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The Finest Brass and Iron Hardware Available for Furniture and Home.

Historical Guide to Hinge Specs.

Butt Hinge Specifications

The following specification relate to the English extruded brass cabinet hinges on pages 205 & 206 in our 2004 catalogue. The load ratings provided are extremely conservative and allow for the possibility of a high frequency of usage. In real world situations failure of these hinges is unlikely. When problems do happen they are generally in the area of fastening. Screws need to be sized appropriately to the species and thickness of the wood. In most hardwoods a 5/8" or 3/4" screw will be adequate assuming a correct sized pilot hole. Pine or other soft woods will benefit from longer screws. The brass woodscrews we provide are generally 5/8" long, this eliminates the potential of embarrassment that can occur when a screw point emerges through the side of the cabinetwork. Other lengths can be supplied upon request.

Brass woodscrews can easily shear off in harder woods. There is no easy way to remove the imbedded stub so you are well advised to pre-thread the screw holes with a steel screw of the same size.

The dimensions supplied are accurate enough to use as a basis for choosing the correct hinge but are not intended as a substitute for the hinge itself when it comes to fitting. Though English hinges are far more consistent than they were a few years ago any hinge or other piece of mortised hardware should always be fitted empirically rather than by measurement.

English cabinet hinges come in some odd sizes. Many of these sizes are traditional and probably date to the 18th century. A feature common to this type of hinge is the tapered leaf. Were you or I to design a hinge we would almost certainly make the leaf flat. Back when hinges were made of cast brass the conscientious pattern makers of the time took account of one of the fundamental principals of good casting practice and avoided as much as possible a sudden change in thickness. Consequently the hinge leaf is made as thick as possible at the point where it becomes the hinge barrel. The leaf is then made thinner across it's width in order to provide a safe margin of clearance between the leafs. Even with the best efforts of the hinge maker these old cast hinges were still inclined to break at this weak point.

Today our hinges are made from lengths of extruded brass section that are cut, machined and drilled. This material is many times stronger than the cast equivalent and except for the sake of tradition the need for a tapered leaf no longer exists. Happily in this instance, the English consider tradition reason enough to perpetuate practices that others would dismiss out of hand.

Our extruded brass loose pin hinges are made for us in the USA and the bulk of them go into kitchen cabinet work. We designed these hinges with flat leafs to avoid as much as possible alienating cabinet makers who are often already suspicious of this kind of hinge for its apparent lack of an adjusting screw.

Regardless of the leaf section the mortise cut for these hinges is identical. The formula for determining the depth of cut being barrel diameter minus door gap divided by 2. The height of the mortise is measured directly off the hinge. The width of the mortise must allow the center of the pivot to be just forward of the cabinetwork in the case of untipped butt hinges and the full barrel exposed in the case of loose pin hinges.

A tall door will need three hinges whether light, in which case it will be prone to warpage, or heavy in which case the third hinge will help support the load. As a guideline consider a third hinge when the door exceeds 48".

Whitechapel Ltd. butt hinge spec chart

Butt hinge specifications

Product #

Size (L X W)

Leaf Thickness

Barrel Diameter

Screw Size

Load Rating

205HG1

4" X 3"

5/32"

7/16"

8

40lb

205HD1

4" X 2 5/8"

5/32"

3/8"

8

30lb

205HS1

3" X 2"

1/8"

5/16"

8

30lb

205H1

3" X 1 5/8"

3/32"

1/4"

8

16lb

205H63

2 1/2" X 2"

3/32"

1/4"

8

16lb

206H40

2 1/2" X 1 1/2"

3/32"

1/4"

8

16lb

206H2

2 1/2" X 1 3/8"

5/64"

7/32"

6

11lb

206H3

2 1/2" X 1 1/8"

5/64"

3/16"

4

9lb

206H5

2" X 1 1/2"

3/32"

1/4"

6

16lb

206H6

2" X 1 1/4"

5/64"

7/32"

6

11lb

206H7

2" X 1 1/8"

5/64"

3/16"

4

9lb

206H8

2" X 7/8"

1/16"

5/32"

4

7lb

206H11

1 1/2" X 7/8"

1/16"

5/32"

4

7lb

206H12

1 1/2" X 3/4"

1/16"

5/32"

3

7lb

206H14

1" X 5/8"

3/64"

9/64"

2

6lb