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An Introduction to Custom Hinges

Hinges – for some companies, hinges might be the last thing you think about when constructing a new product or trying to improve an existing one, but if you ignore these little pieces of metal it can make life quite difficult! The goal of a custom hinge is to integrate a separate hinge application into two components of the finished product while maintaining functionality of the moving part(s). Custom hinges allow for the elimination of a hardware hinge and often can reduce the overall manufacturability of the parts while significantly improving performance and reliability. What you will find in this book is that hinges are not merely parts for functionality; they are also closely related to design.

People who are building a specific product must pay close attention to design. The quality of the design is just as dependent on good craftsmanship as it is on choosing the decoration of the product. Although custom hinges are generally used in an industrial or commercial setting, the process for designing and building one is not that different from any type of hinge. For instance, a good carpenter is not going to grab a bunch of shelf product hinges from a hardware store to fit your doors, cabinets, windows and cupboards. He is going to discuss with you exactly what you want, how you wish your

The Most Popular Types of Custom Hinges

Construction and manufacturing depends on hinges. Look around at your everyday objects, and you will see the number of hinges involved, from your laptop computer to the thick metal plates on the doors, trunk and hood of heavy machinery. Each type of hinge takes a special consideration as to the weight of the object, distribution of weight, strength, durability, materials, use and design. The hinges you choose in your construction and manufacturing can be the deciding point in the quality of your product.

ATM Hinges These incredibly sturdy hinges are built specifically for the banking industry for use in ATM kiosks or built-in ATM machines. The unique feature of this maximum strength hinge is that it runs the entire length of the door. One of the leaves and knuckles are integrated into the door, and the other into the stationary machine, creating a fixed, nearly seamless component for high-security use. This type of hinge design is

particularly beneficial for ATM machines and other structures that need to maintain high security levels and cannot afford any gaps or potential forced entry points in their construction. Because of its strength and resistance to corrosion, stainless steel is the most common material used for this type of hinge. American steel and aluminum, however, are also sometimes used depending on the type of project. There are many types of finishes used to complete the look, feel or aesthetic quality of an ATM hinge. Options include powder coating, passivating, mass media blasting and tumbling, plating, Ecoating and anodizing.

Butt Hinges Butt hinges are the most typical choice for mounting the doors in a house, building or other nonspecific needs structure. Butt hinges are generally six inches or shorter in length and are used in multiples for installation. They are usually comprised of two matching leaves; one attached to the moving element or door, the other mounted to the fixed structure. When the door is shut, the two leaves are flush, exposing the “knuckle�, which is the curved barrel of the hinge. Butt hinges made from stainless steel are able to withstand marine abuse or harsh environment and are routinely used by marine industries. Additionally, they are generally the choice of fittings for cabinets, internal doors, fire doors, external doors, lids and many other products. Along with stainless steel, the materials offered in the manufacturing of butt hinges include cold rolled steel, hot rolled steel, aluminum, galvanized steel and galvanized steel. Preferences for finish include powder coating, passivating, anodizing, plating and E-coating.

Concealed Hinges The practicality of concealed hinges is their use within closed or confined spaces. These hinges are not visible when the door is shut, which is why they are referred to as concealed hinges. Their configuration allows the door to swing out and clear of the frame when it is opened. Concealed hinges are most commonly used when the design calls for a smooth, unbroken surface, such as metal cabinets, storage lockers, ATM machines, office and marine applications, the overhead compartments of airplanes and for automobiles. You can customize your concealed hinges from steel, stainless steel and aluminum, selecting a finish in a variety of colors and textures.

Continuous/ Piano Hinges Continuous hinges are popular due in large part to the technology of how they are designed and built in a manner which distributes weight and stress in a uniform fashion across a long distance and are very easy to install. One of the main reasons they are also called piano hinges is because you will most commonly see them used hinging piano door covers into place. The weight distribution allows the heavy lid to be opened with ease, without straining the perfect and delicate construction of the piano. They are the ideal choice for simple applications with cost restraints. Other applications where you might find this type of hinge used is in barn doors, warehouse doors, blast doors, electrical doors and toolboxes. The most common materials for continuous hinges include steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. All three materials can come with the metal finishing of your choice. Secondary operations i.e. cut to length, add holes to the leaves, stake the pin, or add forms to the leaves, can be applied to the continuous hinge to further customize the desired final part.

H- Hinges Manufacturers often forget to include the specifics of the amount of weight involved when creating a product. The end result may be using hinges that are too light for the specific application – a sure fire recipe for product failure. H-hinges are designed to

hold up to several hundred pounds when correctly installed. In order to receive maximum weight properties, your project may require more than one for more even weight distribution, however Hhinges are very easy to install, are versatile and can be used in a number of applications. This type of hinge is identified by a strap that forms the letter, “H�, which is attached to the joint over the crossbar, reinforcing the ability of the hinge to support heavy weight. H-hinges come in steel, stainless steel, aluminum and your choice of metal finish.

Inset Hinges Inset hinges are very much like concealed hinges, in that both sides of the hinge are mounted on a single side of the frame, giving a seamless appearance. However, inset hinges have an additional advantage. Depending on the requisites of the project, an inset hinge can be used to move both horizontally and vertically. Materials used for these hinges are usually steel, stainless steel or aluminum. The finishes are customized to suit the environment where the hinge will be used.

Latch Hinges Latch hinges do exactly what the name implies. It is a hinge with an in-built latch mechanism which allows it to function as a single piece of hardware. Generally, latch hinges have a spring release, but they can also be built without them. When combined with a spring hinge, it will have a single handle or set of handles that are loaded with the springs. This set of springs will release the door when pulling it toward the center. When produced without the spring hinge, the latch will normally have a simple slot that can be easily installed with screws or rivets, although it’s recommended that for best efficiency, the latch is welded. Custom made latches are offered with a variety of finishes according to the most appropriate for your application.

Lift Off Hinges For a product that receives a lot of wear and tear and requires frequent maintenance, there is nothing more convenient than lift-off hinges. Lift off hinges are especially

designed for easy removal of doors that suffer routine damage. You just lift it from the hinge and repair it. Lift off hinges are incredibly versatile in the style and type offered to suit your product needs. They include loose joint butt hinges, stainless steel lift-off hinges, flag lift-off hinges, take apart hinges, drive in hinges and hatch hinges.

Marine Hinges The harshest condition for any metal equipment is constant exposure to moisture and salt water. For this reason, marine hinges must be manufactured to the tightest tolerance and highest-grade materials for withstanding the corrosive conditions that invite rust, salt and grit, and hampers the ability of hatches, doors and openings to function correctly. Primary safety concerns dictate that this cannot afford to happen. Marine hinges will also be found in use for lights and electronic mountings, seating, boat boxes and windshield attachments. Only state of the art technology is acceptable in manufacturing hinges for this - the most demanding of all environments.

Non-Mortise Hinges When would you use a non-mortised hinge? It’s most practical use is in the application of bi-fold doors, wrap-arounds, shutters, screens and cabinets, and as a lift-off non-mortise hinge. Its great advantage is that it does not require the additional work and precision of a mortised hinge. It sits on the surface of the face or jamb of the door and can be easily adjusted if out of line by simply redrilling the mounting holes. Furthermore, it leaves only a small gap between the door and the frame; however a poorly mounted non-mortise hinge might require filing, sanding and a re-cut to make the hinge fit correctly. Some types of non-mortise hinges include a hinge with a finial tip, flag style hinges, tipped, nonmortise, steeple tipped, bell tipped, shutter hinge, lid hinge and locking bi-fold hinge.

Off-Set Hinges Offset hinges change the swinging pattern of the unit as the two components attached to the hinge open and close. The most common places you will see offset hinges are on the lead-lined doors in hospitals and clinics, on the bathroom doors of airplanes and for medical equipment. In an offset hinge, either one or both of the leaves are formed away from the pin. This allows for a decrease of leaf width as well as a decrease of opening width. This makes the hinge useful when space is limited. It also insures that the hinge does not corrode or become damaged by the knuckles rubbing against the hinge. Common types of offset hinges include offset butt hinges, offset pivot hinges and offset strap hinges.

Removable and Slip Joint Hinges Removable, slip joint or take apart hinges as they are also known, are very similar to lift-off hinges in their application; that is doors can be removed easily for repairs and maintenance. Only the technique is different. Instead of sliding the door off its hinges, the hinges themselves are removable. This allows for speedy and efficient door removal and re-installation without compromising the integrity of its motion and path. While removable hinges are generally built from steel, stainless steel or aluminum, there is a great deal of variety in your choice of finish. These choices include silk screening, passivating, anodizing, E-coat, powder coating, mass media blasting or tumbling and zinc plating.

Security Hinges Security has become a highlight on everybody’s list; especially for banks, high-end industries, technology companies and office buildings. Security hinges are built to

prevent doors from being opened from the hinged side. They are especially resistant to breaking and can be designed to prevent or discourage removal. Security hinges come in a wide assortment of sizes, materials and functions based on the application for which they were designed. Examples of security hinges are those designed to allow electricity to a door in a hidden manner, or the ability to self-close. Others may feature a nonremovable pin, which incorporates a screw in the barrel that is accessible only when the door is open. Other types of security hinges include an interlocking security stud pin, a secured hinge pin, or a hinge pin set screw type. Various types of continuous hinges can provide extra strength to a weakened area and do not allow a gap between the door and the jamb.

Spring Hinges The unique feature presented by spring hinges is that they use the energy of a spring to return an opened door to its original position. Spring hinges can also be used to keep a door locked into an open position without the necessity of doorstops or props. Spring hinges reduce the costs of installing door-closing devices on industrial, commercial, institutional and residential applications. They are used in hotels, apartments, dormitories and other public service construction where doors are required to be self-closing. Typically, the materials used for spring hinges include cold rolled steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, with choices in anodized, plated or passivated finish. Other considerations involved in choosing the spring hinges for your project are the amount of torque required, whether the spring will be normally closed or open, the spring’s life

cycle and the operating arc. You may also wish to know if the spring can be replaced if it fails to give the maximum performance required.

Staked Hinges Staked hinges have a fixed or staked pin. This is a cost effective way of ensuring that the pin stays in place and will not be affected during the course of normal use. Either staked or loose pins spun on both ends are particularly useful in very unstable or high vibration environments such as in the use of industrial machinery. Staked pins are often used in many products and applications where the hinge pin needs to stay in place and where removing it is not advantageous. You will often find staked hinges in vertically mounted equipment where the critical the pin does not fall out.

Strap Hinges Strap hinges are a very traditional type of hinge but remain popular for a number of reasons. A typical strap hinge is made up of two unequal hinge parts, where one is longer than the other. The larger part, called a leaf, creates a mounting surface for the smaller leaf, which is used as the opening mechanism. Strap hinges are advantageous because they can be used for full surface mounting to wood, metal or structural steel, and the design can be industrial or more ornate, lending aesthetic appeal. Strap hinges are often used for gates or enclosures, as they are able to support a great deal of weight. Heavy-duty strap hinges are able to stand up to a great deal of use and with their versatility can be fashioned into many attractive designs.

Hinge Finishes Take some time to consider the finish you wish to add to the hinges you have chosen as this final touch can increase the value of your product in a number of ways. It can add an attractive touch, protect the hinges from corrosion or tarnish, create chemical resistance, modify electrical conductivity, remove burrs and other surface flaws and control surface friction. Protect your investment and add the personal touch by choosing a compatible finish for the hinges you will be using.

partitions and accessories to function, whether the hinges should be decorative or unobtrusive, and even considerations to the type of building material you wish used, such as steel, stainless steel or aluminum. With all the different types of products, doors, machinery and industrial products available, there is a great need to find the right specialty hinges for particular design layouts and functions that you just can’t find by visiting your local hardware store, or ordering generalized mass-produced hinges from a factory. For these purposes, you need custom manufactured hinges. There are a number of specialty hinges. In this short eBook, we will take a closer look at the most popular types of custom hinges, as well as the fundamentals of using them in manufacturing. So let’s get started with the first section!

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The Definitive Guide to Custom Hinge Manufacturing  

The Definitive Guide to Custom Hinge Manufacturing was created to give customers a close up look at what custom industrial hinges are, how t...

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