Imitating an old hinge

Post from Editorials

Old or antique doors can support brand new hinges, here is how to antiquing these details to make them perfect.

Imitating an old hinge
Paolo Fertig
Paolo Fertig

Imitating an old hinge

To the antique furniture for the house or to the windows that we want to renew, we can apply hinges properly treated so that they look more antique (hard to find in stores). Of course, the proposed method must be adapted to the style of each piece of furniture.

1) Once we have got a new hinge (of iron or other metal), work the edges with a grinding wheel so as to make them rather irregular.

2) The holes where the screws will be inserted to fix the hinges to the furniture should be treated with a square file, to make them uneven.

Limare i fori della cerniera
3) With the peen of the hammer tap few strokes to make the surface of the metal irregular, so that it is not perfectly smooth.

4) Hold the hinge with a pair of pliers and heat it strongly with a gas torch until it is red hot.

Bettere la cerniera con un martello
5) When the hinge has become red-hot, dip it in a basin containing mineral oil until completely cooled. This gives the metal a polished and antiqued appearance.

6) When the metal hinge has cooled, to remove all traces of mineral oil, wash thoroughly and dry it well with a cloth.

Immersione della cerniera in olio minerale
7) Buy a can of paint for metal silver color and, with a brush lightly dipped, create a few light strokes.

8) To antique a brass zipper, dip it in a solution formed by water and verdigris.

9) When the brass has been immersed in the solution for at least 48 hours, take it out and polish it: take on various colors similar to those of old metal.

Tintura per metalli

The editors recommend:

Replace an hinge

Even if you do not wish to make new antiquing, replacing a zipper is a task that may prove necessary in the house: these parts of the door are very important and tough, but also subject to wear and tear. To change them you do not need to resort to special tools: the operation can be performed safely and independently, in a very short time.

The first thing to do is to make sure that the zipper is, in fact, appropriate to the door: some are reversible, ie they can be applied in indifferently to both the right and left side of the door, while others are directed and must therefore be chosen on the basis of the opening of the door itself. In addition to the side on which the door is to be secured, you must also check if the door opens inwards or outwards, and then choose the hinges accordingly.

For an effective installation, you will have to take into account the characteristics of the rooms, space for the opening and the arrangement of the switches, which must be easily reached with the hands when opening the door.

Once you have identified the type of hinge required, you just have to place it correctly: if you are installing a new door hinge on a pre-existing door, the actions are few and simple.

It will be sufficient to follow the spaces of the mortise that are already on the door, taking care to align the holes with the holes of the hinge of the door, and then fix the screws with the drill to the door and subsequently changes to the chassis, to anchor the other end of the door hinge and eventually place it on the frame.

If, instead, the door is new, you must first place the door in a vertical position exactly where it will stand subsequently, verifying any obstacles or problems. Once the door is perfectly suited to its space, you will draw, with a pencil, the outline of the mortise, which will then be carved with a stone-cutter for wood.

The same operations, if the mortise is not present, must be carried out also on the door frame, while if it exists already, it will be sufficient to match the spaces with the positioning of the hinge on the door.

Be careful not to carve too deep: the ideal is to be able to position the hinge so that it will be perfectly flush with the rest of the door. At this point you will be taken to set the hinge as indicated above, and then perform the same operations on the frame.

During these operations it is important to pay attention not only to the door opening, but also to the correct placement of the male and the female. The male one, having the the pin, movable, shall be secured to the door frame, while the female will be attached to the door itself.

For greater precision, instead of the wood chisel you can use a template to dig the mortise: in this way the work will be eligible for pinpoint accuracy.

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