Tammy Delacruz. Door Hinges. November 26th , 2017.
Every morning you probably open and close at least five doors before you leave t o go to work. You close the bathroom door to jump in the shower. You open the medicine cabinet to get your toothbrush and toothpaste. You reach for your cereal to grab a quick bite to eat and the front door swings shut behind you before you leave. All of these doors and more would not work without a door hinge or two. And what would the world be like without this oh so important invention? Well picture going into and out of your house through a hole in the roof because you are no strong enough o move a large rock or slab of wood everyday in front of the entrance.
Another related lefty-righty question is: Does it really matter if you mix up right- and left-hanging cabinet door hinges? Not usually. Most door and cabinet door hinges can masquerade as each other if you rotate them 180°. The pins will drop in the same way and everything. In rare cases, the pin only goes in one way, the cabinet door hinges plate is shaped or decorated to only look right on its right (or left!) side. If in doubt, ask a contractor or cabinetmaker. Tip: If you are going to take your old doors or cabinet doors off, refinish them, and put them back on, I suggest labeling each of the cabinet door hinges as you take them off. In your kitchen for example, the top left-hanging hinge on the first cabinet on the east side of your kitchen could be marked: TLE1. That way everything will line up exactly as it did before you took them down.
Cabinet door hinges are one of the biggest afterthoughts in home design but they often get the biggest workout in the home. Nary an hour goes by that someone isnt opening a cabinet somewhere in the home, whether its in the kitchen, pantry, bathroom or hallway. Most simply make do with the hinges that came with the cabinet. Only when they begin to squeak and sway in complaint about their endless exercise do we give thought to changing them. And only then do we only change the offending hinge that has failed to do its duty tightly and quietly. But changing out hinges can yield some exciting results in the home, particularly when they are visible hinges.
By and large one of the most important inventions for everyday use isnt very large at all. Because of cabinet door hinges we are able to store things away behind doors that previously would have been on shelves. Although originally used in 1600 B.C., the Romans adapted the hinge for home use. Flash forward to the American colonies and hinges were used everywhere. Eventually they were outfitted for the doors of wagons heading west most prominently by Charles Hager in St. Louis. He founded the present day Hager Hardware Company and in the 1900s received a patent for the compact butt hinge and the rest as they say is history.
Geared continuous hinges are most often found in steel or aluminum. Lighter weight continuous piano hinges are often made of brass. The heavy duty commercial hinges distribute weight and stress along the full length of door and frame, thus preventing misaligned pivot points of individual hinges. Buyers should look for high quality hinges from well-known manufacturers. Cheaper products provide inferior performance and will require repair and replacement long before a higher grade hinge. Companies such as Stanley even provide a limited lifetime warranty on their commercial grade door hinges.
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