By Nancy Hiller
In the April issue (#238) I wrote about several types of hinges commonly in use and described various techniques for installing them. For the second article in this series, here are five hinges with more specialized uses.
95° Stop Hinges
Stop hinges are an excellent choice for box or chest lids in cases where you want to avoid extraneous hardware, such as stays. Precision-engineered, they will hold a lid securely open at 95°. You can use these hinges on chests with lids that overhang at the ends and front, but for the simplest installation, the lid should be flush with the case’s back.
Start by marking the back and lid for foolproof identification. It’s important to keep these parts oriented consistently. Next, lay out the position of each hinge on the top edge of the back. Depending on the length of the lid you may be fine with two hinges; longer lids should have three. These hinges will be mortised into both parts – the chest and the lid – very much as you would mortise a traditional butt hinge. You can start with the mortises on either part, as you prefer. In this example I started with the piece that would be the back of the chest.
It’s useful to have two marking gauges for the mortise layout. With stop hinges, at least 50 percent of the barrel must remain proud for the hinge to operate. For this example, I left the entire barrel proud, because I like the look.
Chop the mortises in the top edge of the chest. When you have removed all but the thinnest slice of waste near the gauge lines, pare out the corners, holding your chisel vertically.
With the hinge fitted in the first mortise, transfer the hinge positions to the lid and repeat the same series of steps.
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