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New Door hinge configuration

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Allylearm

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Having seen and worked on projects with supplied Door Cassettes where the door/lock/hinge are already fitted in its frame mostly in Office developments and the like. I must question the hinge configuration. What you see now in factory fitted examples is the top fitted as per usual spacing but the middle closer to the top and in some cases 150mm from the bottom of the top hinge, and even four hinges fitted in a spacing that shows no rime or reason. I have people state it is for weight distribution on fire doors and lets them swing easy on the bearing of the hinge, well I have made more substantial solid Oak/Mahogany doors that were not tailed in such a manner and they did not need this benefit, but followed the principal of middle hinge centred between the top and bottom hinge, true I fitted sustantial Brass or Steel butts.

If it is correct now to do so why was out past craftsmen not configuring the same. With Shop Hung doors I never needed do this method either, so would like a good explanation why we need to do on factory fitted doors now or am I missing something due to fire regulations/fire fittings like expansion strips.
 

Jacob

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I could be wrong on this but trad doors, even big heavy ones, are hung on 2 hinges only, invariably cast iron, which is superior to brass or steel. Three hinges can be a problem eventually, as with timber or building movement they are likely to go out of line a touch. This means that every time the door is opened/closed the hinges will be pulling against one another and may loosen.
On the other hand, with narrow sash, double or folding doors a third (or fourth) hinge can help keep them well aligned - the narrow doors (relatively flexible) take the strain instead of the hinges.
But if you are going to have 3 hinges for fire regs etc it makes good sense to have two high up and closer together as they will stay in line better - any differential movement is reduced the closer they are. Also the top and bottom hinges have totally different opposite functions - the top ones are pulled outwards and downwards by the weight of the door, the bottom one is pushed in towards the frame. So the top ones do all the work and the bottom one is just a pivot.
Just a theory! I've never done much "modern" work it's all been period restoration/replacement etc.
 

Allylearm

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A plausible theory due to weight distribution but due to metal stud I have seen such fitted can leave the frame less secure to defeat the hinge theory in practice. On the better metal stud configuration you have a timber upright to screw the frame and is fitted behind the last metal upright on each side of door opening so you screw through metal to the timber, better class of fixing. I seen last year a particular issue for a stair (Oak Wheel) that was metal stud fixture without a good timber backing to screw or fix the threshold and top of stringer.

But back to hinge I would say I have found more loose bottom hinge than top when going to refit when asked. In most cases with paint build up you do not see any loosening at all on any of the hinges, this is on what I would call older style or method with two/three hinge configuration or old school. Most issues I have been asked to repair is the hinge body giving way. On snagging a Office block recently I see more loose screws with this new Cassette method or screws not getting a grip at all due smaller thickness in Standard and wrong length of screw used or just bad fitting due to machining systems in manufacture. So defeats the benefits.

I also thought how many people know what size of drill or how you conclude what size of drill to use as a predrill when fitting hinges and the like. That is if they do predrill.
 

TheTiddles

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Jacob":khhlokuq said:
I could be wrong on this but trad doors, even big heavy ones, are hung on 2 hinges only, invariably cast iron, which is superior to brass or steel.
Yes, yes you could be wrong, in fact, even by your usual standard, you've surpassed yourself.
 

Jacob

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TheTiddles":3ltu6h1f said:
Jacob":3ltu6h1f said:
I could be wrong on this but trad doors, even big heavy ones, are hung on 2 hinges only, invariably cast iron, which is superior to brass or steel.
Yes, yes you could be wrong, in fact, even by your usual standard, you've surpassed yourself.
I've done a lot of old doors and windows. Been doing it for 30 or more years. Cast iron hinges last longer than anything else. I save them and re-use them after a soak in a caustic soda bucket. Really old original hinges still in good order. Ditto cast iron sash pulleys.
Brass hinges and pulleys are worst and wear very quickly.
 

Dee J

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As far as I know...Two hinges close together near the top of the door are usually used where a top-mounted lever-type door closer is fitted. The forces produced when a door is openned against a spring closer put extra stress on the top hinge position.

Dee
 

Jacob

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3 hinge door here.



It's a light "sash" or "gunstock stile" door. 3 hinges keeps a bendy door straight in the frame. You can't quite see but I've taken the screws out on the frame side and the door stays put - at least until I swung it a bit. Strangely oriental design for a Derbyshire chapel. Could be a Turkish massage room?

The 3" cast iron hinges are as new. Mind you this door has only been up for about 80 years so they are only just run in a bit!



At the other end of the building is a pair of 135 year old heavy 2 1/2" doors with just 2 hinges each. 3 would be too many as any slight deformation of the door or frame would put strain on the hinges as the doors are stiff compared to the above.



The original cast iron hinges were worn out but this was because at some point somebody had had the bright idea of replacing the originals with self closers with a cam action. These do wear fast, partly because of the cam action but also because there is only one bearing surface per hinge, as compared to 2 with a normal hinge. But I replaced them with some reclaimed cast iron hinges which could be older than the doors for all I know. Not a very tidy job I see - but I was in a hurry. Somebody will point out the convention that the 3 (thingies) should be on the frame and 2 on the door, but functionally it makes no difference - still just 2 bearing surfaces either way. I might take em off and put them back all ship-shape, one day.

I've never encountered brass or steel hinges in old door and window joinery. Only in small internal stuff like cupboards and boxes.



Both the 3 and the 4 inch hinges featured above say "Baldwin 200". For anybody getting bored with tool history there's hardware to look at instead. Google "Baldwin 200" and nothing comes up. Only a matter of time!

Just googled "Baldwin Foundry" on the off chance. Cast iron isn't steel so perhaps not Sheffield but the Black country?
http://www.unlocking-stourports-past.co ... undry.html

If you got a Baldwin hinge, they never wear out, nobody could ever understand how the pin got in the middle. They made half the hinge, then they put the pin down inside and they covered the pin, with the finest camel hair brushes you could get , with whale oil, dipped them in sand so it stopped the iron; On the back of the hinge, so that it wouldn't stick, they used to use pitch, just dab it on. Then they put that half into a box and poured the box and made the other half - so the pin was in the middle. So really the whole thing was made by hand.
 

Allylearm

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Gun stock stile, now there is something you ain't asked to make anymore. Jacob, a bit odd two pane never made them like this or asked for, the sole reason of gun stock was to get a larger glass panel in the top of the door. Was the door narrow.
 

Setch

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I wouldn't be surprised if the move to top hinges close together is related to the increasing incidence of MDF door linings, which I often find with stripped out holes due to heavy doors, over-piloted holes, and MDF's poor ability to hold a screw (I think workers drill an oversized pilot hole as MDF is so bad at compressing to accomodate a screw. If you drill a small pilot you get horrible squealing noises as the screw goes in, and end up snapping screws). I hate working with MDF frames and linings.
 

Jacob

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Setch":17dnj8pp said:
I wouldn't be surprised if the move to top hinges close together is related to the increasing incidence of MDF door linings, .....
It figures
Allylearm":17dnj8pp said:
.... a bit odd two pane never made them like this or asked for, the sole reason of gun stock was to get a larger glass panel in the top of the door. Was the door narrow.
it's the design. It's a glazed cubicle like a little green house. The limiting factor being keeping the glass sizes the same all round. This would mean a very wide door (with no stile reduction). But it works out that there was no need to reduce the muntin too.
So the gun stock lock rail to stile joint is doing what it's supposed to i.e. increasing glass area.
So this is a reduced stile doors with a full 4" muntin up the middle which usually means that the maker had misunderstood the logic of the design. More often there is no muntin, but glazing bars instead, often margined with square corner panes etc.

PS just edited the above completely!

PPS It's an odd thing this cubicle. It was fitted during a refurb in the 30s. It looks off the peg, not made to measure, but cut and adapted on site to fit. Perhaps from a catalogue of ecclesiastical fittings? Hassocks, cassocks and vestries by Screwfix?
 

Allylearm

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Its odd sometimes what you can come across when doing renovations. Sometimes the old timers could be odd in their solutions. Vestries by Screwfix very funny :)
 

Allylearm

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Setch":29a60s3l said:
I wouldn't be surprised if the move to top hinges close together is related to the increasing incidence of MDF door linings, which I often find with stripped out holes due to heavy doors, over-piloted holes, and MDF's poor ability to hold a screw (I think workers drill an over sized pilot hole as MDF is so bad at compressing to accommodate a screw. If you drill a small pilot you get horrible squealing noises as the screw goes in, and end up snapping screws). I hate working with MDF frames and linings.
I got to admit not my favorite material myself, those doors with hardboard pressed mock raised panels, now there is a cheap door with all them faults you mention
 

Doug B

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Allylearm":v22xoi08 said:
, those doors with hardboard pressed mock raised panels, now there is a cheap door with all them faults you mention
Yebbut they`re nice & light.......one of the things i appreciate about modern gear, as i get older :)
 

Allylearm

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Jacob":e18jg2sn said:
PPS It's an odd thing this cubicle. It was fitted during a refurb in the 30s. It looks off the peg, not made to measure, but cut and adapted on site to fit. Perhaps from a catalogue of ecclesiastical fittings? Hassocks, cassocks and vestries by Screwfix?
I was thinking, bad thing for me getting in from work and then rereading your post with a mouth full of Pringles (oops thats another thread), it could be a reclaimed piece. They were just as much at reclamation as we are no matter the era, just a wee thought.

Edited for adding not, god my typing
 

Allylearm

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Doug B":3j43royy said:
Allylearm":3j43royy said:
, those doors with hardboard pressed mock raised panels, now there is a cheap door with all them faults you mention
Yebbut they`re nice & light.......one of the things i appreciate about modern gear as i get older :)
True, and they are a cheap home makeover for the masses. Forgive me old humbug moment I had a particular bad road rage moment driving home and my daughter or someone has left me a three quarter empty pringle tube. I was really looking forward to them driving home from Perth.

Edited i visited the Premdoor manufacturing site to see them made many moons ago.
 

Setch

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IMO a hollow, pressed internal door is clever a clever use of technology and materials to save time, money and timber, albeit pretty fugly in many cases. MDF door frames are just wrong, especially on apartment doors which will need additional locks fitting after the'yre hung and the place is occupied (don't even start me on architects who spec grossly inappropriate or insecure locks for entire blocks of flats).

Under a coat of paint, an MDF door lining is just waiting to turn over the edge of your chisel if you try to chop the perimeter of the rebate for a lock strikeplate as you would on solid wood. The tempered faces are hard as F**K and you only find out what is hiding under the eggshell after your chisel is blunted.
 
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