My recent focus has been on making boxes, and also wooden hinges. The hinges must always be functional; but as a side benefit, they are also decorative and, done right, they provide wonderful shadow lines and a welcome element of surprise.
My long-distance friend and fellow blogger, Julio Alonso Díaz, has elevated the task of making wooden hinges for boxes to a new level. Julio is the man behind the blog El Taller Dominical (Sunday Workshop, according to Google Translate – http://artisanflamingo.blogspot.com). In the most recent entry to his blog, Julio shares with us how he makes beautiful wooden hinges. I will not include any details of his process here; instead, I invite you to visit his blog to read the article, using Google Translate. This link will open up Julio’s blog in the English translation; you can decide whether you wish to view the original version in Spanish by clicking on the radio button at the top-right corner.
An aside: Julio calls me names in his article — but I like it!
Here is one example of a prototype hinge Julio made — click on the image to enlarge it:
In his “…limited corner…” of a shop, Julio uses a mix of power tools and hand tools. With the power tools he does the bulk of the shaping of the joint; he also rounds the corners with a nifty jig, to allow easy rotation. Then he switches to hand tools, to create the details that make the hinges a distinct art form.
I hope you will read Julio’s article; but I also hope you will find a way to use his techniques, to incorporate details that will dress up your boxes. I know I will.
I look forward to hearing from you on the following:
- Do you ever incorporate wooden hinges in your work and in your boxes?
- How do you make your wooden hinges?
- Do you create distinctive hinges in your shop?
- Which tools do you find essential in making wonderful wooden hinges?
I invite you to read additional articles on this blog, on how I make wooden boxes using the F3 finger joint jig. Sometimes I use use only the D4R dovetail jig; other times I simply mount the F3 on the D4R and make special boxes.
— Al Navas