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How to install hinges for casket lids

Installation Tips for Casket Hinges

Hinges for caskets are designed to be separable. This makes it easy to install and remove the casket lids during finishing and upholstery. Each hinge has two components.  The base (or escutcheon) is the part that attaches to the top edge of the casket sidewall.  The other part that attaches to the casket lid is called the hinge stud.

There are two styles of casket hinge bases. One style is designed to fit snug over the edge of a 3/4 inch thick board. This style is suitable for a plain pine box or pine coffin style of casket.  The other style is a flat-mount for a more ornate casket with mouldings on the top & bottom edges of the outside sides.

Figure 1 - Over the edge style hinge base.

 

When installing the hinges, first measure and position the hinge bases on the casket sidewall. The edge-mount style bases should fit snug on a 3/4 inch thick sidewall.  The flat-mount style should align nicely on the top edge of the casket wall with moulding.  Secure the bases with #6x3/4 screws. Next place the lids on top of the casket. Adjust them into the position desired and leave 1/8 minimum to 1/4 maximum gap between the two halves of the lid--for a two piece split couch casket design. Next, with a pencil or marking tool, mark the lid on the inside of the hinge base where the hinge stud will mount.

Flip the lids over on a work surface and secure the hinge studs to the casket lid.  To install the lid, hold the lid in a position about 100-degrees open--just past straight up.  The hinge studs will hook into the bases.  Then pull the lid closed.  Once the lid is closed to about 90 degrees, the studs will no longer lift out of the bases.  When aligning the top supports, you want the casket lid to be at 88 to 90 degrees when open.

For full couch caskets, we recommend using 4 hinges.  For split couch caskets we recommend 2 hinges per half lid on pine caskets and 3 hinges per half lid on heavier hardwood caskets.