I had the same problem when I built mine some time ago. What I did
was to add a sturdy [1/2" thick, 1.5" wide] piece of nice looking
molding flush with the top, and between the protruding legs all the
way around. I fastened the hinges [regular brass, cut out the molding
part to inset] to the molding and the seat. No protruding parts since
all now have the same depth.
I don't understand the problem, why not look at a piano
bench. I assume your top is somewhat longer and wider than
the greatest dimension of the case (including legs). On my
piano bench twp flat hinges (no mortising) are set atop
the case about t inches in from the outside dimension. The
top is wider than the case so you really have to look to see
the brass hinges. BTW its a bench for a Baldwin.
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