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Strap Hinges Are Strong, Decorative And Practical

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In the 1980s cult film, The Breakfast Club, actor Judd Nelson utters the classic line, “without lamps, there’d be no light.” Well, without hinges, there’d be no doors. Every type of door needs some type of hinge mechanism to open and close it. Some are tucked away so that you can’t see them. Others are slightly visible. But strap hinges are boldly seen. That’s because strap hinges are generally either decorative or heavy duty. And, both of those reasons put them on display. Here are several different types to consider for your DIY project that have different strengths, uses and looks.

Dummy Hinges

While every door needs a hinge, apparently not every hinge needs a door. Many people attach non-functional straps for purely decorative purposes. They come in various mediums but the most common seem to be the black, cast iron look. They can be screwed or glued to any firm surface.

Ornamental Hinges

The key difference between an ornamental hinge and a dummy is that it has function. A lot of black, cast iron looking hinges are used to create an old world appearance, generally on cabinets and fence gates.  They come in wide range of styles and getting the right fit could take some overall décor planning. Styles and types include:

  • Antique
  • Colonial
  • Brass
  • Band
  • Heart
  • Bean
  • Black textured
  • Spear
  • Curved Rail
  • British

Keep in mind that you’ll need to match a combination of the hinge’s weight capacity and style to your door.

Stainless Steel Hinges

Stainless hinges tend to be used less for looks and more for enduring the elements. These are common used in marine and commercial environments. They’re easy to clean and withstand industrial chemicals well.

Heavy & Light Duty

Before deciding on the type of look you’d like. The first decision should be how much weight the hinge will carry. A hardware professional can help you gauge the hinge to door ratio. For every door there’s a hinge to match. 

Pintle Hinge

This setup allows you to lift the door up and remove it. They come in two pieces. You fasten one part to the frame and other to the door. The trick is making sure they line up properly.  Pintle hinges are commonly used for fence gates. Also, Jeeps generally utilize them for their removable door panels.

Strap hinges can be made out of a wide range of materials. They are distinguished from other types because they are visible and are among the sturdiest. The great news is that just about any do-it-yourselfer can install them. But if you have questions, ask your local hardware specialist.

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