Hinging the lid of a box can be as simple as face mounting a decorative hinge on the back of the box or a complicated as fitting a quadrant hinge with it's own integral stay. Before proceeding you should decide to what degree the lid should open. While a lid that falls back through 180 degrees is appropriate in some applications most users prefer a lid to open a little past 90 degrees.
Box hinges are constructed to prevent opening past a certain point, either with knuckles that bind against one another or with a curved "Quadrant" stay. While these hinges are fine and look sophisticated their use should be restricted to small and medium sized boxes. Because the leverage of the lid is transmitted through the mounting screws to a relatively small area at the back of the box these hinges should not be used on larger boxes or chests. In these cases regular hinges working in conjunction with separate lid stays will do a better job.
For many years the only high quality box hinges available were the solid machined brass stop hinges from Brusso. These are still popular but the humidor craze of the last couple of years has left us awash with any number of different Quadrant hinges to choose from as well. See our guide to the installation of Quadrant Hinges .
The Brusso stop hinge is a butt hinge with a square barrel. Where the knuckles of a conventional butt hinge rotate past each other without interference these square knuckles bind against each other at about 100 degrees.
With their square barrel it may appear that these hinges are meant to be fitted flush with the back of the box. Unfortunately, this is not the case and they must project out to at least the point where half the hinge pin is exposed.
Using a Butt Hinge
A traditional alternative to the stop hinge is to bevel the adjoining edges of the lid and box along the hinged edge and recess a regular butt hinge as shown below. This solution is as good as any and deserves serious consideration.