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Monday, April 25, 2016

Quadrant Hinge Installation for Jewelry Boxes

The quadrant hinge can be one of the most tricky hinge installations. The quadrant hinge is a complicated L-shape commonly used on jewelry boxes, cigar humidors, and other fine small wooden boxes.

As pictured, quadrant hinges are installed in the rear corners of a jewelry box and serve both as a lid support and hinge. Now let's get straight to the installation.

Since the retainer portion of the hinge must recess into the sides of the box, a drill press or small router bit is required to create this recessed area. The picture below illustrates the type of router bit that can be used. The sections of the hinge running along the sides of the box and lid will require a mortise the exact shape of the hinge wing and must be appropriately deep as well. If done properly, this will have the hinge sitting flush with the top of the box and the bottom of the lid.

Free handing this mortise cut is not advised. Set up a simple straight line guide for your router with some scrap wood. Here is a link to someone that has already set up a jig or guide to help you install your quadrant hinges: http://lumberjocks.com/JakeBrain/blog/23937

This jig will take a few minutes to set up, but it will save you from ruining your box with a sloppy mortise. Measurements are of the up most importance. The first step is to determine the depth of the cut. Figure in the gap you want between the box and lid and subtract this from the barrel diameter of the hinge and divide the result in half. The router cutter should then be set to this depth of cut.

Carefully line up the lid with the bottom and mark the areas to be routed with a pencil.

Now measure the box side and set your router against a straight fence to ensure a smooth straight cut up the center of this thickness. This setting will make a mortise for the forward arm of the hinge on the upper edges of your box.


PRO TIP: Remember when using a router with the fence on the right hand side the router must be pushed away from the body and when working from the left hand side the cut must be drawn towards the body.

Point A in the picture above illustrates the end of this cut and is measured off the hinge for allowance of half the barrel hinge to project out of the back of the box. This can simply be marked off.

After these cuts are made you can reset the fence to make a short cut at Point B. The fence will be set against the edge of the box and will be long enough to define the third cut.

The third cut will connect the other two with the fence setting against the back of the box.

The pocket cut will provide equal depth in both the box and the lid. As with the first cut, you'll need to set the fence to cut along the center of the box edge. An approximately 3/16" router bit will generally work for this. You may want to make a few passes to ensure a smooth cut due to the depth required.

PRO TIP: This final cut will be covered by the hinge and you should be able to freehand its length, but know that if it is longer than needed you'll lose crucial wood in front of the forward most screw.

Now that you're finished hopefully the hinge will fit into the pocket and install correctly. The hinge should screw into place and operate without binding.

If you intend to install these hinges regularly, crafting a template to fit the hinge size will save a lot of time with subsequent installations. 



gold plated quadrant hinges

Gold Plated Pair of Quadrant Hinges from D. Lawless












1 comment:

Neeva.in said...

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