Different Ways to Hinge a Lid

Door hinge image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

Boxes of all sizes and shapes require hinges if they include a lid as part of their design. Different hinges work in different ways, and some work in certain applications better than others. Also, examine the aesthetic style of a hinge to determine if it will fit the look of the box.

Butt Hinge

This hinge is one of the most common and strongest hinges, but it does have some drawbacks. The experts at Types of Hinges say that this hinge features two large plates and a hinge that runs the length of both plates for optimal strength. Unfortunately, this hinge can't be adjusted or changed once it's installed. It also won't stop the lid from opening all the way, so straps might be needed on the inside of a trunk or box to stop it from opening to 180 degrees. Butt hinges must be recessed, requiring an additional cut for installation.

Butterfly Hinge

Butterfly hinges are decorative and useful but lack the strength of a butt hinge. The two plates are cut into a decorative pattern, often in the shape of a fleur de lis or something similar, according to the Technology Student website. This hinge does not require recessing and is easy to install. It is attractive enough to add an elegant touch to a trunk or box. The butterfly hinge won't work for a very heavy lid, and it also lacks a way to stop the lid from opening further than 90 degrees.

Leather Hinge

One way to hinge a lid to a box involves nailing a piece of leather to both pieces. The Brettuns Village Trunk Shop says that these hinges are the best choice for a primitive style trunk, and they don't require screws or any special preparation before installation. They hold up to use fairly well and are easy to replace if they wear out, but they won't offer any support to the lid as you open it. A lid secured with leather hinges must be lifted open and placed against the back of the box, or it will grind the edge of the lid against the edge of the box.

Stop Hinge

A stop hinge features an extra edge of metal where the two plates will connect to hold a lid open at a specific angle, according to the Brettuns Village Trunk Shop. These hinges come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including decorative butterfly style hinges or strong butt style hinges. Installing a stop hinge prevents the lid from slamming open and stressing the hinge. When a lid falls open to 180 degrees, it hits the edge of the lid against the back of the box, which can chip or dent the trunk or lid.