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I have been given a project by the other half to recreate a dining table the folds in half lengthways.

The project seems fairly sensible and would be easy to put together using regular hardware etc., however the original appears to use SOSS-style hidden 180 degree hinges which I have never used before - and I would like to welcome the challenge.

Source images

Main image of folding table Close up of hinge hardware

I can only find a couple of YouTube videos of people fitting these style of hinges, the majority being the extremely larger versions of SOSS hinge for actually fitting doors; and any of the routing jigs I have found run into the hundreds of £££.

Therefore I am reaching out for advice on how I can achieve this finish with the most appropriate hinges for the job.

For context, I am in the UK.

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    I'm presuming you can get the Soss hinges, just don't want to fork out for the overpriced commercial router jigs. So you want a challenge — cut 'em by hand! I don't actually mean purely manually, since the rounded ends are perhaps best drilled using Forstner or a decent (or well-sharpened) spade bits, but the rest of it can be accomplished using standard chisel technique. The main challenge with these hinges is really the very accurate initial marking out, and you can practice both that and cutting the mortises on scrap to get comfortable with the process before committing to your table parts.
    – Graphus
    Oct 31, 2021 at 12:03
  • If that's too much of a challenge you can easily make templates for router work, and there are approximately a zillion guides to doing this online. Total cost of a homemade template will be exactly 0p since you'll make it from small scraps that probably have little other potential use :-)
    – Graphus
    Oct 31, 2021 at 12:06
  • @Graphus I like that you assume I have the skills to make jigs ;-) Yes I have seen 2 videos of people and jigs - One by John Peters who seems to be using a very official looking jig and then Michael Alm who makes his own using the documentation guide that came with his hinges. That being said... I have a cheapish version coming today from Amazon so I will see what I can get done. Who knows... I might be a master by the end of this and use them for everything!
    – physicsboy
    Oct 31, 2021 at 13:40
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    "diy SOSS hinge jig" shows some results for a web search. At this point since you are about to do this, why not review some of those results, experiment, and come back to self-answer.
    – user5572
    Nov 1, 2021 at 17:26
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    physicsboy you've been around long enough to know that those "follow up" questions aren't really kosher... Post a whole new one. Nobody will complain. Of course, @Graphus still needs to be prompted to write answers down there in the answer box instead of using 6 comments to write his answers! >:/ glares menacingly
    – FreeMan
    Nov 1, 2021 at 18:05

1 Answer 1

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To summarize comments on the original question:

There is nothing that says that you must use an expensive, commercially produced jig to make the mortise for these hinges (or any hinges, for that matter).

  • You can make your own router template out of a piece of hardboard or plywood.

    • Use a piece about 1/4" (6mm) thick, cut out a hole the precise dimensions of the hinge.
    • Enlarge the hole by the thickness of the router collar you want to use.
    • Precisely center the hole on the edge of the table, then sandwich the table between a couple of pieces of solid wood (cheap pine would be sufficient) and screw the hardboard/plywood to the pieces of solid wood.
  • Mark out the dimensions of the hinge directly onto the table edge. Using a Forstner bit of the correct diameter, drill overlapping holes the depth of the thickness of the hinge plate. Use a chisel to square up the corners and straighten the edges. Oh, wait, those hinges appear to have round ends, so you don't even need to square the ends up, just ensure the sides are straight!

  • Use a chisel to make the complete mortise by hand. It was done this way for centuries before electric routers were invented... Of course, with the round ended hinges, this does become more difficult to get a good fit, but you say you're up for a challenge!

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  • Suh-weet! .....darn, can't use spaces to get to minimum character limit :-)
    – Graphus
    Nov 2, 2021 at 19:23

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