Working With Small Hinges

web_1451In the back panel of the project I made for the upcoming August 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine is a small door. Hanging doors on butt hinges is no big deal if you’ve done it a few times, but this door proved interesting. The picture above makes it look typical, but the piece of walnut shown is only 1/4″ thick.

web_1454With the camera pulled back, you get a better idea of what I was dealing with. Lee Valley had the hinges and the screws. In fact these aren’t even the smallest available. Work at this scale is mostly the same as working on furniture or cabinets, but some tasks require different tools, or the use of standard tools in a different way. The pilot hole for the #1 screws was a 1/32″ twist bit, and the screwdriver is from an eyeglass repair kit.

web_1456As I marked out the mortise for the hinges, I realized that the knife marks at the ends were as deep as they needed to be. Then I began to mark the sides with my gauge (a Tite-Mark Mini), I realized that I could easily remove all the material with the gauge. It spanned the mortise and works really well as a small router. This trick also works to get the last bit of junk removed from the corner of a tenon.

– Robert W. Lang

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