Mortising Butt Hinges With A Flat Top Lid

I have been working on some new Jewelry Boxes that will be coming out in August. There have had some requests to show some techniques that I use. Here’s how I like mortising butt hinges on these boxes.

The lids on these Jewelry Boxes are hinged a little differently compared to most conventionally hinged boxes. Instead of the hinges being in the back of the lid they are in the bottom of the lid.

Mortising Butt Hinges In The Box

First, I mortise the hinges onto the back of the box. I place double-sided tape on one side of the hinge and position it where I want to go [Photo #2]. Trace around the hinge with a small razor knife [Photo #3 & Photo #4].

Remove the hinge. Then clamp wood blocks on the inside and outside of the box walls [Photo #5]. The router is kept flat by the blocks while roughing out the mortise [Photo #6]. After the router work is done, the rest of the wood needs to be removed by a chisel [Photo #7 & Photo #8].

Clean up the mortise and fit the hinge. Then the hinge screws are drilled after that [Photo #9]. The box half of the hinge is complete [Photo #10].

A Little Different 0n The Lid

The lid is a different story altogether. With the hinges installed into the back of the box. Lay the lid on the bench upside down and set the box on the lid. Position it to where it needs to be [Photo #11]. Trace completely around the hinges on the lid with the razor knife. Remove the box from the lid. Then make the trace cut deeper with the razor knife [Photo #12]. I use the router to clear the material from the inside of the razor knife cuts [Photo #13 & Photo #15].

Simply clean out the rest of the material that the router couldn’t get to with a chisel [Photo #16]. The butt hinge should fit flat in the mortise. Drill the holes for the screws and attach the hinge to the lid [Photo #17]. With the overhang on this lid, it creates a natural stop to the lid from over-opening.

I hope this method of hinge installation is useful. I’m sure there are other ways to mortise hinges and I would love to hear about them.

If you are interested in the completed boxes, CLICK HERE


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