Setting hinges seems problematic to woodworkers and on furniture pieces, box lids and cupboard doors, neatness often seems less neat than it should. Recessing hinges adds a lot of dimension to a project not the least of which is strength followed by the resultant longevity. It’s good to master recessing hinges and it should take no more than 4 minutes per hinge for both flaps to be perfectly recessed and set. Another fact about recessing is the perfect alignment of the hinge to the edge of a lid and also the rime of the box. Same with doors. Might as well get started now while you are young.
I have sharpened the edge of the steel screw as described in the previous blog. A minute with a file gives you a sharp cutting ‘wheel’, 1/2 a minute more on diamond plates gives you an ultra sharp cutting edge, fully refined and lovely to use.
We always set the hinge on the door or lid, without exception it’s always the door or the lid first, never the frame or the box. It’s easier to move the lighter component to the heavier or the moveable to the fixed. Use a pencil to first layout the position of the hinge. Pencil lines are temporary lines that guide permanent ones made with gauges. Once the gauge lines are run, you can make the permanent ones to the established gauge lines. In this case the two knife walls that bring exact demarcation to the exact width of the hinge.
To recess the mortise delineate the ends of the hinge position with the chisel to create the knifewall. (For more on knifewall read my book Working Wood the Artisan course with Paul Sellers if you have it.)