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I looking into getting a Hobby Lobby wooden artist box / case fitted to that can place my gaming cards into it. One of the issues is where the lid closes and vertical object located near there will rub against the list. This is fine for dividers and other hard objects but I have damaged paper and cards by accident this way.

Hobby Lobby Hinged Box

There are many ways to compensate for this.. namely not allowing delicate object to rest against the front or creating a lip on the inside that is the height of the cards. However I read somewhere that a person replaced the hinges with ones that "allowed the box lid to close straight down". I can't figure out what that means.

Is there a hinge that would allow a lid to close straight down?

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  • Will you please attach a picture to the question, besides the link? 1. The link might not work in the future, if the site changes its structure, of if it goes offline. 2. Even now, that site forbids me access to it.
    – virolino
    Sep 5 '19 at 14:04
  • I avoided it at first since box was potentially universal but I get the point. In my defense its my first day....
    – Matt
    Sep 6 '19 at 5:26
  • Like hinges on a tackle box tray, maybe?
    – user24
    Sep 7 '19 at 22:18
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You don't need to use fancy hinges to fix the problem. The admittedly crude diagram, below, is a cross section of the box and lid (the dot on the right is the hinge). The arc is the path of the inside edge of the front of the lid.

enter image description here

The rectangular white space inside the lid is where contents can fit when the lid is closed. But the arc when the lid opens and closes chops off the corner of the contents area, which is the problem.

You can fix it by removing a wedge of material from the inside edge of the lid. Use a little geometry, or stick a block of something inside the box or tray that just fits in height when the lid is closed. With the lid open, push the block against the front of the box and close the lid. You can use a material like carbon paper so the inside edge of the lid marks the block where it hits.

Add a small margin for clearance and transfer that dimension to the front bottom edge of the lid, measuring from the inside edge. The wedge to remove goes from there to the top inside corner.

enter image description here

The wedge can be removed with a Dremel tool, chisel, carving knife, or other suitable tool. Not a lot of material will need to be removed.

This approximation should be close enough. But if you really want it perfect, calculate a larger concentric arc that passes through the inside top corner of the lid. It will intersect the bottom edge of the lid at the same place. As long as you remove the lid material on the inside face of that line (regardless of the actual shape you cut out), the lid will be guaranteed to clear. You can start with a simple wedge, then shape it to the arc. You can use the same test block to guide your cutting; gradually rough out the cutaway until nothing hits the block.

Note that the drawings aren't to scale, they're exaggerated to illustrate the concept. The actual dimensions of the case would involve much less material removal than implied here.

enter image description here


Update: As Matt's comment points out, the above approach would be difficult to make it look professional without the right tools and practice. Here's a much simple approach.

Fasten the hinge with the pivot centered on the inside height of the lid. The problematic bottom front inside edge of the lid will then be a distance from the hinge pivot that is a diagonal. As you open the lid, that edge will swing out because the diagonal distance is longer than the horizontal distance. By the time the edge is at the maximum possible height of the contents, it will be at the original position of the top inside corner. So opening the lid clears anything that might be inside.

This solution does create a somewhat similar problem at the back of the lid, but it's much easier to solve there. As the lid opens, the bottom back inside edge of the lid rotates into the content area. The tiny arc shown on the diagram at the hinge illustrates the points that would be equidistant from the hinge. What is farther from the hinge than that arc is what will rotate into the content area.

This is a much smaller amount of "problem" material to remove, and in this location, all it takes is some handheld sandpaper to round off the corner.

Keep in mind that the diagram isn't proportional to the actual lid dimensions or wood thickness, so it illustrates the concept but doesn't accurately represent the amount of material that would need to be removed.

enter image description here

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  • I am aware that this would be a solution... however unless I use a router or plane I don't think I would get a consistent amount of material removed across the width of the box. It would bother me. This is a good answer regardless.
    – Matt
    Sep 6 '19 at 5:34
  • @Matt if you’re not in a rush, you could sand it down by hand. Hard to make too big of a mistake there, easy to correct small ones as they pop up.
    – user24
    Sep 7 '19 at 22:21
  • This calls for a lot of trial and error, which will take a lot of time. There's also the problem of removing material, which could lead to loss of structural integrity, especially if any mistakes are made. If the OP was making a box, this could be integrated into the original design and made to work. As it is, I don't see working well. And simply moving the hinge still requires getting a new set of hinges and still requires work done to the front of the box. The lower edge is the most problematic in the first diagram, but not in the last. You still have to remove the material inside the arc. Sep 9 '19 at 16:06
  • @computercarguy, with the 2nd approach, you don't need to do anything to the front of the box. I don't see either approach affecting structural integrity, because they don't involve removing material from structural areas. The 1st approach would need some care, though, to not remove too much, so maybe that isn't too practical an idea. The second approach does involve some trial. With sanding by hand, it would be easy to avoid taking off too much. You could cut a template out of cardboard or a piece of plastic, and slide that along the edge to see the high spots. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Sep 9 '19 at 17:10
  • But unless the box was absolutely full front to back, just rounding the corner could be enough to avoid damaging the contents, even if it isn't precisely to the arc; it would work like a cam to push away any contents. The 2nd approach might well require new hinges if the mounting tabs aren't long enough, but they would be simple, inexpensive, and readily available. They would likely require either shortening the mounting tab for the lid, or bending it to fit over the top of the lid. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Sep 9 '19 at 17:11
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I believe that what you may be seeking is going to be called a four-bar linkage hinge. I found a great video showing how it works in a tool box lid, specifically to clear a carrying handle, but your requirements would not necessarily include that much range of movement.

Within the above link, there is another link to images that show the process involved in creating the correct lengths for the linkages. Four-bar linkages are typically complex to create, but this page does an admirable job of simplifying things.

four bar linkage final image

As you can see in the last image of the above link, the end-view of the handle is "involved" in the diagram, but if you need only ninety degrees of travel, you can stop the arc at that point.

A four bar linkage in this use causes the lid to move away from the box simultaneously as it rotates around the pivots created during the construction.

I attempted to locate off-the-shelf hinges of this nature without success. Most of the returns from the search resulted in vertical lift doors, with larger linkages than one might consider ideal.

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  • Ah good ol' Mathias. Love that guy. Inspired me to do all kinds of things
    – Matt
    Sep 6 '19 at 5:42
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Alternatively, you can remove the front edge of the lid, then reattach it with hinges. You might have to replace the clasps with a different style, but this allows you to move the lip of the lid out of the way before opening it. You may also have to add clasps for the corners of the lid, so it reinforces the structural integrity of the lid, now that it's no longer firmly glued on.

The only thing needed to cut out the front is a basic coping saw, which is cheap and easy to source. The coping saw can be used to cut with a push, to avoid tear out on the front, and the minimal angle created because of the saw end attachments won't be noticeable. And if you follow the inside edge of the box lid with the blade, you'll get a decently straight line. With the tiny kerf of the blade, it'll be about the same gap as creating a new front. Matching the color and wood is more difficult than anything I suggest, even with veneers, if you thought about just replacing it. And adding the new clasps on the sides will help with stabilization when it's closed.

You can either hinge the front from the top or the bottom. Since there's already clasps on the bottom edge, you might just do the top. However, if you need/want to replace the clasps, you might do it like the case shown below. You probably don't need piano hinge, but rather just 2-3 simple small brass hinges, like the two already on the case.

You should be able to get the hinges and even the replacement clasps back at Hobby Lobby, too, for a relatively inexpensive price.

https://www.judsonsart.com/products/guerrilla-painter-9x12-hinged-front-guerrilla-box

If you don't want to go through the trouble of modifying the box that much, you can try finding other boxes that come that way. They aren't common, though.

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