Mankind has made use of simple hinges for centuries already. It was only a matter of time before the hinges that probably guarded some ancient holding pen ended up guarding heavy doors of the owner’s home, too.
In our own times, we use ironmongery items all throughout the day. These metal instruments are practically all over, and in every nook and cranny of the things we take for granted. Nevertheless we know how to look for them when something goes wrong in the things we use. Naturally it is only fitting that we know how to use them correctly so that we can get from them many years of worry-free service. Who knows when you could use a little practical knowledge?
In this article we will define a hinge, its functions and the qualities of a ‘good hinge’.
First of all, a hinge is basically a device that joins two solid objects and gives one of them the freedom to move back and forth. Thus we have the common example of a hinge that connects a door to a doorframe.
For efficient functioning, we need a hinge that has at least three components: two interlocking plates with a pin which weds the two plates together and guarantees a back and forth movement.
To go down to the details, one plate is attached to the doorframe, and the other is to the door. A straight pin interlocks and meshes the two plates together, which weaves through the knuckles on each plate.
What you buy off the shelf or off a website like Bennetts Ironmongery in Derbyshire is a single composite piece that practically unites all these know-how together.
If you want to get a good hinge, ensure that:
-the plates are of quality material, like Brass or Steel, which can never fail the load they are meant to bear. Looking for a trusted hinge brand, or one recommended by your handyman usually solves all quality concerns.
-A quality hinge can never fail to have two loops or knuckles that are smoothly worked into the design of the plate. A good brand will always have accurate knuckles and pin that permit the frictionless turning of the pin.
-Not to be missed also are pre-drilled holes on the plates to accommodate screws. Use appropriately-sized screws in order to get the screw head to stay firmly in place with the plate.
-Any inconsistency in the structure of the hinge may possibly create an uneven load and ultimately lead to failure.
There are a wide array of hinge size, pattern and design, each corresponding to a specific use. Since they are invariably named after the shape they most closely resemble, just keep in mind how they look when ordering one. But still keep in mind that each blacksmith will probably have his own design! For example, I saw in the Bennetts Ironmongery in Derbyshire website that there are such devices as T-hinges, spring hinges, even butt hinges!