This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol6", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Iron hinges are generally used for softwood doors, but in good work they should be of wrought and not cast iron, the extra cost of the former being more than compensated by their greater durability and ease and freedom of working.
For hard-wood doors, brass, bronze, or gun-metal hinges should be selected generally, except in the case of Gothic or other ornamental strap hinges, when the selection of the metal will be governed by taste or price, or by a combination of these two considerations. In specifying hinges, or indeed any ironmongery, it should be borne in mind that these goods are supplied by many different firms and in a great variety of qualities. When it is not desired to stipulate that the ironmongery shall be supplied by any particular firm, great care should be taken to indicate the quality, and the best way to do this is to specify that they be equal to a sample in the architect's office, and to see that the goods supplied comply with this stipulation.
Among hinges, one of the most generally known is the simple Tor cross garnet, illustrated by Fig. 178 (A), its chief use being for ledged and braced doors, the edge of these doors not allowing sufficient fixing for butt hinges. The heavier qualities are also suitable for framed doors where greater security of fixing is required than can be obtained with a butt. H. and H. L. hinges, as shown in Fig. 35 (B and C), are also very suitable for this purpose, and have this additional advantage, that they can be fixed in any position on the hanging stile, and need not be opposite a top, bottom, or other rail.
For gates, stable doors, etc., the simplest form of hinge is the hook and strap, Fig. 178 (E and F), made with the hook on a plate, on a driving staple (E), or on a forged two-way strap (F) for building in. This form of hinge, on account of its simplicity, readily lends itself to special design by the architect where this is desired. For heavy gates, stable doors, and similar positions, strap hinges are made with a double strap, either of equal or unequal length (G). One of the best hinges for gates and external heavy doors, to coach-houses, stables, etc., is Collinge's spherical gate hinge, shown at H in Fig. 178, made on the cup-and-ball principle, the cup being on the post or pier and the ball-shaped pin on the gate strap. It will be noticed that the pin has a projecting lip, fitted with a leather washer to exclude water and dirt from the cup, which is filled with oil. These hinges are extremely durable and easy in their working. Fig. 178 (I) illustrates Collinge's double-strap hinge for swing gates. The joint of the top hinge is similar to that last described, and the bottom works on two pins, making the gate self-closing. Messrs. James Hill & Co.'s self-closing hinge for swing gates, illustrated at J, comprises a top hinge with cup joint and a bottom self-closing hinge consisting of two inverted half cups on the gate, working on two balls on the post or pier. One pair works when the gate is swung inwards, and the other pair when it is swung outwards, both coming together only when the gate is closed.
While on the subject of strap hinges it will be well, perhaps, to mention Gothic and other ornamental hinges. These in an age of hand labour were a natural artistic development of a strap hinge, but in modern work they too often consist of a pair of butt hinges and ornamental hinge fronts, as they are termed, which are mere shams, having no connection whatever with the actual hinge.
The most generally used hinge of modern times is undoubtedly the butt hinge, as shown at G in Fig. 179, which is made in a variety of metals and sizes suitable for any framed door. These hinges are screwed to the edge of the door and to the rebate of the frame or lining. When brass butts are used for heavy doors, or where there is much wear, they should be fitted with double steel washers, as shown at D, to form the wearing surfaces in each joint of the knuckle. Projecting butts (Fig. 179, D) are made with wider cheeks, so as to project beyond the face of the door in order to allow it to open clear of architrave or other projection.
Rising butts, as at A, have a spiral joint on the knuckle, which raises the door as it is opened clear of carpets, etc., also giving it a tendency to close by its own weight. Where rising butts are used, the top of door and the top rebate of frame must be splayed.
Ball-bearing butts have two cup-and-ball joints on the knuckle, whereby friction is reduced to a minimum. Fig. 179, C, illustrates an improved ball-bearing hinge manufactured by Messrs. James Hill & Co. The ball races which are adjustable are kept well apart, and the cups made separately, which enables them to be properly hardened.
Cranked butts are only required for special positions, and have to be made to order.
Back-flap hinges (B) are made to allow of the leaves or flaps folding back against each other. Counter hinges (E) are constructed with a double knuckle and two pins working in a loose socket. The hinge is let in flush with the counter top, with the knuckles on the under side, so that, although the flap can be opened right back on to the counter top, there will be no projection above the counter when it is closed. Fig.
179, H, shows an egg joint pew hinge, which is practically a projecting butt with a strong knuckle shaped so as not to tear garments.
Parliament hinges (F) are made to allow of shutters or doors opening clear of a reveal, and lying on the face of the wall, as shown at Fig. 179, I.
Of door springs and spring hinges there are a great many varieties on the market. Spring hinges should always be used in new work in preference to door springs, except for the commoner description of doors or in unimportant situations. Door springs are unsightly, and generally speaking their unsightliness increases with their effectiveness.