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I'm looking for a tip on aligning the hinged box top with the base exactly. I want to understand how to do this for the next project. This one is kinda done.

I made a cube and then cut the top off on the table saw to make the lid and the top. I then finished to top and bottom of the box.

I used a machine square to mark the position of the hinges and cut the mortises on the bottom of the box for the hinges. I then used the square to align the hinge on the top of the box and marked where the screw holes should be. Last step was to attach the hinge to the top and the bottom of the box.

That’s when I realized that the top and bottom was out of alignment. Front to back is fine, but the sides had 1/32” offset. If I’m holding it by the sides the lid is shifted over to the right, but the upside is that it’s a perfect 1/32” front to back.

This isn’t a big dean on this because I’m just putting this on the fireplace to put stuff in, but the next box needs to be done correctly. There is obviously some trick to getting this right that I’m not aware of…Thanks
 

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weeeeel, I for one would call that 1/32 sanding room
actually i use an exacto knife to mark my hinges, even a 5mm pencil will throw you off a 32nd, Just my 2 cents worth
 

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You can mark the hinge location on the side of the box before you cut the top off. Using a fine knife edge is definitely the way to go.

I don't cut all the way through on the table saw. I leave about an 1/8" or so and use a Japanese saw to finish the cut. Cutting the top off in one pass on the table saw can cause the top to be a little bit crooked.
 

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Hinge for Box Top

Good Monday Morning: Sometimes I take for granted things that I have done too numerous to count so last evening I sat down and tried to think about the steps that I use. As an example, I thought about my "Keeping Chests" but this is also the way I align blanket chests too.

I install my hinges before finishing or sanding, much easier to correct a mistake at this stage than after it is finished.

1. I measure in from the box and mark the outside point of both of my hinges.

2. I then lay the hinge at my mark and using a knife, mark both sides of the hinge, this tells me where I need to mortise in the hinge.

3. Then I very carefully remove the material until the entire hinge (folded close) fits flush (or even a hair above) the wall of the box.

4. At this point I install the hinge to the box.

5. Turn the box around so the hinge side is facing you, sit the lid on the box and carefully align, side to side, front to back. Mark with a very fine pencil where the outside hinge sets.

6. Lift the lid off of the box and using a square, transfer these marks to the inside of the lid.

7. Now it gets a little tricky, remove one of the hinges from the box. Place the hinge on the lid allowing it to fold over the back edge. Drill one screw hole in each hinge. Re-install the hinge to the box. (note, if you happen to have an extra hinge laying around that is the same, you can use it instead of un-installing the one from the box)

8. Now lay the box on its back with the lid in what will be the open position and screw in the one screw in each hinge. Sit the box up and close the lid, should be perfect (or too close to tell it's not). If everything is aligned ok, install the remaining screws.

The whole thing goes quite smoothly, especially after doing it many times. You might want to get a couple of pieces of scrap and play with installing the hinge until you get the hang of doing it.

Hope this didn't confuse you and helps.

Charles Neil

PS, Thanks for giving me an idea for a youtube video in the near future. I'm sure the technique will help others too.
 

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My method may sound too simple. I cut the top off the box. I position the hinges closed between the box and the top. I then knife mark in the gap for the four edges. I remove the top and reposition the hinge to the box, sight punch one hole through the hinge, drill a pilot hole, and screw it down, I do the same thing to the top.

So, now I have the top hinged with only one screw in each leg. If the fit and alignment is perfect, I sight punch the other hole(s). Then I drill the pilot holes, and put in the remaining screws. If the alignment is still perfect, I remove the screws, remove the hinges, and mortise the box and the top.

I reinstall the hinges, and hopefully for the sake of the box, everything is still perfect.
 

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Capt. Marvel,

That sounds so simple when you say it...

When it gets right down to DOING it, it always seems like I'm a hand or two short and/or my hands & arms cannot bend where I want them to. :D :)

I will try to remember what you have said... and try to practice it in the future.

Thank you.
 

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Capt. Marvel,

That sounds so simple when you say it...

When it gets right down to DOING it, it always seems like I'm a hand or two short and/or my hands & arms cannot bend where I want them to. :D :)

I will try to remember what you have said... and try to practice it in the future.

Thank you.

Joe

It is pretty simple even for us geezers.

Whaddya think...a new avatar?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
nice tights!

Thanks everyone for your input. I will have to print a couple of these out and take them into the shop and see what I can make work. I think some scrap wood is definitally the way to go to get this down.
 

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Good Monday Morning: Sometimes I take for granted things that I have done too numerous to count so last evening I sat down and tried to think about the steps that I use. As an example, I thought about my "Keeping Chests" but this is also the way I align blanket chests too.

I install my hinges before finishing or sanding, much easier to correct a mistake at this stage than after it is finished.

1. I measure in from the box and mark the outside point of both of my hinges.

2. I then lay the hinge at my mark and using a knife, mark both sides of the hinge, this tells me where I need to mortise in the hinge.

3. Then I very carefully remove the material until the entire hinge (folded close) fits flush (or even a hair above) the wall of the box.

4. At this point I install the hinge to the box.

5. Turn the box around so the hinge side is facing you, sit the lid on the box and carefully align, side to side, front to back. Mark with a very fine pencil where the outside hinge sets.

6. Lift the lid off of the box and using a square, transfer these marks to the inside of the lid.

7. Now it gets a little tricky, remove one of the hinges from the box. Place the hinge on the lid allowing it to fold over the back edge. Drill one screw hole in each hinge. Re-install the hinge to the box. (note, if you happen to have an extra hinge laying around that is the same, you can use it instead of un-installing the one from the box)

8. Now lay the box on its back with the lid in what will be the open position and screw in the one screw in each hinge. Sit the box up and close the lid, should be perfect (or too close to tell it's not). If everything is aligned ok, install the remaining screws.

The whole thing goes quite smoothly, especially after doing it many times. You might want to get a couple of pieces of scrap and play with installing the hinge until you get the hang of doing it.

Hope this didn't confuse you and helps.

Charles Neil

PS, Thanks for giving me an idea for a youtube video in the near future. I'm sure the technique will help others too.

Charles,

Thank you very much for a simple-sounding method of installing hinges!

I'll also try to remember the procedure...
 
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