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Hinges and stays

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edmund

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Hello everyone! I wanted to canvas the opinions from some of you experienced cabinet makers. I am close to finishing a blanket chest project (my first serious project) and would value opinion on fixing the lid (approx. 20"x33") to the carcass - and I don't mean nailing it shut :). Obviously hinges are going to be needed but I don't know whether some sort of stay should/could be used as well. Thus far my thoughts are: 1. use hinges with a stay (brass piano type hinge); 2. use hinges with an engineers stop (e.g. Brusso make nice hinge like this) and no stay; 3. as per 2 but with a stay. Any recommendations at to size, types and resourcing stays would be welcomed.

Apologies if this is a bit pernickety but I've put so much love into making it all by hand (including bevelled step fielded panels and double lap dovetails) that I don't want to cut corners in the final furlong.

Thanks, Edmund
 

Midnight

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edmund... I went through the exact same loop when I built my blanket chest a while back... asked SWMBO what she thought would work for her... her answer.?? just plain hinges, no stays, no retainers, no quadrents... no nuffin... wanted the lid to fold back against the bed...

who am I to argue...???
 

dedee

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Edmund,
It sounds like a well crafted piece - any photos?

When I made mine many years ago I used plain brass hinges with brass chains at either side to prevent the lid from falling right back - I was worried that if this did happen the hinges may be ripped out.

If I was doing it again today I would use friction stays (Isaac Lord do them) that would prevent the lid form opening beyond the vertical and from slamming down - a must with 3 sets of small fingers in the house!

Andy
 

Adam

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Just finished one - I used 3 small brass hinges, and a stay like this from Isaac Lord...

186175EB Electro Brass 178mm 19mm £ 2.06



If I did it again, i'd go for solid brass, not electro brass. No point cutting corners at the end!

and hinges like this (I think from memory at least). In brass though.



I'll try and dig out a photo.

Adam
 

edmund

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Thanks for all your responses. Good to see someone using a Lie-Nielson plane (Midnight). Seems like folks are taking a different approach...mmm. I suppose the choice come down to practical usage the piece: concerns about lid falling down (I have no small fingers to worry about, except my own :) ); lid hitting wall or furniture behind the placing of the object (in my case I have lovely original Victorian oak panelling from 1881 to worry about - I have to say that it's truly inspiring craftmanship and much better than mdf or gyproc!). In any event I'll be going for solid brass hinges - I really dislike electro brass (agree with Adam here - it's always a regret cutting corners at the end).

I've finished the lid - I've used special pale polish - and it does look quite lovely (even if I say so myself). All the other panels for the frame are assembled. I just have to joint the pieces for the bottom (I'm using cedar of lebanon, which smells great) and assemble the carcass, then I'm ready to go. I'm a bit nervous about fitting it all together...Will post photos once I'm done.

Thanks all, Edmund
 

Chris Knight

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Edmund,

One possible disadvantage of stays like Adams is the need for clearance inside the chest. If it is used for stuff like blankets(!) it may be hard to stop them fouling. I prefer a flexible stay like Andy's chain's - or as in my own case, thin leather.
 

Mcluma

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I have build now 8 blanket chests and always used the more expensive euro hinges, wen opening they raise the lid slightly and therefor give a nice clearance on the back for wen the lid has a slight overhang on it, and they look really professional :wink:
 

edmund

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Thanks for the further suggestions. I quite like the idea of a leather stay - I recall in the recesses of my memory having seen this on old sea chest type pieces.

I don't think I know what a euro hinge is (perhaps Mcluma could enlighten me) - is it like a cranked storm hinge you would use on a casement window??

I think the best approach would be to start off just with hinges and see how it looks and works. I can always add a stay of some sort afterwards.
 
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