Making Glass Box Hinges

by MizGriz
(Cool, CA, USA)

I am making my first box. I was given a couple of brass rods to make the hinges from. I can see that one fits inside the other, but I don't know what to do with them. Can you help?



Box making is going to be my next tutorial, but I know you need the information now, not after Christmas.

Telling you how to make a hinge, without using pictures, is close to being impossible, but I will give you the notes I use in my box making classes. I hope they will make sense to you. You need a very fine toothed hobby hack saw to cut the tube and rod. You'll also need a file to smooth off the edges of both after you cut them.

1. Cut a piece of tube the length of the back of the box minus 7/32”.

2. Bend a piece of rod at a 90 degree angle with about 1” sticking out on one side. It will look like and L with the short leg being about 1” long.

3. With the lid sitting on the table, right side up, Put the tube along the back edge and place the 1” leg of the rod in the tube.

4. Place a ruler tightly along the side edge of the lid and place the long leg of the rod along the ruler as well. In other words, the side of the lid and the long leg of the rod should form a straight line. This gives you accurate placement for the tube.

5. Tack solder the tube in place near the end where the rod is. Be very careful not to get solder in the end of the tube, as it will permanently solder the rod and tube together, thus making it no longer a hinge!

6. Remove the rod and place it in the other end of the tube. Repeat steps 4 and 5.

7. Take the rod out. Place a wet paper towel tightly under the tube. Solder the top part of the tube, making sure no solder gets into the ends. Sticking toothpicks in the ends of the tube will help to keep the solder out. The paper towel controls the amount of solder that will run through (between the lid and the tube).

8. Turn the lid over and cautiously smooth out the solder that has run through. I say cautiously because, you can play a game of chase the solder from one side to the other.

9. Put one rod back in the tube, set the lid on the box and turn the box on it’s side so that
the rod rests on the table. Mark the rod about 1/16" from the bottom of the box, take it out and cut it off at the mark.

10. Put the rod back in the tube and solder the rod to the side seam of the box. Make sure you stick a piece of paper between the box and the lid so that solder will not accidentally run between the two and permanently solder the lid to the box.

11. Cut another piece of rod and bend it as you did the first one. Then repeat steps 9 & 10 on the other side of the box.

12. Once you have placed the lid on the box, do not try to touch up the soldering on the tube. This always results in a disaster.

Like I said, I hope this makes sense to you. I have two other ways to make hinges, but they are more difficult, although more pleasing to look at, but absolutely impossible to describe without pictures. Let me know, through my Contact Me page if you need clarification on any of the steps.

Comments for Making Glass Box Hinges

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Feb 25, 2010
Good job!
by: Therese

Good description. I got it right away. Now where to get this tube you talk about? Hummmm... What do I have around the house I could tin.

Off to work! Thanks!

You can get brass tubes and rods at most craft or hobby stores. I get mine from a place that sells model train and plane kits (and related stuff). You local stained glass supplier should have them as well.

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