Source for small undrilled brass hinges
#9
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Hello All,
Opinions welcome!
I'm working on a late 1800s dropfront secretary that has seen better days. The screws on dropfront hinge side have little purchase because the inside bottom edge of the dropfront is not square edged. It is angled leaving little more than a heavy 3/8 of actual thread before it threatens to penetrate the angled edge.
Antique value is not an issue for the owner. Wants a sturdy fix.
The hinge screws have obviously blown thru the angled face and been puttied and patched. Both hinge locations on the dropfront edge have had sections of the wood edge cut out and replaced, only to have the same damage. I'm not a restoration guy and the owner recognizes the design flaw of the hinge location on the angled edge face. The secretary desk top itself shows lots of screw instability in the hinge holes. The secretary does not have pull-out outrigger supports but rather a pull-out center support so the dropfront itself clearly has been subjected to horizontal twisting.
Owner suggested using a replacement asymmetric hinge, deeper flange on the drop front face so that the scews have the full thickness of the dropfront for screw threads.
Please feel free to suggest better approaches.
In the meantime, I'm looking for a source for undrilled hinges(existing hinges are 3/64 thick and nominally 2 inch wide(open) and 1 3/16" long) so I can trim the secretary desk top side  and leave a longer flange to mortise into the dropfront. So my current solution is to find an undrilled hinge 3/64 thick and 3 inch open and 1 1/4" long. Love to get some help in finding a source for these.
See Pix of the dropfront panel, which I removed  Thank you for any and all suggestions.
   
   
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#10
  Re: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by aruuk (Hello All, Opinions...)
I think you may be looking for a butler hinge.

https://www.amazon.com/Butler-Tray-Hinge...8850&psc=1
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- Arthur C. Clarke
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#11
  Re: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by aruuk (Hello All, Opinions...)
Since the owner isn't worried about antique authenticity/value consider a piano hinge. The stresses with the lid would be spread across the length and would help mitigate the twisting issue.
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#12
  Re: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by aruuk (Hello All, Opinions...)
Could you add chains on the two sides to increase support?  Then you might be able to just epoxy in the original hinges with short screws.
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#13
  Re: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by aruuk (Hello All, Opinions...)
I would probably start by renewing/rebuilding the lid area that the screws go into.
A good solid area, pre-drilled for just the right screws, perhaps trimmed on the 'leading'
edge/point, would hold much better.

Epoxy is not a bad idea. Get clear and mix in some sawdust of the right shade to color it.

Replacing the entire edge of the drop lid is not out of the range either, it you can ID the
wood and find some to match.

Either it was a poor design in the first place, or someone did a botched repair job in the
past. Or both. Since your customer doesn't want a museum quality restoration, so to speak,
you have more options.

The Butler hinges mentioned above would be a great choice. They would leave more of a flush
surface, since it is a desk. A piano hinge would solve the twisting/strength problem, but might
lead to a new one, the barrel of the hinge protruding out.
Mark Singleton

Bene vivendo est optimum vindictae
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#14
  Re: RE: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by MarkSingleton (I would probably sta...)
(02-11-2020, 12:09 PM)MarkSingleton Wrote: I would probably start by renewing/rebuilding the lid area that the screws go into.
A good solid area, pre-drilled for just the right screws, perhaps trimmed on the 'leading'
edge/point, would hold much better.

Epoxy is not a bad idea. Get clear and mix in some sawdust of the right shade to color it.

Replacing the entire edge of the drop lid is not out of the range either, it you can ID the
wood and find some to match.

Either it was a poor design in the first place, or someone did a botched repair job in the
past. Or both. Since your customer doesn't want a museum quality restoration, so to speak,
you have more options.

The Butler hinges mentioned above would be a great choice. They would leave more of a flush
surface, since it is a desk. A piano hinge would solve the twisting/strength problem, but might
lead to a new one, the barrel of the hinge protruding out.
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#15
  Re: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by aruuk (Hello All, Opinions...)
Hi guys, Thank you for responding.
I'm familiar with the Butler style hinges but the owner wants to maintain the existing butt hinge look with one hinge plate attached to the edge of the secretary desk top. So the Butler would not work on the edge connection to the secretary top. That's why my first idea was to get a wider butt hinge plate for the dropfront surface. Yes, I understand that on the dropfront inside face connection both the Butler and the existing butt hinge operate in the same plane.
The piano hinge would fix multiple problems but be visible accross the entire back edge face of the drop front when open.
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#16
  Re: Source for small undrilled brass hinges by aruuk (Hello All, Opinions...)
Can you see any indications that the original hinges were mounted to the ends of the panel? I just checked my antique drop front (Gov. Winthrop?) and that's where the drop front hinges are mounted. This front is half-overlay, so the hinges are totally concealed when closed. On other drop fronts, I've seen hinges mortised into the top of the top, and back of the drop front. The barrel is facing down so the mating "desk" surfaces are flush with no protrusion when open.
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