Keepsake Box: Episode 4

Keepsake Episode 4 Keyframe

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Paul fits the optional divider to the inside of the box before laying out the hinging. The hinges are fitted to the lid, then onto the main body of the box, with care taken to transfer and align the hinges. You may need to make some micro adjustments for alignment of the lid. With the box back together, the joint lines and overall shaping of the box can be refined. Then Paul carves out a small finger recess and cuts and fits some feet.

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  1. david o'sullivan on 14 June 2017 at 9:21 pm

    i enjoy that .i do hope we see a nice finish applied next week.

  2. dannotti on 15 June 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Do you have a source for the hinges?

    • Farred on 17 June 2017 at 2:49 am

      I think this company has change management, but his is where I got my hinges. Top quality, solid brass.
      Even after shipping international, it was still half the price of buying local.

      • jakegevorgian on 18 June 2017 at 2:40 am

        I usually take an inexpensive brass hinge, use my metal vise to squeeze halves tight, tap the knuckles to make it straight, re-counter sink the holes and ready to use 🙂 I picked up very inexpensive solid brass 4 hinges from Lowe’s for 2 bucks.

    • Peter Bernhardt on 23 November 2017 at 1:18 am

      In the U.S., the best hinges are from Brusso. I used the JB-102 stop hinges so I wouldn’t need to add a chain. Well worth it, imho. These are perfect for this project.

    • Kermit Chamberlin on 3 December 2021 at 3:26 am

      Brusso hinges. Been using them for years. Accept no substitutes.

  3. deanbecker on 15 June 2017 at 3:13 pm

    When you say ensure the hinge resess is 1/2 the depth of the barrel is that instead of the depth of the hinge flat? Is it ok to set the hinge below flush. ?
    I have seen some set that way and wondered why

    • Philip Adams on 16 June 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Hello Dean, due to the flap of the hinges being inconsistent between hinges, it is better to check it. I you ensure the hinge is set to less than 1/2 the depth of the barrel or knuckle, then it will work and live the necessary tiny gap which allows the box to open and close smoothly.

      • pcgalwally on 22 June 2017 at 11:16 pm

        The note on the video says MORE than half

        • Philip Adams on 26 June 2017 at 1:23 pm

          So it does. The note on the video is incorrect and I will get it changed. Sorry for the confusion and incorrect advice. Thank you Paul for pointing that out.

  4. Spencer Gaskins on 16 June 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Excellent episode. Just the right amount of detail, a solid instruction on microadjustments, and overall, a great presentation. I am building this (scaling it up for a church offering box), so, it’s nice to see the implementation as I work along the details.

  5. bpower on 17 June 2017 at 12:46 am

    I’m absolutely loving this project. I’m building one for a wedding gift. It is right now all glued up and clamped. Dovetails look amazing, In my humble opinion. Every project is getting my woodworking skills better and better. Now I just need to get the courage to cut it in half tomorrow. 🙂
    Thanks for this project. I’m sure they are going to love it. 🙂

  6. Farred on 17 June 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I appreciate the instruction for installing the hinges without a hand router, because the box edge is so narrow.

  7. Tom Babula on 21 June 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I plan on using Bruso brass hinges from Lee Valley. Used Bruso hinges on other projects with no problems. They are solid brass, well made and up to the task.

  8. larryl49 on 22 June 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Hi, enjoying this session, enjoying the micro techniques especially the 2mms taper to the divider, I don’t know why I never thought of that before, trick.
    Also noticed when fitting the hinges, Paul aligned the screw slots parallel with the edge of the hinges for neatness. Many thanks.
    Regards Larry

  9. sanford on 14 August 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I have a hinge question. Paul says to set your gauge to exactly the thickness of the hinge when pulling a line between the two knife walls he created for the hinge. But the video has written on it that the gauge should be set to more than half the diameter of the hinge knuckle. I have several hinges of several brands and for all of them, when I set the gauge to just the thickness of the hinge, it is significantly less than half the diameter of the knuckle. So one of those instructions can’t be satisfied with my hinges. So which is more important? Or are all my hinges no good? This is just a practice box made from pine, but I would hate to mess it up at this stage! Thanks. Sanford

    • Clifford on 15 August 2017 at 12:16 am

      Sanford I had the same question when I made my first box. What I learned is that if you set it to the thickness, or slightly less, the box might show a gap on the front because it is being prevented form closing all the way. If to set it too deep (and I find half of the knuckle too deep) then you have a gap on the back and part of each side as it is propped up in the back. If you cut it too deep you can use small washers to correct. Of course cutting too shallow is easy to correct with a hand router.

      I am starting my fourth box and will stay on the shallow side and correct as needed. Of course different hinges might vary. Hope this helps.

    • Philip Adams on 15 August 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Sanford, you want to go for just under half the diameter of the knuckle, as the video note says. You want to end up with around a 1mm gap at the back, which enables the front to close, and allows for the lid to move a little and still close. You can then go slightly deeper if necessary as Clifford says.

    • Peter Bernhardt on 23 November 2017 at 1:27 am

      While working on this project I found an excellent video on YouTube from Dave Barron on installing hinges. Among other things, he shows how to measure and adjust the hinge flaps so they are exactly the same size, then use the hing to set the depth of the mortise (and for most hinges, that means the center of the pin). For stop hinges, that isn’t the case (you need to use must set the depth to the size of the leaf and if it goes deeper the box won’t open or close – Brusso has instructions). Otherwise, I highly recommend this as a companion to Paul’s technique. I used both, and I found that ensuring the hinges are exactly the same size and using a knife gauge to set the depth of the hinge produce consistently good results. Also, during layout, I made small knife marks on the base and lid to guarantee the top and bottom would be properly aligned.

      • Alan on 23 November 2017 at 5:25 am

        I watched Dave Barron’s video, but didn’t learn much about fitting hinges. He concentrates on 0.150 mm manufacturing tolerances while show-piecing his prissy workbench. The detail was totally missing. He could have worn his Dinner Jacket.

        If you’re marking each hinge-leaf separately, with a sharp knife, they don’t have to be perfectly matched on 16,000 grit on float glass.

        (Do you suppose he edited-out the bit where the screws roll through those dog-holes in the bench and he scrabbles on the floor to find them?)

  10. sanford on 15 August 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Clifford and Philip, thanks for the comments. I think I understand. But I am still a bit puzzled. Philip says that the video recommends going for just under half the diameter of the knuckle, but I went back and the video actually says the gauge should be set to just more than half. Hm . . . I will follow the advice of going shallow since it does seem easier to take away a bit more wood than to ad some sort of shim. We will see!

    I should say that this box is an amazing good project for a novice woodworker who begun to get the hang of dovetails (more or less) etc and wants a further challenge.


    • Philip Adams on 16 August 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Hello Sanford,
      The old version of the video was corrected as it stated that it should be just over half, which was incorrect. Are you watching a downloaded version? Sorry for the confusion.

  11. dotian on 16 December 2017 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve fitted the hinges as per Pauls instructions but I have a gap along the front edge so the lid is not closing fully. Any help as to which way to go with the hinges so as to restore the correct gap all round the box.

    • Ed on 17 December 2017 at 4:22 am

      If the two halves mated without gaps before the hinges were added, then a gap at the front could mean the hinge is too deep while a gap at the back would mean not deep enough. If that is what is happening, taking a careful set of shavings off of the box lid, bottom, or both (like you were leveling the box halves) would help. It may not take much. I’m only guessing, though, since I’ve not seen the box. You could test this idea by putting a shim under the hinges, maybe a bit of cardboard.

      • dotian on 17 December 2017 at 3:24 pm

        Hi Ed,
        Many thanks for your reply. The two halves mated without gaps before hinging. From what you say the hinges are too deep, although they are flush with the box edges. It doesn’t take much to hold the lid closed but it springs up at the front when released to leave an uneven gap from front to back.
        I’ll play around with taking shavings off as you suggest to see if I can rectify the issue.
        Thanks again for your advice.

        • Ed on 17 December 2017 at 4:27 pm

          Hmmm. You have me wondering now. Try the cardboard shim before doing anything with the plane.

        • Ed on 17 December 2017 at 4:30 pm

          Just to be clear, “deep” means how deep you set your router plane for the hinge mortise, not how close the hinge pin is to the edge of the box. Hope that makes sense.

          • dotian on 17 December 2017 at 6:31 pm

            I did understand what you meant regarding deep – when I say flush I meant that the top of the hinge leaf is flush with the surrounding wood so raising the hinge would push it above the wood (hope this makes sense). I cut the hinge mortise by hand using chisels as demonstrated by Paul in the video to the depth that matches the thickness of the hinge leaf.
            Perhaps I will try the cardboard shim first before I resort to picking up the plane.

          • Ed on 17 December 2017 at 7:21 pm

            Maybe it would be a good idea for you to start a separate thread and add a photo? Others can chime in. I’m having trouble understanding how to have the hinge flush yet be binding in back, so I’m afraid my suggestion wasn’t right.

        • Philip Adams on 19 December 2017 at 2:16 pm

          The thickness of the leaves of a hinge varies. You need to make sure the recess is less than half the knuckle of the hinge. Sounds like you would do well by following Ed’s advice and add a small something under the hinges.

          The other alternative is to slightly deepen the inside of the hinge recess (away from the outside edge), so that the hinges sit slightly higher at the back. You have to be careful not to overdo this.
          Best, Phil

  12. Steve Hawkes on 4 March 2018 at 1:05 am

    Absolutely Beautiful project!!! I can’t wait to try it myself. One minor suggestion I might make isn’t for the woodworking techniques as much as it is a safety issue during final assembly. Being a retired gunsmith/machinist, one trick I’d like to suggest you try is to use a small sanding drum to “hollow grind” all of your flat tip screwdrivers. If you look at the profile of a standard flat tip screwdriver, you’ll see that it is actually ground in a wedge shape and when that is put into a standard slotted screw head, the Only part of the driver that contacts is the end and (Hopefully) the contact point at the very top of the screw slot! But if you hollow grind your drivers, you can then actually adjust them to mate precisely to the full dept of the screw slot and by do this to several sizes you can then have a set of drivers to fit a full range of slotted screws and they will drive and torque the screws all the way as tight as you like Without twisting out and burring the slots of the screws!! When working on a customer’s Very expensive weapon, the Last thing you want to have happen as a gunsmith is to try to torque down a screw on the outside of the gun and have the screwdriver slip out of the slot and scratch up the finish and have to start over and not only repair the scratch but completely refinish the weapon AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE!

  13. Allen Schell on 10 July 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Anyone have a source for that chain Paul uses for the lid?

  14. Dr. Peter Schöberl on 19 February 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Where can i get that very fine saw You used.
    Many thanks for helping me.

    • BenoĂ®t Van Noten on 5 December 2021 at 6:16 pm

      Peter Schörberl
      see those blog posts:
      from 2015/08
      and next post

  15. Gary Mercer on 2 December 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Hinges can be easily shimmed using newspaper. This trick was used on a singer treadle sewing machine cabinet hinges that I refinished.

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