How To Hinge An Egg

Egg Art

With the help of a little instruction, making doors and applying hinges on ostrich and emu eggs is really easy.  I can still remember the first door I cut, it was a real "dah" experience!  When you cut the eggshell you are removing the shell where you cut - the door will not only swing out but will also swing into the egg.  It's not a hard problem to correct but was surprising when I hadn't thought about that happening.  Also, my first door kept falling off!  I'm glad to report that it doesn't happen anymore!  Experience is a wonderful teacher!

You are ready to hinge after you have marked your egg and know where you want to put the hinge. Notice the darker area on the horizontal midline.  On this egg, that line is curved, I've flattened it where the hinge will be placed.

Now cut where the hinge will be place and about a half inch on either side.  This will be a jewelry box and I don't want the lid to be able to open fully, if it did it would hit the table so I'm using the hinge with the raised side toward the egg.  I've had to widen the cut, the width of the hinge, to allow the "knuckles" of the hinge to fit inside the egg.

Set the hinge into the opening to make sure it fits and it is centered.  Hinge should be straight also.
Out line the hinge and mark the holes in the hinge.  Then rough up the surface of the egg where the hinge will be glued on and rough up the surface of the hinge that will be against the egg.  This will help the glue adhere better to the egg and hinge.  I use tiny brass nails in the hinge holes.  Drill holes into the shell, where you marked the hinge holes.  I use small diamond bits.  The holes are usually much larger than the tiny nails.

Now your ready to glue in the hinge.  I use a 5 Minute Epoxy glue I buy at Wal-Mart in the hardware section.  This dries relatively fast but allows enough time to work with the hinge if you should have problems.  Erase the pencil line that marked the outside edges of the hinge.  Mix the epoxy glue, stir with a tooth pick,  use tooth pick to place glue into the holes and the area where the hinge will be set.  Set hinge into place,  Put the small brass nails in the holes.  I have found that on some holes in the hinge, I will have to try a couple of nails to get one to fit though nicely.  Some times I've had the nails raise up a bit after their inserted so I place a piece of scotch tape over the top of each half of the hinge to keep the down.  Now wait for the glue to dry a couple of hours.  Don't rush it!

Next step is to cut open and line the eggshell!