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Hinge Question

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Large strap hinges are usually fastened to the structure by a pintle. Smaller strap hinges (not sure of the correct name)are connected by a second hinge mounted to the structure. This "wall piece" is often much wider than the strap portion. I assume this "T" shape can be cut from a wide piece or the narrow section which gets turned could be welded to the rest of the wall piece. Was welding the common method for making the turned section of the wall piece?

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Short answer is No, (unless you have to).

The style of hinge mounting will depend on the situation

I have put some pics up from a recent competition we had at Finch Foundry for St Clems day which may help illustrate a couple of points.

The first one is a simple 'T' strap hinge which gives the most support for the long arm, the arm has a full width turned eye, this is fitted into a slot cut out from the fixed piece. This cutout area could be done before or after (better after) turning the eye, and then filed to fit if necessary before fitting the hinge pin and rivetting the ends over.

The second picture shows a couple of variations that can be made, but not as strong in supporting the arm as the first one

And the third one shows the potential weakness if using a centre tongue to mount the hinge arm to as opposed to the two outer hinge pin retaining situations.

The split one could have been improved strengthwise if the short mounting end had been made wider and cut out initally like an 'E' so the two arms on the arm were retained more securely, it wouldn't be so prone to sagging or wear.
These two arms were actually forge welded to the wider arm section but could have been split instead which would have been just as strong, but probably quicker to do, with none of the problems associated with a forge welded joint, particularly if you are not confident in your forge welding abilities.




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I purchased an old, wrought iron L hinge at a New Orleans antique shop in 1973. It is of scant 1/8" thick sheet with a right-angle weld at the "L" of the main hinge portion. The "tail strap" is a vertical strip, the same length as the hinge height.

The three knuckle barrel is centered on the two verticals, and the full barrel length was forge welded on both pieces before hack sawing, chiseling, and filing. The shuts faintly show on the back of the hinge. Both barrels were laid out by cutting to allow a projecting rectangle of sheet, enough for rolling and welding. I have done this using pi x average diameter formula, and then adding a little more for the overlap and weld.

The peened up pin ends of the barrel are flat and not visible. There is a rust patina, but it looks as though the hinge pin was annealed and only an small amount left protruding (1/16"?) either end for the heads. I'm fairly certain the upsets were done at room temperature, and hammer-burnished.

This is an old fashioned way, but I love trying to duplicate what the old smiths did.
Turley Forge and Blacksmithing School : The Granddaddy of Blacksmithing Schools

Edited by Frank Turley
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The first hinge was the one that actually was chosen as the winner, this was chosen by a member of the public, and there is a lesson to be learned there.

It did what it was supposed to do and was complete, what more could you ask for.

At this point I would just like to add that this piece was made by a relatively inexperienced competitor (I believe he had attended courses at Kingston Maurward College, and now continues to build on his skills by attending some of the courses, including a hinge course we ran at Westpoint Forge) and was up against two of the National Champions and other experienced 'smiths

He kept to the brief, "Make a hinge", he kept it simple, with a little embellishment, it had retaining holes, a smooth working hinge, was clean and finish waxed. Brief fulfilled, worthy winner.

Some of the others were presented incomplete, no hinge mounting, no mounting holes, no finish coat. These were submitted for consideration in the judging, that may be why they were not winners.

A salutory lesson for any one considering taking part in marketing themselves.

Competitions are an excellent low cost way of promoting yourself, you do not have to have the most fantastic complicated forged piece to get appreciation and enquiries from the public (or win) they are cheap to enter, and you can have fun, learn from other competitors, and make money

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