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Hinge Selection for any project

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Forum topic by cowboyup3371 posted 12-09-2017 11:57 PM 592 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cowboyup3371

59 posts in 277 days


12-09-2017 11:57 PM

I’m in the designing stage of my next project and its potential complexity for me is causing me to look long and hard at all aspects of it. One of them is the hinge selections I’ll need to make of which there are going to be a few different types.

As one example, I am going to include a lid that will raise up inside of another box. When I look at the possible lid support hinges, I am confused as to which would be the most useful and which has the most drawbacks. Although getting an answer for that one item would be great, there is a bigger and more important overall question I would like to have answered.

How do you choose a type of hinge for a particular application especially if there are several types for the same function? Is there a good resource I can look over that will help explain the differences? Are there major design considerations one should keep in mind?

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way


4 replies so far

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JBrow

1366 posts in 1000 days


#1 posted 12-25-2017 01:41 AM

cowboyup3371,

I am unaware of any single resource that can help in the selection of the perfect hinge for a project. Fine Woodworking offers some articles concerning project hinges but it appears that you must be a subscriber to read more than the synopsis; however they offer a free trial. Since I am not a subscriber nor have I signed up for the free trial, I cannot say whether their articles would be helpful.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/tag/hinges

Each type of hinge typically offers advantages and disadvantages. The project typically dictates whether a disadvantage eliminates a particle hinge style.

I start with an idea of the properties that the ideal hinge must possess. These include properties like self-closing, method of mounting, material dimensions, door or lid swing, level of concealment, ease of installation, and probably many others. Then I try to identify the names of hinges that possess the desired properties as well determine whether the hinge is available in the proper size. This can sometimes be difficult. Once I know the names of the hinges that may be suitable for the project, I use the World Wide Web to search for articles and sources for the hinges.

Oddly enough, Wikipedia may be of some help. Their article on hinges identifies a number of hinge types by name and offers a brief description of many of the listed hinges. But this is only the beginning. Generally I find that seeing a photo of the hinge, or better yet, touching the hinge, tells me whether I am on the right track.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinge

If I am uncertain as to whether a given hinge will work, I will buy the hinge and install it on a project mock-up made from scrap to test it out. If it does not work, I resume the search and lay the hinge aside for a future project.

For your lid that opens in a box, my first thought is a barrel hinge or a knife hinge. Both are low profile and thus would not require much clearance.

As I have become more familiar with the variety of hinge types, the process of selecting a hinge for a project has become easier.

Lastly, a shop made hinge can sometimes work best for a given project. Therefore, I tend to keep this option open in the back of my mind although I generally buy hinges.

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John Smith

1229 posts in 242 days


#2 posted 12-25-2017 01:46 AM

I will give a Shout Out to Pinterest (my new addiction drug-of-choice).

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=hinges&rs=typed&term_meta[]=hinges%7Ctyped

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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Redoak49

3394 posts in 2068 days


#3 posted 12-25-2017 02:20 AM

The design phase of a project can be difficult. For complex projects or ones I am struggling with I will make a mock up from cardboard or MDF. Seeing thing the actual size will greatly help me.

Everyone finds a design process that works for them. With hinges, I will buy some I think will work and put them in mock up. A lot of times you can buy some cheap ones for the mockup.

I know some just build with no plans but I am more comfortable working things out on paper and making a mockup or prototype.

View cowboyup3371's profile

cowboyup3371

59 posts in 277 days


#4 posted 12-25-2017 03:28 PM



cowboyup3371,

I am unaware of any single resource that can help in the selection of the perfect hinge for a project. Fine Woodworking offers some articles concerning project hinges but it appears that you must be a subscriber to read more than the synopsis; however they offer a free trial. Since I am not a subscriber nor have I signed up for the free trial, I cannot say whether their articles would be helpful.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/tag/hinges

Oddly enough, Wikipedia may be of some help. Their article on hinges identifies a number of hinge types by name and offers a brief description of many of the listed hinges. But this is only the beginning. Generally I find that seeing a photo of the hinge, or better yet, touching the hinge, tells me whether I am on the right track.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinge

Lastly, a shop made hinge can sometimes work best for a given project. Therefore, I tend to keep this option open in the back of my mind although I generally buy hinges.

- JBrow

Thank you for the link and I downloaded a copy of the fine woodworking article. I would be interested in learning how to make my own hinges. Off to do some more searching

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

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