Finish before or after installing hinges

I am just finishing up a small pine step stool that has a little storage compartment. I am going to use two brass butt hinges for the lid. Would you apply the finish before attaching the hinges or after? I am planning to use Waterlox Sealer/Finish.
Also, would you apply finish to the interior? If not, where do you stop? The lid has a small overhang, so would you finish the underside of the lid?
Thanks, Chris
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"Chris" wrote in message

Almost as a rule the general procedure is: cut your hinge mortises, install the hardware for fit, once satisfied remove it and apply the finish, re-install the hardware.
Be carefull with brass screws ... drill suitable pilot holes and use a screw lube/parrafin wax.
A couple of brass screws, broken off at the head in you project, will make you quickly appreciate the above hardware installation/finishing procedure.

Normally, yes ... it is recommended that you apply finish to the interior, and the bottom of the lid.
What are you going to store in it? If the smell of the exterior finish would be detrimental to whatever you plan on storing in the compartment, shellac is the recommended solution on the storage surfaces.
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Last update: 1/06/07
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Swingman wrote:

That's my process.

I've found that using steel screws during the fit-up works well. The brass screws are only installed at final assembly time.
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