Monday, December 28, 2020

Flooring Dutch Tool Chest - Part V

Before and after.
One big decision I always struggle with is regarding hardware for a chest. My thought on this one was since I was using free material to build it, I would try to save a bit with the hardware and stick to hinges and hardware commonly available at the big box store.

I found some hinges for just a few Euros that have an OK shape, although a hideously ugly finish. The finish on the hinges isn't the usual zinc coating that is usually found on screws and such (I don't think), but some kind of brass-colored, presumably weatherproof coating.

The hinges I chose as they came from the big box store.

Rather than dissolving this coating off with chemicals, it turns out that this one was very easy to remove with some 300 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

To get a finish on them that I liked I took them to my barbecue. What I usually do is wipe a light coat of raw linseed oil on the hardware, heat it up with a torch until it turns a color I like, then apply some more oil while it's still hot. This was a little more challenging than usual because of the size. I wasn't able to heat an entire hinge up to the ideal heat at once, I had to do it in stages.

Pay no attention to the cheese on the BBQ left from the hamburgers I grilled the night before.
The results (after a couple of attempts) weren't perfect, but I can live with them.
Finished hinges.
For the rest of the hardware, consisting of bolts, nuts and washers (because of the thin nature of the flooring I'm using to build the chest), I stripped off the zinc coating with essence of vinigar mixed with tap water, 50/50.
After a few hours in vinegar, the coating is gone.

I rinsed this hardware off in clean water, and dropped them into a cup of raw linseed oil.

From there, I took them straight to the barbecue. I tried a few different things with these ones. Usually, I'll heat them up in a toaster oven until the linseed oil turns a nice, toasty-black color. This time, I found the best results with a propane torch, and I went a little beyond the normal temperature. At a certain point, the oil burns completely off of the hardware, and at this point I dropped them directly into another cup with linseed oil. The result was a very even, very dark color.

I like the dark finish. Much better.
With the hardware prepared, I can attach it. This flooring took a little more care than usual to install, because the center ply has the wood going up and down, instead of side to side. I just sawed the sidewalls of where I wanted the hinges, like usual, and then chopped the waste out with a chisel and mallet with the chest flipped upside down on my bench.
Chopping a hinge-mortise in engineered flooring.
I took my time laying out where the holes needed to be drilled once the mortise was at the right depth.
Drilled holes for the hinge bolts.

I didn't get any pictures of what I did to line up the lid for the hinges, but I'll try to describe it. The trick is to be very precise and take as much time as is needed. I bolted the hinges to the carcass, and held the lid exactly where it needed to go. Not being able to mark the underside of the lid when it is closed, I instead used a pencil to draw a line across the barrel of the hinge where it met the lid, and marked a line on the lid on either side of the hinge, so I could line the hinge up on the lid later.

With the lid upside down on my bench, I could then mark the holes that needed to be drilled. I placed the hinge about where it was supposed to go, used a square to make sure it was aligned straight, and moved the hinge until the pencil line on it lined up with the end of the lid like it was when I was holding it on the chest.

Surprisingly, all ten of the holes I drilled lined up with the hinges. I only needed to wallow out one just a little in order to get it's bolt to fit in.

Installing the hinges on the underside of the lid.

With the hinges installed, this chest is starting to look like it's almost done!

Now it's ready for paint!


  1. Interesting Screws for mounting the hinges. Look reasonable for such a project. Where did you get them?

    1. Hi Wolfram! They are M6 bolts, nuts and washers. I got them from the nearest Baumarkt. In this case, Toom.


  2. Brian,

    Chest and hardware are looking good but you can't kid me, the cheese was part of the finishing process ;-).


  3. Can you pleae.provide the steps to the cheese zinc removal process? I keep using vinegar. I must be doing it wrong. Also if you have any chemical equations showing the cheese + zinc to Fe conversion that would be great too.




    1. Ok, in all seriousness I finallybhad a chance to sit down and read the whole post. Thank you for the detailed lid and hinge layout description. Im a out at that stage and I was still trying to figure out how to do it. Thanks again, I'm stealing your technique. Also, is that a dust seal I see around the edges of the lid?

    2. I'm curious if you are going to be able to follow what I wrote with success. I look forward to reading about your experience on your blog. Don't do what I did, take lots of pictures! :o)

  4. Those are great looking strap hinges and at just a few euros, they look even better

    1. Hi Potomacker! Thanks! The idea was to slap this together on the cheap. The most expensive part was the nails.