Metric Wooden Hinges

Heard a rumour recently (actually more than a rumour – if it happens to be dropped into conversation by Professional Woodworkers Supplies, then it is a fait accompli), that along with the recent release by Incra of their top-line products with a metric version, the HingeCrafter is also going to have a metric version.

The only holdup now for it to make the market, is waiting for the metric Whiteside router bits to be developed.  So good news for those who want, or have a metric Incra LS Positioner, and want to be be able to use it in conjunction with the HingeCrafter to make a stylish wooden hinges for their project.

Class

The hinges can then be made in the same timber as the project (or contrasting as a feature), and really look to lift a project to another level.  Imagine getting a stylish dovetailed box with a hinged lid, and how it would look if the hinges were brass compared with wood.  The whole project goes from “wow”, to “WOW”.

Contrary to what you might expect, the HingeCrafter is not actually used to form the hinge knuckles.  That is achieved on the router table, with the Whiteside router bits and the LS Positioner.  The HingeCrafter is used to bore the hole for the hinge pin.  It is both important that the hinge pin is perfectly straight (so the hinge operates smoothly without binding), and that no breakout occurs as the hole is being drilled (let alone having too much side pressure causing weaker timbers to have knuckles break off altogether).

HingeCrafter

With the included drill bit (and assuming the metric will be the same as the imperial), hinges over 10″ long are possible (254mm in metric).

Manufacturing Steps

Hinges

Any sizes you want (length of bit depending – the hinge can be up to twice as long as the available bit), and 4 different diameter hinges.  Made in your timber of choice, either matching the project, contrasting with it, or both!  And no more of those brass screws who’s heads seen designed to shear and pop off at a moment’s notice.

As Seen on The Web

Found these photos of a memorabilia chest on the Incra Website – some beautiful work made in Spalted Maple, including the hinges.

The gentleman who created it worked for years on the Stealth Bomber program, and collected many souvenirs from the program.

Stunning timber, superb chest.  I like the idea of it as well as a way of storing and displaying coins, as I have a small collection that I’d like to come up with something like this for that collection.

Wish I had made something as stunning as this to showcase!

The associated article talks about the Hingecrafter, and the recent upgrade of the LS Positioner to the metric version apparently makes it partially incompatible with the Hingecrafter.

However, I am thinking the easiest solution is to maintain some capability of imperial positioning, by acquiring an Original Incra Jig.  I haven’t as yet, but the thought is there.


Also, while on the topic of Incra, I have been using the 1000SE Mitre Gauge a bit recently, and enjoying the ability to significantly extend the fence for crosscutting very long boards.

HingeCrafter

When making fine objects in timber, such as a jewelery box, it seems a shame to then use a commerical solution for fixtures such as hinges.

The Incra HingeCrafter is one solution for producing elegant, functional wooden hinges.

The core of the system is not the HingeCrafter itself, but the set of router bits.  These are used to created the hinge barrels, and cut the individual hinge knuckles.  The accurate positioning of the cuts can only be achieved by using a router table.  It is not compulsory to have an Incra Positioner / Incra Fence, but it certainly helps.

Once the knuckles have been created, the HingeCrafter unit is then used to accurately drill the holes through the knuckles for the hinge pin.  It is not just a matter of accurately aligning the holes (although this is important for good hinge operation), but also providing breakout support for the back of each knuckle as the holes are being drilled.

HingeCrafter System

HingeCrafter System

(I had intended to have some examples of wooden hinges to show here, but I still have some teething issues with my developing router table, nothing serious but still some steps to go before I’m happy with it).

The HingeCrafter and Whiteside Router Bit set shown here comes from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.

Until I can produce some of my own to show (in a future post), here are some images I nicked from Incra of their HingeCrafter at work.

Setting up for the Hinge Pin hole

Setting up for the Hinge Pin hole

Drilling the hole

Drilling the hole

A Wooden Hinge

A Wooden Hinge

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