Installing Hidden Barrel Hinges
I can't say that I have a vast number of tips to share with other woodworkers but I did discover a way to install hidden barrel hinges. that worked for me. All that is required is to drill two 10mm holes in the box and two in the lid to install the hinges. Easy enough.....right? Well the first set I installed did not work out and I was forced to find a way that would make it easier and reduce the chance of error. So most woodworking solutions involve some sort of jig or template. Here is what I came up with.
First off, the hinges are metric. On the back of the package (and available on the Rockler website in the form of a pdf file) is a chart with specifications. The dimensions I was interested in were the distance between the back of the box and the back of the lid (measurement C). This distance was 2.5 mm or .098 inches using the conversion of .03937 inches per mm. I got my dial calipers and with a little trial and error found that 7 business cards, 2 post-it-notes and one piece of scotch tape gave me the .098 inches I needed. These would be used as a spacer between the lid and the box. The hinges are already on but you can see in the picture how they were held in place with the quick clamps. The lid is also held in place with a single quick clamp holding it snug to the spacers.
Spacers attached to rear of box Plexiglass Template Box w/Lid Installed
The next thing I needed to do was come up with a way to accurately mark the locations for drilling the 10mm holes. I needed some sort of jig or template to use that would provide a consistent center to center distance between the lid and the box. I took a small piece of 1/8" plexiglass I had lying around and put a piece of masking tape on it. I then used a marking gauge and scribed a line 1/2" from the right side which roughly centered the line over the width. I used a sharpie and marked this side of the template with an "R" and "I" for "right inside". The center to center distance on the specifications was 16.5mm or .650 inches. I set the dial calipers to this dimension and used the points (the part used for inside measuring) to make an impression on the masking tape on the scribed line. I also made a mark in the center between the two marks. I then used a 5/64 drill bit and drilled holes through the plexiglass on the two outer marks and then drew a line at the center location perpindicular to the others. To use the template I simply marked the hinge location plus 1/2" (distance from scribed line to edge of template) on the box and using a square transferred the line to the lid. I placed the template with the right inside edge on the layout line and then eyeballed the horizontal center line in the gap between the box and the lid. Once set I use an awl and marked the locations for drilling. I set the stop on the drill press to drill to the required depth and then installed the hinges. It worked pretty well but I will make another template and this time make it a full 1" wide, making sure it is square, so there won't be a need to worry about which edge is used.
Hope this helps someone and if anybody has any other ideas to make it easier please pass them along at the email address below.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me.
Have fun, and safe woodworking.