Miniature Hinge Mortise


Rex Edgar
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Ive looked around a bit, here, YouTube, I can't find what I'm looking for. I have a couple of small boxes and I am looking to attach the lids. These hinges are maybe 1-2mm thick (open). I saw one guy's video and he used a trim router. These take up so little space as to make the router seem like overkill, not to mention tearing up more than the mortise. I really don't want to flush mount them and I've practiced chiseling on some comparable scraps with unsatisfactory results. What procedures are you folks using? I'm speaking of what is called a 'barrel hinge'. 

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28 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

Sharp knife and one of these three. I intend to fab a side cutter for the big router plane one of these days. Not sure why I don't see them sold with kits. 

 

image.jpg

C Shaffer what is the middle one? I have the other two but don't think I have ever seen the middle one before.

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22 minutes ago, mkrusen said:

Do you use the hinge mortise plane much? Or when do you reach for that instead of the router plane? Its on my wish-list but not sure how much it would get used vs my router plane.

It is not what I expected. I use it more for big hinges. Router planes can lift soft fibers in the pine I am often working when rehabbing houses. The angle of approach is nice in that case as you are approaching more like a bench plane. It is a little big for short strokes. I think for small stuff it is a case by case call or more of a preference motivation. Are you still in South Bend? Come grab it and play with it for a week. 

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3 hours ago, Aj3 said:

If you don't have a router plane clamp a piece of wood that's square on two faces.To the side of the box at the depth you want the hinge.

Use this to guide your chisel.

image.jpeg

Nice tip AJ, I'm going to have to remember that one.

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If you're not up on sharpening and using hand planes, there's a really safe way to do this with a trim router...

  • Get a small, solid carbide spiral bit, like a 5 or 7/32".     Small bits have very little torque, making the tool super easy to control freehand.
  • Set the bit to exactly the hinge leaf thickness.  
  • Mark the hinge out with a knife as you would if you weren't using a router, slightly darken the lines with pencil if you need help seeing them.
  • Clamp an extra board to the back edge to support the router base and prevent tipping.  Thicker is better, as more support is provided.
  • Freehand rout the waste, leaving ~ 1/16" near the lines.   This will give you a perfectly flat bottom.
  • Using the routed bottom as a reference for the flat chisel back, finish cutting to the knife lines with a sharp chisel.  I like small ones here ~ 3/16 or 1/4", as if concentrates the force so you don't have to push as hard, limiting slip and damage potential.  Once you get your router planes and technique up to snuff, you can also use them to finish the tiny amount left to remove.

I own a full complement of router planes, etc... and I do this so often with a Rigid trim router, I leave the spiral bit installed.  It's also a super way to waste out half blind dovetail sockets quickly, leaving the final angle cut and fitting to hand tools.

 

Give it a try on scrap, you might be pleasantly surprised how easy and accurate this is!

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6 hours ago, CessnaPilotBarry said:

If you're not up on sharpening and using hand planes, there's a really safe way to do this with a trim router...

  • Get a small, solid carbide spiral bit, like a 5 or 7/32".     Small bits have very little torque, making the tool super easy to control freehand.
  • Set the bit to exactly the hinge leaf thickness.  
  • Mark the hinge out with a knife as you would if you weren't using a router, slightly darken the lines with pencil if you need help seeing them.
  • Clamp an extra board to the back edge to support the router base and prevent tipping.  Thicker is better, as more support is provided.
  • Freehand rout the waste, leaving ~ 1/16" near the lines.   This will give you a perfectly flat bottom.
  • Using the routed bottom as a reference for the flat chisel back, finish cutting to the knife lines with a sharp chisel.  I like small ones here ~ 3/16 or 1/4", as if concentrates the force so you don't have to push as hard, limiting slip and damage potential.  Once you get your router planes and technique up to snuff, you can also use them to finish the tiny amount left to remove.

I own a full complement of router planes, etc... and I do this so often with a Rigid trim router, I leave the spiral bit installed.  It's also a super way to waste out half blind dovetail sockets quickly, leaving the final angle cut and fitting to hand tools.

 

Give it a try on scrap, you might be pleasantly surprised how easy and accurate this is!

What's the difference in an up spiral bit and a down spiral bit, Thanks for the input.

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17 minutes ago, Rex Edgar said:

What's the difference in an up spiral bit and a down spiral bit, Thanks for the input.

Down spiral when you are worried about the top corner blowing out. Up spiral when you are worried about the bottom corner blowing out. Combination when you are worried about both. They cut at a shearing angle and push fibers up or down as they cut. 

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I usually use a spiral upcut bit for almost everything except trimming tops.  In the case of the hinge install, the hinge outline is knifed in, so the fibers are already cut.   I like upcut bits where the bottom is closed, as they clear chips better, instead of jamming them down and burning them.

 

The smaller the bit, as in the tiny bit mentioned in my previous post, the less chance of it tearing out the surface as it isn't grabbing huge sections of opposed grain.

 

One thing I left out of the earlier post is to do the initial cuts where the bit is cutting on both sides in the center of the waste.  Once that's done, you can decide which direction to move the router vs. the grain based on the cut quality you're seeing.  If the bit tears anything out in the center, it's only waste that doesn't matter.

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On August 11, 2016 at 10:07 PM, C Shaffer said:

It is not what I expected. I use it more for big hinges. Router planes can lift soft fibers in the pine I am often working when rehabbing houses. The angle of approach is nice in that case as you are approaching more like a bench plane. It is a little big for short strokes. I think for small stuff it is a case by case call or more of a preference motivation. Are you still in South Bend? Come grab it and play with it for a week. 

I may have to take you up on that sometime. Always nice to get hands on a tool before pulling the trigger.

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