Hinges Are Critical Hardware Items

by Jerry Blackburn

Choose The Right Hinge For Your Project

Because the display of hinges in a home improvement and hardware stores can be dizzying to the inexperienced homeowner, many need some help to know which hinge is correct for the woodworking project or home repair. The first essential step would be to narrow the selection based on weight, shape and size, so that the hinge will be appropriate for the materials used in the project. Large heavy hinges are fine for doors, but not appropriate for smaller, delicate wooden boxes and so on.

In addition, some hinges are designed as reversible hinges, so that either end can be mounted to the top. Other hinges are more decorative and must be installed in a certain position. There are also hinges for left-hand and right-hand doors to consider as well. The loose-pin hinge used for hanging doors is made so that the hinge pin is inserted and removed from the top. Right-hand hinges and left-hand hinges can be distinguished by simply standing on the outer side of the door to see if the door opens to the right side or to the left side.

One detail that some do-it-yourself homeowners don’t consider is how much of the hinge will be visible when the project is complete. If the hinge shows, it may be best to choose something more decorative, though some homeowners prefer simple and functional hinges to show as well. This depends on personal taste. Some people prefer the hinge to be hidden, so thought should be given to how the hinge will function in this case.

Shopping for the appropriate hinges can be much easier if the homeowner can ask good questions and understands the printed information about each type. This list may help.

? Back flap hinge ? a version of the butt hinge, commonly used for furniture

? Ball-bearing hinge ? permanently lubricated but slightly more expensive, for heavy-duty doors

? Butt hinge ? normally range in size from 13 mm to 150 mm. Varieties include rigid pin and loose pin. Often used for mounting home doors and cabinet doors

? Butterfly hinge ? for lightweight doors, in a variety of shapes and patterns

? Double-acting hinge ? opens in either direction, usually on folding doors

? Flush hinge ? less strength than butt hinge, often used for cabinets, concealed except for hinge barrel

? Knuckle hinges ? loose joint hinge, decorative, shows only the knuckle

? Offset blind hinge ? full opening and swing away, screen/storm doors

? Parliament hinges ? when hinge pin must extend past door face

? Pivot hinge ? versatile, recessed doors, overlay doors, flush doors

? Spring-loaded hinge ? automatically closes door, adjustable tension available

? Table top hinges ? leaf section tables

? Concealed hinges ? 25 mm to 36 mm in size, adjustable after fitting, chipboard and MDF

In addition to these hinges, there are a number of specialty hinges, including the strap hinge, T-hinge and continuous hinges. Some are designed for heavy-duty use while the continuous hinge is perfect for chest lids, cabinets and so on. A piano hinge is a continuous hinge.

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