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Can you get sprung hinges?

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Andy Kev.

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In the toilets at work the hand towel roll dispenser has jammed and there are no signs of it being repaired. As a result I’ve decided to make a holder.

The simplest construction will involve a couple of arms at right angles to the wall. Notches in the end would accept the dowel which passes through the central cardboard tube of the roll.

However, another design occurs to me which, while being a bit more of a challenge to build, would IMO look better. This would also involve arms coming out from the wall but instead of being notched they would have what I suppose would be called „stub dowels“ on their inner surfaces. This leads to the difficult bit: it won’t work with fixed arms. That made me wonder if there is such a thing as a sprung hinge which would enable, say the last quarter of the arm to be deflected to one side for mounting/dismounting of roll with the spring pushing the arm back into place.

I’ve seen such hinges on small mechanical objects. I was wondering if a similar sprung hinges exist which are suitable for woodworking.
 

Rich C

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You can certainly get them for fire doors, but they may be a little oversized for a towel holder.
 

Andy Kev.

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I'm afraid that a picture of the current one would be no use at all. It's a commercially made metal thing and from six feet away it looks as much like a hot air hand dryer as it does a paper roll dispenser.

However, I can define the essence of what I'm looking for (the design is still in my head). Imagine two battens projecting out from frame on the wall horizontally and at right angles to the wall. There will be two of them. They will hold a hand towel roll which comes wrapped around a cardboard tube. The tube is 8 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Obviously it lies parallel to the wall.

If I fit a round disc of say 1 1/4 inch diameter to the inside edge of each batten at a point near the end away from the wall, the disc will fit inside the cardboard tube and so the roll will be held in place. However, there's the matter of the batten being fixed to the wall, which means any degree of lateral deflection to take off an old tube/mount a new roll would not be good for the structure.

Therefore an ideal solution would be to hinge one batten, either where it meets the frame at the wall or perhaps a third of its length from the end away from the wall. The problem with that is that there would be little to stop the hinge opening and thus the roll falling out. Therefore a hinge with some sort of spring arrangement would be ideal, with the spring keeping the batten in place in the cardboard tube while enabling an easy lateral displacement of the tube when it comes to changing time.

For Rich C: I'll get your coat for you. :mrgreen:
 

Rich C

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Andy Kev.":2iwvnkwc said:
For Rich C: I'll get your coat for you. :mrgreen:
Why? I meant an internally sprung hinge (looks like a normal hinge but springs shut) not a separate door closer. Just for a door it'll be 3 inches or so.
 

Andy Kev.

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Rich C":1hq0wrf5 said:
Andy Kev.":1hq0wrf5 said:
For Rich C: I'll get your coat for you. :mrgreen:
Why? I meant an internally sprung hinge (looks like a normal hinge but springs shut) not a separate door closer. Just for a door it'll be 3 inches or so.
Sorry. I thought you were having a laugh and meaning one of those one foot long things consisting of a couple of arms which you sometimes see at the top of fire doors. They might even be hydraulic as there sometimes seems to be some sort of pot arrangement where the two arms meet.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Why use a sprung hinge which in the long term may be an inherently unstable solution.

Just do a "U" shape in each arm to hold the roller.

The diameter of the roller ends should be less than the centre of the roller to ensure it does not move sideways and fall.

The "U" could be closed by a small piece of wood fixed to the top of the arm to avoid the arm jumping out of the U in use. Could be friction tight, or held by small thumb screw
 

Andy Kev.

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Don't think I haven't thunk of that, Terry! :D

It was precisely because of wanting to avoid the U that I thought of one arm being sprung-hinge mounted.

However, it occurs to me that I can make a couple of Us to fit on the inside of the arms i.e. they will not be readily visible. That sort of fixed design will also enable me to use a strip cut from an old saw blade for tearing off the bits of paper as they are needed. This would be mounted on a batten connecting the two arms at the front. Behind it would be another batten, with a gap of about 1/8" between them to serve as a guide for the paper to get it near the saw blade.

I think that is perhaps a good working concept. Now I will get it down lif-size on paper as the dimensions will be quite strictly limited by the width and diameter of the paper roll.
 
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