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Hinges


Janel

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Guest DFogg

Hinge, that's an interesting and strange thought. Are you considering boxes?

 

I use to be a blacksmith and have made strap hinges. I have never tried anything delicate, but have a Dover pub book on Antique decorative ironwork that has lots of examples of pivots and hinges.

 

Explain more about what you are thinking, it sounds interesting.

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I have no real ideas yet, but have wondered for years how different sorts of hinges work. My thoughts recall the boxes, jewelry, knives and dolls that my friends have made, which I have seen at the shows I am in. Doll makers use a hinge of sorts for the articulating appendages, knife makers use a hinge that might even have a spring and tension mechanism, treasure boxes (jewelry storage), and beer steins even have hinged lids.

 

One thing that intrigues me is that the hinges are often so very well hidden when made by a skilled person. That concept for use with the materials I am using, wood, mammoth tusk, antler, bone, amber... Plus the concept of collaboration with an artist who works with gold... pendant or brooch cameo-type hinged ornaments, perhaps.

 

I am not there yet. Just exercising the brain, looking for more information.

 

In one area that some of the members are working in already: I wonder how the closeable knives work, are made. The hinge, the spring, how are the decorated sides attached when made of metal or non metal materials...

 

To my eyes, the answers are hidden within the knife, or the box, or in the hinge itself...and in the brains of the makers!

 

Janel

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Janel. As a jeweler I've made more hinges than I'd care to remember. Making hinges is time consumeing. I now use doll house piano hinges. They come in six inch lengths and different widths. They also have miniature nails made just for the hinges. If you really want I will work up some drawings to show how to make a few different kinds of hinges. James D. Whitehead

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Thanks James,

 

There is no need to go to the effort to illustrate the hinges, but thanks for the offer. For my own application I am mostly curious about non-metal hinges, that might be hidden in the wood pieces that would articulate when hinged. I'll give in and ask a wood jewelry box maker/friend of mine some day when I need to get it figured out.

 

Also, I was just fishing here with this group to explore the topic. I am still curious about how a folding knife hinges and what makes the tension on the blade. Learning is fun.

 

Janel

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This question is aimed at Christine.

 

Do doll makers have hinge knowledge for the articulating limbs that could be described here without giving away personal trade secrets? I am curious about the many solutions for the various media and kinds of objects that we make that are hinged.

 

I took a brief look at a wood shop book section yesterday, and came to the assumption that there is no limit to the ways a hinge could be made if some basic alignment and precision fitting concepts are kept in mind.

 

With the limbs for dolls, how do the hinges stay implanted in the limb and body? Is the attacher made from a different sort of material than the doll?

 

I'll not ask too many questions here, though I could... :)

 

Janel

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Well, I'm no expert :) I use a very basic wood peg "swivel" joint in my dolls and it's no trade secret given that I think it's been used by doll makers for hundreds of years...

 

It is difficult to explain in words however. I am about to do just that part of my latest doll so I will take pictures that will make it clear.

 

In the doll world, this is called a "swivel peg joint". Not very descriptive really because this joint requires two parts to work: the peg (which goes between the limb and the body) and the pin which holds the peg in place while allowing it to spin. I make all my pegs and pins out of the same wood as the body - in the following case, I'm using Acer macrophyllem - Western Big Leaf Maple.

 

OK, here is the sequence.

 

post-6-1120016150.jpg post-6-1120016183.jpg

 

After all the holes are drilled in the body and limbs, seconday smaller holes are drilled in a non conspicuous place for each of the limbs. In the above, for the arm attachment, I placed the secondary hole in the back of the body. You can see if you look close that you want the secondary hole to intersect the main hole at a 90 degree angle.

 

post-6-1120016198.jpg post-6-1120016217.jpg

 

The peg as you can see is a dowel that has a groove or slot all the way around it the exact width and half the diameter of the pin. At this point I check to make sure it all fits and spins properly.

 

post-6-1120016229.jpg post-6-1120016247.jpg

 

The dowel is cut now and the part that sticks out of the body is glued into the arm. The whole assembly of arm with peg is now placed back in the body and the pin is slid into the hole in the body, catching hold of the groove cut in the peg. The pin has a touch of glue carefully placed just as it's last little bit is sliding into the body, and then will be cut off and sanded flush.

 

post-6-1120016264.jpg post-6-1120016275.jpg

 

Above at left another view of how the pin rides in the groove on the peg. Voila! The arm should turn easily. A swivel peg joint!

 

Christine

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Lovely work, Christine.

I often think simple is best, but not always easy.

Here is a simple pin hinged lid I made as complicated as I could. Since I cut the lid to follow the lines of the antler and not square, the hinge point on each side was different. Afte doing about 30 of them they are a snap.The Pins are sterling,wood is mahogany and the antler is shed imperial elk.

post-8-1118916234.jpg

post-8-1118916567.jpg

post-8-1118916799.jpg

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Raymond - that had to be a bit tricky to have the pins be not in allignment @@.

 

Janel, I forgot to mention yesterday that the swivel peg joint can easily be combined with other joints to increase the articulation of the piece. Here's another doll with fancier shoulder movement acheived by combining the swivel peg with a mortice and tenon.

 

post-6-1119976659.jpg post-6-1119976672.jpg

 

And if you want to see something really amazing, here is a link to a photo of a doll by Traudel Von Rothardt:

 

http://www.lotzdollpages.com/pixmod/rothrdt9.jpg

 

The arm itself has five points of movement!

 

Christine

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Christine,

Yes it was a real brain twister figuring out the hinge points,but I really wanted to have the seams blend in. After doing a bunch I now have an intuitive feel for the points, they have a lovely snap to they're open/closure. The only hard part is finding shed elk antler that is suitable..For even finding sheds is difficult add to that suitable size and condition, it cuts down the candidates..

The good part is I live in the boonies of British Colombia, so it's a good excuse to hike the mountains in feb/march..

Ray

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  • 6 months later...

Just a newbie, but I have been making the little pliers out of a single piece of wood for over 30 years and they still fascinate me. the same principle is used in making a bookstand. it's a simple hinge. If nobody else beats me to it, I'll try to get some photos to show the steps if you're interested.

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I know that this was started a while back. I have built some wood hinges and have used many a pair of brass hinges in my box building. To make it simple hinge you need to line up the holes for the pin to pass thru, so that both parts move free, easy, and smooth. To make small wood hinge to open a section of a carving use the smallest brass or steel rods you can get. Drill the same size hole thru the ends that do not move and into, the peice that is to move. The pins must line up with each other in a stright line. But a one piece rod that is all the way thru both, ends and the piece that is to move is better. If you can drill the hole for the rod first, then cut apart the hole will be in the correct place. If I did not make myself clear please let me know, and I will try to explain further or when I get a new camera I will show with some pictures.Firewood Studio

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  • 2 years later...

I've dredged up an old topic, to add some new life. About a year ago, I completed this piece, a fishing creel with a hinged lid. Contained within are two mother of pearl fish.

post-10-1207241912.jpg

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I created the lid by having two 'fingers' (I'm sure there's a hinge term for this, but I don't know it :( ) carved into it. The bottom of the basket receives these fingers. Then, a hole was drilled laterally from both sides, running through the back of the bottom portion, into the fingers. Each hole (right and left) received a thin rod of boxwood, to serve as the hinge pin.

 

Two points worth mentioning, and evidence of how not to do it.

1. The holes have to be drilled EXACTLY perpendicular to the rotation of movement when the hinge is opened and closed.

2. The holes entering the fingers have to have enough wood around them to physically support the mechanical stress of opening and closing the lid.

 

As you can see, the pin at the right in the photo came too close to the edge of the finger, and after a few openings of the lid, broke.

post-10-1207241922.jpg

 

;):)

better luck next time!

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