Hinges Used in Everyday Applications
We live in a wonderful world of hinges which allows for the movement of everything from solar panels on space-craft to lids on music boxes and millions of other items, in-between. Hinges have been in use for thousands of years and have evolved from very simplistic to extremely specialized – used in areas of aerospace, military, computing, travel and more. The everyday benefits from using hinges are many, varied and virtually countless.
Here are a few ways in which hinges are used in common applications. The word ‘common’ shouldn’t be under-rated, however, since without hinges, many of our everyday applications would cease to function. Hinges serve as unsung heroes for billions of people throughout the world, every single day.
Butt hinges are widely used; and you will find any number of them in your home. Butt hinges are integrated on interior and exterior doors, casement windows, and cupboards. Butt hinges consist of two rectangular leaves with screw holes; and leaves are joined by a pin or metal rod. When a door using this type of hinge is closed, the leaves meet, or ‘butt’ together (hence, the name), with only the pin being visible. Butt hinges are very strong; but cannot be adjusted once they are fitted.
As the name implies, T-hinges are in the shape of a T; and the horizontal part of the T is positioned on the door frame; and the vertical portion is screwed to the door. Though T-hinges can be used for ornamental purposes, this type of hinge is more about function than about good looks. T-hinges are flush-mounted and are typically used on garage doors, chest lids and other utilitarian items.
T-hinges are simple, durable and highly-functional, and are one of the easiest hinges to install since they are flush-mounted.
Strap hinges, like T-hinges, are utilized more for function than aesthetics. Two long, narrow leaves of equal length extend from a single knuckle. Strap hinges are used in many ways – from marine environments, to outside storage sheds to barn doors and gates. Many styles of strap hinges exist; and those that do possess ornamental designs, can add a great deal of beautiful detailing. Heavy-duty strap hinges can help support gates that weigh several thousand pounds!
Continuous hinges are also known as piano hinges since the original use of this type of hinge was dedicated to secure the lids of pianos. Continuous hinges come in various lengths – 3 feet or longer is very common – and can be cut to any needed length. Continuous hinges are utilized where extensive use and intense wear and tear is expected. Continuous hinges are used with any opening that requires support along an extended length which could include electrical doors, barn doors and, even, tool boxes.
A type of continuous hinge known as ‘geared continuous hinges’ are used on doors in high-traffic areas such as entrance doors into a shopping mall. With geared continuous hinges, gear teeth mesh together under a cap that runs the length of the hinge. Continuous hinges evenly distribute weight, minimize stress on any component they are attached to, and are extremely easy to align and install.
Concealed hinges are designed for strength as well as aesthetics; and remain completely hidden from the outside of cabinetry, including kitchen cabinets and bedroom and office furniture pieces. Concealed hinges allow for ease of adjustment to compensate for any imperfections that might accompany cabinet construction. This type of hinge comes in a wide variety of styles which perfectly suit targeted applications such as self-closing cabinets, or doors that are designed to open 180 degrees.
Double-Action Spring Hinges
Double-action spring hinges are well known for their commercial applications where a door might be required to swing both ways, such as in hospitals, institutions and restaurants. Doors with double-action hinges can be opened from either direction and return to their closed positions, via, an internal spring. Interestingly, double-action spring hinges which allow doors to open 180 degrees in either direction also go by the names, ‘Saloon Door’ hinges and ‘Cafe Door’ hinges.
Gate hinges, as the name indicates, are used with gates and can be easily mounted on round posts as well as square posts. Gate hinges come in very handy if a hung gate is not straight since the hinge can be adjusted to compensate for the imperfection. All one needs to do is lift the gate off the hinge and turn the lag-screw parts of the hinge, and then rehang the door.
Weld-on gate hinges are the most secure method for hanging a gate; and weld-on gate hinges possess the highest weight ratings of all hinges and can hang gates weighing more than 3,000 pounds.
These are only a few of the many different types of hinges on the market that are designed for a myriad of specific purposes. They all play a crucial role to ensure that virtually everything in our world can open and close – from computers, to doors on military vehicles, to tackle boxes, to leaves on dining room tables. Almost every item we use depends on hinges – they truly are unsung heroes. Whatever your application might be, there is a hinge that will provide the appearance and performance you desire and require.