't seated as the screws oppose each other.

The advantage of speed and convenience of Vix bits and spring loaded punches can only be appreciated if used accurately.






cabinetman is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 08-02-2009, 10:21 PM
Old Methane Gas Cloud
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Huntington Beach, California
Posts: 3,500
View rrich's Photo Album My Photos
Vix bits are a poor choice for piano hinges or any hinges for that matter. The perpendicular aspect of using the Vix bit is the huge issue.

I usually clamp the hinges in place and mark the edge of the screw hole closest and furthest from the edge of the wood at both ends of the hinge. Then I split the distance between the marks and draw a line. Then I offset the hinge parallel to edge and re-clamp the hinge. The offset is half the diameter of one of the screw holes. Then I mark the edge of the screw hole where it crosses the line that I drew previously. The result is a point where an awl can be used for the drill starting point.

BTW - I have never seen good screws come with hinges. I have been able to snap the provided screws by rolling the screwdriver between my thumb and two fingers. I always purchase screws for the hinges.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
Huntington Beach, California
Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
rrich is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 08-03-2009, 07:59 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 70
View daxinarian's Photo Album My Photos
for alignment, if you are very concerned about it, instead of attaching the hinge to your surfaces, first attach them to a pieces of wood roughly the same size as the hinges. Then you can plane or sand these pieces to be co-planer and uniform in thickness. Finally cut identical rabbits in your wings and the top of your cabinet and glue the hinge assembly into the rabbits.
here is a quick sketch...
Attached Images
File Type: bmp pianohinge.bmp (96.5 KB, 1146 views)
daxinarian is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 12-19-2009, 10:29 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 106
View pabloj13's Photo Album My Photos
I am mounting similar piano hinge and lid supports into 3/4" birch ply. I had read somewhere that they recommended putting a little wood glue into the pilot holes. would you guys recommend that?
pabloj13 is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 12-19-2009, 01:22 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabloj13 View Post
I am mounting similar piano hinge and lid supports into 3/4" birch ply. I had read somewhere that they recommended putting a little wood glue into the pilot holes. would you guys recommend that?

Where did you read that, and who recommended it? I wouldn't recommend it. Lets examine the idea.

Would putting glue in the hole stick to the screw and perform any holding power other than the screw into wood? I vote no.

Would the glue cause any expanding or solidifying function on the wood surrounding the screw that would in some way make it more secure? Maybe, and if by chance it did, that would be the only redeeming value.

Would putting glue into the hole possibly create one big darn mess? I vote more than likely.

A properly seated screw into wood is more than sufficient as a fastening device.

Of course these are just my opinions as I've done a lot of screwing.






cabinetman is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 12-19-2009, 04:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 106
View pabloj13's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
Where did you read that, and who recommended it? I wouldn't recommend it. Lets examine the idea.

Would putting glue in the hole stick to the screw and perform any holding power other than the screw into wood? I vote no.

Would the glue cause any expanding or solidifying function on the wood surrounding the screw that would in some way make it more secure? Maybe, and if by chance it did, that would be the only redeeming value.

Would putting glue into the hole possibly create one big darn mess? I vote more than likely.

A properly seated screw into wood is more than sufficient as a fastening device.

Of course these are just my opinions as I've done a lot of screwing.






I read it on some other board. Thanks for the advice. What size pilot hole would you drill for a #4 1/2" screw. I kinda thought that sounded like a big mess, but I think the swelling wood idea was the rationale behind it.
pabloj13 is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 12-20-2009, 08:37 AM
Senior Member
 
RLHERRON's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 230
View RLHERRON's Photo Album My Photos
The very first thing I do when I buy ANY item that has screws with it, I throw the screws in the trash. I only use square drive screws that I purchase from McFeely in bulk. To me Phillips and Slotted screws are a PIA to mess with.

Having said that I know someone out there wants those screws I'm throwing away. I will now save them and next Christmas I will be glad to send them to you.

Merry Christmas to all.

RLH
RLHERRON is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 12-20-2009, 09:48 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 128
View Ogee Fillet's Photo Album My Photos
Ogee Fillet is offline  
post #14 of 15 Old 12-20-2009, 10:59 AM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogee Fillet View Post

That's a pretty good general chart for "wood screws", which are likely meant to be "tapered" screws. For screws with straight shanks, like machine screws or "drywall type" screws, there is an easy method. The drill bit (straight) used should be the diameter of the actual screw shank.

That is the width from bottom of the gullet on one side to the bottom of the gullet on the other. The screw can be laid on the drill bit and just sighted, for lack of a better method, or not knowing the actual sizes of either the screw or drill bit.






cabinetman is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 12-20-2009, 03:23 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 106
View pabloj13's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks guys. That chart (and info) is very helpful.
pabloj13 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hinges Dvoigt General Woodworking Discussion 0 04-14-2009 12:04 PM
Refinishing Mahogany Piano - Deft/Tung vs Tung Only llcaruso Wood Finishing 11 11-08-2008 08:07 AM
Refinishing Mahogany Piano llcaruso General Woodworking Discussion 2 09-15-2008 10:31 PM
durable piano type finish mortimer Wood Finishing 3 04-28-2008 04:42 PM
Obtaining a piano finish on oak Danny Wood Finishing 7 09-27-2007 08:22 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome