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Thread: Barrel hinges

  1. #1

    Barrel hinges

    I'm looking at barrel hinges to use on small jewelry boxes. The barrels are metric ( 4mm or 5 mm), so I bought a set of metric drill bits. Now what I need is metric dowel center pins to line up the holes for the barrel hinges. Does anybody know how to do it without dowel centering pins?

    Thanks, DKT

  2. #2
    I've used those a few times, and yes, they are durn hard to get alligned perfectly. I found the best way is to tap in a short section of a small pin nail where you want the hinges on one side, then mate up the other side(or lid) and press or tap to make an indentation. Pull the pin nail out, and use the marks you've made to drill your holes.

  3. #3
    One way is to drill the holes through the top into the box , before the lid is glued on. Then, that depends on the design of the box.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I've done it the way Bill suggested. Drill a hole through the side piece before attaching the top board. I then cut the box top on the bandsaw or TS, holes were centered perfectly.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Odessa, Tx
    Another way is to mark the box with a center pin and then before drilling the holes in the box, lay a BB (or smaller ball from a ball bearing) on each of the the center pin marks and then align the lid and tap it to mark the lid for drilling. To keep the back edges of the lid and box aligned, clamp a board to the back of the box so it sticks up above the box and you can push the lid against it. (I have used this method on other small hinges as well)

    (Hope this is clearer than mud).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Tampa & NC

    Barrel hinges

    Use the dowel pin centers.Just drill the first hole,put the pin in an tap the lid on it,then drill the matching hole.I'v used them for years and found this is the easiest and quickest way to to do it.One thing I did learn was to use a drill press if possable to make sure the holes are straight.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Ward View Post
    Use the dowel pin centers.
    My miniature hinges are metric (5mm), so no dowel centers. But using bearings seems to work, I'm still practicing. Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate them.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    Dave Knipfer was the 'box guru' over on a few years back, and he was generous enough to share his methods with us. One of the then regulars collected a series of his posts and has them on his website. here's the one about installing 5mm hinges.


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