Fitting Quadrant Hinges

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There are, as always, many ways to do a job but hopefully we can provide a few good tips.

When first seen quadrant hinges can look a bit daunting as they are a fitting that works in 3 planes.

We find that the following steps work for us. We recommend a few practices on scrap pieces of wood first to get the hang of it.

1] decide where the hinge is to be positioned and mark with a pencil where the stay section (moving curved piece) locates - often these are fixed which stops the hinge sitting flat to the workpiece. Use a 4/5mm drill to drill a small section so the end fits in and the hinge can lay flat on the workpiece. This hole will be enlarged later.

2] Place the hinge where it is to be fitted and using  a marking knife mark around the hinge. It is important that the mark is flush with the hinge leaf edge otherwise there will be a gap. We are lucky enough to have a right and left hand angled chisel set which are very accurate. Put as deep a mark as you are able to do comfortably.

3] Once marked we then use a small router with the depth set to the hinge leaf depth. We use a router bit narrower than the marks as we do ours freehand. We don't like router tables as you can't see what is going on with the wood. Doing it by eye and hand can be worrying but a few practices on a scrap first help a lot to build your confidence. For our 7mm wide hinges (PKR PQH / PQH CH in our shop) we use a 6mm router bit.

4] You have then removed most of the wood and this only leaves the very edge where your original mark has been made - using a sharp chisel remove these bits by hand to the same depth as the routed part. This should be easy as the chisel slots into your marked cut and the wood naturally falls towards the routed gap and does not force the chisel backwards.

5] Be really careful at the tip where the hinge leaf curves, it can be done with the router or if you have carving chisels with the correct curve these are even better / safer.

6] Check the fit of the hinge and then enlarge the hole for the stay section, make sure it locates over 50% of the way in.

7] Once located you can then mark and drill the pilot holes for the screws - we use a very sharp awl initially (PKR AWL in our shop) and then drill ½mm smaller than the screw size (2½mm screw=2mm pilot) - we cannot stress enough, as with any hinge fitting, how important this is - broken screws are very difficult to remove when they are small and you cannot relocate your hinge.

8] Then you need to do the same for the other side - simply repeat the process.

Yes they are a little bit fiddly and time consuming but the result is that you get a box where the hardware enhances it's appearance greatly and wants to be seen, it is part of the pleasure of opening a box to see not only the contents but also some quality hardware. They are well worth the effort.

We hope that helped a bit, apart from our angled chisels we only use a very basic low cost small router and standard router bit, we don't have carving chisels - yet!




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