The struggle of the dratted Hinges

The struggle of the dratted Hinges
theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls' house Great Hall

(If that shield to the left of the door looks as tho it’s falling off it’s because it is)

One whole working day and 2 pairs of hinges; 2 sides of door and almost a door frame rebuild.  Fair to good intellectual exercise but not much else produced.

What’s the trouble with Hinges?

theinfill - 1/12 ths scale Medieval to Jacobean Great Hall

1/12th scale hinge pins provided with some kits

Although new to the game of miniatures, I’ve had 2 or 3 goes before at coming to terms with the door hinges.  I’m botherated by not being able to tackle it adequately.  By hinges I refer to the beautiful, ready-made variety of antique or strap style, with moving parts and pins to represent nails.  Fixed doors are fine – the problem lies in when you wish to have opening doors of some sort in various rooms in order to create a vista or simple view into the adjoining living space.

Understanding how it all works in full-scale doesn’t seem to help at all.  Each time determination to succeed adds spice to the venture and great care is taken in measurements, calculations, testing and dry runs and each time it has ended in a fairly respectable compromise but not what the hinge maker intended.

And thus, it was the same yesterday.  Patiently faffing around still no result.  As there is a limit to how much messing you can undertake with delicate objects before they become mush, a decision had to be made to revert to the ‘let’s pretend’ edition.


I carefully cut off the door jamb plate part, hammering out flat any distortion caused in the process of amputation.  The moving

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean 1/12th scale Great Hall

Inner face of door with metal pieces glued over leather strips on door frame. One has slipped and later repositioned. The are not serving any purpose other than visual.

mechanism of pin in sockets is then replaced by an extremely fine strip of sturdy glove leather.  One end is recessed and glued firmly into the wood below the long arm of the hinge upon the door and the other dittoed on the door jamb to sit below the hammered out part, cutting away any excess leather when all is dry.  This construction provides a much wider range of movement and I find it easier to measure the depth of jamb for the doorway fastening that has to be cut away so that the door will fit within its frame.  You need a good glue to affix wood, leather and metal together, but as long as you don’t start swinging on it or belting it about too much, it seems, so far, to hold fairly well and with little or no distortion of door within frame.  The leather, however, does stretch, so care has to be taken there. A bonded edge fine ribbon would also do the trick.  If you use the pins I find you still need the glue.

The end result doesn’t look as pretty in the way the hinge designer intended but it soothes my soul – simply because I can get it to work.

The Great Hall face of the door

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls' house Great Hall

Fuzzy but gives some idea of the dire end(ish) result.

I’d wanted to add a little colour on this side and settled on a chalk ‘wash’ of spring green under the gothic style window frets used, with a mix of a theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean dolls' house Great Halllight and dark oak finish on the woods used.  The area above the transom has some red chalk ‘wash’ on the background with a little green on the edges, and again the 2 shades of oak stain are used.  The colouring probably won’t show greatly, unless you stick your head all the way up to the door, but I’ll know it’s there.

(Apologies for shortage of clear images – borrowing a camera at moment which is good on landscape and views and not so happy with closeup – or I’ve just not yet sussed it.)


2 responses »

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.