Slideshow: Keyed Miter Joints I like the decorative effect that keyed miter joints lend to an otherwise simple box. But they also add a great deal of strength to a notoriously weak joint. Here’s a quick slideshow on cutting and installing keys in miter joints using a very simple jig featured in the August … Read more
Author Archives: Matthew Teague
Coming soon (June 12) in the August 2012 Issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is an article by Willard Anderson titled “Rule Joints by Hand and Power,” which explains the history of rule joints, walks you through the process of cutting them and explains how the hinges work. When it comes time to hinge the joint, … Read more
Coming soon (June 12) in the August 2012 Issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, is an article by Willard Anderson titled “Rule Joints by Hand and Power,” which both explains the history of rule joints and walks you through the process of cutting them. After cutting the joint, part of the secret to creating a joint … Read more
I’ve written before about my love of stringed packing tape – it deepens and matures every day. Here’s a short slideshow I put together on one of its best uses: gluing up small boxes. Using clamps to glue up any small box is tricky and almost always frustrating. The clamps are too large for the … Read more
The second episode of “The Highland Woodworker” web TV show is out and if you haven’t seen this new show yet, it’s definitely worth a look. Produced in conjunction with Highland Hardware in Atlanta, the show provides great woodworking advice and visits with some of the best woodworkers out there. (The first episode included a … Read more
Gluing and clamping angled assemblies – like most chairs – can be a hassle. There are some great strategies for approaching glue-ups, angled and otherwise, in various books including “Glue and Clamps,” but sometimes it just comes down to having the right tool for the job at hand. For years I fought with K-Body or … Read more
by Matthew Teague
The first time I installed knife hinges I did so with an inexpensive pair, thinking it would be a good way to learn the process without wasting a lot of money on what is a notoriously finicky piece of hardware. Instead, I learned why quality knife hinges are worth every cent.
Any play or wiggle in the hinge will show up in the swing of the door, and making adjustments after installation is difficult if not impossible. Knife hinges made of thin, stamped steel, with irregularities in the thickness of the leaves or imperfections in the action of the pivot, simply won’t function as they should. You can’t pay me enough to use cheap ones again.
With that first set of knife hinges in mind, I was hesitant to try the new ones from Lee Valley. Once I got them in my hands, however, I was more hopeful. They have the weight and smooth action of quality hardware, and the brass versions are hard to distinguish from Brusso’s (long the standard by which knife hinges are measured).
Likewise, as far as installation goes, I recently installed a few pairs of Brusso hinges and wouldn’t walk across the street for the difference. Like the Brusso line, the Lee Valley hinges are available in straight and offset orientations and in a wide range of sizes. You have your choice of either brass or stainless steel.And they’re priced notably less than comparable hinges from Brusso, which means Lee Valley will likely become my first stop for knife hinges.
If I have one complaint, it’s that the Lee Valley hinges don’t come with screws. It’s not a huge problem with the brass hinges, but the stainless finish is akin in appearance to brushed nickel, so matching the screws is a challenge. While I love the look of the stainless versions, I wish Lee Valley provided matching screws.