Jump to content
I Forge Iron

cranked chest hinges


Recommended Posts

I need to make a pair of cranked chest hinges.  These things are mounted on the inside of the chest with the hinge eye or barrel sticking out the back.  My question is about the geometry of the hinge eyes.  Anyone have any drawing references?  I can visualize how the eye of the long strap that mounts to the lid would go.  Having trouble seeing how the eye of the bent leaf would go.  I can certainly play with some ideas but thought maybe someone else has historical references or solutions.

thanks,

Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestion, Thomas.  Our local library happened to have that book so I checked it out this morning.  Beautiful drawings.  But they don't show the level of detail on the hinge eyes that I was hoping for.  Lots of good stuff there though.

Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it's not my favorite to use as an example to work from.

"Antique Iron ; Survey of American and English Forms 15th-19th Centuries", Schiffer has about 25 pages of photos; again not the measured drawings you need

"Wrought Iron in Architecture, An Illustrated Survey", Geerlings   Dover book so easy to source, still not the focus you want 

"Decorative Antique Ironwork, A Pictorial Treasury"; D'Allemagne  another Dover book tends toward the ornate

Some of the historic furniture drawings include some hinge info (eg Encyclopedia of Spanish Period Furniture Design or Encyclopedia of English Period Furniture Design)

But really what I think you will have to do is to make a mock up of your joint and experiment to get something that both works and looks like the originals.  I'm not focused on wood working but getting pictures of the back of some Period chests is probably what you need. to see how the offsets are handled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as the entire barrel of the hinge protrudes from the back of the chest you will have clearance for the swing of the lid.  If the center of the hinge barrel falls inside the outer edge of the chest... the fitting gets a bit more complex.  Do it the easy way!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have an example to look at, but I keep trying to envision what you're after. I think that I would make the straps meet together like the leaves on a modern butt hinge. For example when  butt hinges are installed, gains are chiseled the thickness of the leaf. Each leaf is inlet into its gain making the leaf flush with the face of the wood. In case of the chest, the gain would be chisel cut into the bottom edge of the lid and the top edge of the chest back thus allowing the lid to sit tightly in the closed position; ie., no daylight. I assume the bends will be right angle ones measuring from the barrel to the wood thickness. Say the wood thickness is 3/4", then the INSIDE CORNER of the hinge bend would be 3/4" from the barrel. If clinch nails are used, they would be in the main strap and tail strap. You're not going to be nailing into the edge of the wood, but a countersunk, flat head, wood screw could be used.

Make pilot holes for nails and screws.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Frank,

thanks for your comments.  You have it pretty much correct.  Where I am having difficulty is visualizing how the eye turns on the leaf that mounts to the back of the chest and I'm just trying to avoid trial and error.  I think I've got it figured out so back to the shop and try it.  I've also got an email into the local historical society to see if they have a chest in their collection that I can study.  All I have to work from so far is one broken leaf, the one that mounted on the lid. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The magic thing to remember, call it a rule is. The pin must be outside of the stationary wall of the box. It doesn't matter which half of the hinge is attached to the box or the lid so long as the pin is outside.

If you want the lid to turn all the way and lay flat against the box's side you have to move the pin above the lid's top. If you want to make this a hidden hinge you end up with 3 90* bends, one in the lid half and two in the box half. This is much trickier.

This bit of practical problem solving is the perfect place for a basic CADD program. Or, just make models with cardboard and pins, it doesn't matter if the hinge is unrealistically thick it's just a model you can move and test configurations.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I talk about different levels of difficulty.  One is made from a single piece.  Level two is made from more than one.  Level 3 is moving parts.  Hinges are interesting and sometimes challenging.  I've had a fail amount of hinge work recently which is nice.  I think it's a shame that hinges get hidden most of the time.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see we have different thoughts about skill levels or levels of project difficulty. Level one is making ONE of most anything. Level two is making matched sets of almost anything. Level three is being able to reproduce damaged or mangled pieces well enough to match. Higher levels make it look easy.

Not all hinges are hidden, those get showy. You've seen the Lord of the Rings movies yes? Frodo's front door hardware is visible hardware incarnate. The whole series is packed with high quality iron work.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, and on a household entrance door, the hinges are on the inside 99% of the time, because the door opens inward. If they are good looking hinges, nobody sees them from the outside, so what happens? The home owner buys and installs "dummy hinges" on the exterior. Large church doors will open outward, so the hinges can be seen from outside unless the doors are open turning the hinges off to the side. I was in the Chihuahua, Mexico, plaza once and walking toward the 18th century cathedral. One huge wooden door was open and its mate was closed. I couldn't see any strap hinges on either door. When I got closer, I saw that there were four snipe hinges on each door and they were in working order. I estimate that each was forged from 5/8"D round stock.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A long time ago now, I once asked Francis what the definition of a master smith was.  He laughed and said "someone who can make two of something exactly the same".  Levels of difficulty are funny things.  I'm working on reproducing an 18th century fork which is very pretty with no moving parts, but it is technically challenging because of two small scrolls welded inside a heart shape in the middle of the handle.  What I wrote about levels earlier was just one kind of instance.  Didn't mean to imply that there aren't others.

Perhaps movies like Lord of the Rings will interest people in ornamental ironwork. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...