I finally had a chance to try the Elkhead dowel hinge jig I bought recently at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event. I was a bit frustrated, as the ¼-inch dowels I had on hand were a bit oversize for the bushing in the jig. So I went to the local big-box store, armed with a set of vernier calipers, to measure dowels I could use; I bought two 3-foot oak dowels for these tests. Maybe I should have fired up the lathe instead?
I show results in these photos. I drilled the hinges, inserted a length of 1/16-inch thick wire cut from survey flags (also bought at the big-box store), made the grooves on the small test boards at the router table, and glued the test hinges in place. I am happy with this test run; but I must develop something better to help with the glue-up of the round hinge in the board grooves.
The sycamore “lid” is now attached to the walnut “back” — I sanded the back of the dowel flush with the walnut “back”:
In the next photo the “lid” is in the open position:
I wondered about the look of the hinge in the “open” position — so I documented it here:
I await the Rob Cosman video for full details on making these dowel hinges.Rule #1 to remember: some parts of the hinge are glued to the back, and others to the lid (DUH!).
Meanwhile, I am satisfied with how well this new jig works. I will start shooting a video in the next few days, as time permits.
— Al Navas