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Thread: Furniture hinge question

  1. #1
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    Default Furniture hinge question

    A craigslist find. I’ve got an old cylinder top desk with two swinging doors on the front (bottom). It looks like the hinges were originally double ended nails (see photo). 3 of the 4 nails are gone.

    As far as I can tell, the desk was built up with the nails in place. That is, there is no way to lift up any section of the desk to replace the nail hinges.

    I’m hoping to find some clever way of fixing these doors so they can swing open without doing too much damage to the original desk.

    Any ideas appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tom

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    Last edited by bluedog225; 12-22-2020 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Different solutions for the top and bottom hinges.

    Can you drill down through the bottom rails so that the bottom pin can be inserted from below and pushed home, then secured with a plug?

    The top hinge would require more drastic work. Rout out a groove in the back of the door to allow the hinge pin to be dropped in and pushed home. Then glue in a filler block of matching grains to fill the routed pocket.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Thanks Nick. I’ll try to get up under it and see what is going on. And sorry about the other thread. I reacted when I should have just shut off the computer for a bit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Thanks Nick. I’ll try to get up under it and see what is going on. And sorry about the other thread. I reacted when I should have just shut off the computer for a bit.
    What thread?
    Is that a drawer above the two door cupboard? Can you take the drawer out and drill up into where the drawer slides to mirror my solution for the bottom hinges?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    The top has been covered with some added pieces of wood to repair the drawer slide. Once I fashion new spikes, I think I can wedge the door in with the top spike in place and pin from the bottom with another spike held in place with friction/glue. Interestingly, it is not a nail, it is a nicely formed, evenly tapered, spike. Thanks!
    Last edited by bluedog225; 12-22-2020 at 03:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Drill for your pin deep enough to bury a pin and a small spring (like from a ballpoint pen)under it. Insert the spring, pin and hold them in with a knife blade to position the door, sort of like the plunger on a toilet paper roll holder. If you ever need to remove it, you could do it with deft manipulation of the pin with a knife blade.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Ok. That’s pretty clever as well. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Yes do the bottom pin like Nick suggests and the top pin with a spring under it as #6. You can get a good selection of compression springs at any big box store.

    You need a spacer washer on the bottom pin so the door hinges freely and doesn't catch on the bottom rail. The hole for the top pin and spring needs to be quite deep and carefully sized so there is not too much play.

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  9. #9
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    Default

    Could you retrofit the doors with knife/pivot hinges? The pivot itself would need to located where the nail is.

    https://www.brusso.com/knife-hinges/

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Spring pivot hinges.
    Simple to install, frictionless and will last the life of the cabinet without wear to the door stiles or carcass timbers.
    spring pivot-500x515.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1902 View Post
    Spring pivot hinges.
    Simple to install, frictionless and will last the life of the cabinet without wear to the door stiles or carcass timbers.
    spring pivot-500x515.jpg

    I've never even heard of these. I assume the axle pin is spring-loaded so you can depress it as the door slides into position?
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    I've never even heard of these. I assume the axle pin is spring-loaded so you can depress it as the door slides into position?
    Correct. This particular example has a slotted grub screw at the end of the tube, for either spring adjustment or replacement.
    There are a number of versions of these but all perform the same function.
    Last edited by Mike1902; 12-23-2020 at 09:54 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    loverly bit of wide plank flooring

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Thanks everyone. Lot’s of options I didn’t know about. I went ahead and cut and polished up a 12d nail using some sandpaper and a file. It is a great match for the original. I was able to get it in from the bottom. Significant insect damage on the bottom of this thing. Stored in a barn or in a house where the floor rested on the dirt. Who knows. Will need some work later but functional for now.

    The floor turned out well. It’s just tongue and groove pine siding. When I was younger and more ambitious, I picked through the pile at the lumberyard a few dozen times looking for quartersawn pieces. About 1 in 8. Got enough to do about 25’x25’.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Furniture hinge question

    Have used these before, work nice when you want a concealed hinge.

    How to Install Barrel Hinges Properly | Installing Barrel Hinges | WWGOA


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