Hinge of the matter?


Analysis of methods for hinging and attachment of moveable reveal panel

I give in …

sort of.


During the last month or so been doing some health juggling while thinking through the outstanding items in the  30s – 50s house.

There’s the roof which you know about and which I’ve begun to make decisions on and, the one I’ve not really owned up to – the closure on the back face that lets you view the kitchen and bathroom.

What’s to do?

This is a narrow space and needs almost a full height piece of ‘something’ that is sturdy, can hold two windows and that does not warp.  Apologies for the emphasis there, but am a bit obsessed by how to go about this.

As mentioned was running short on the old brain cells as they were otherwise occupied.  What was and is available at the moment are somewhat on holiday – or that’s my excuse for not coming to the point with this job.

Lacking useful concentration has, however, given rise to hours of fantastic and impractical fun working on some strange and amusing resolutions for this back section of wall.  I thought I might share a little of the more practical ones.

Sensible ones

 Type: For: Against:
The obvious one is an interference fit as used all over Hogepotche Hall. simple, easiest, most basic to make, once the sizing is achieved making sure that warping can’t occur

damage to the surrounding main wall that frames it

On HH, all edges, on the face and down the fitting sides of both the carcass and the removable piece, could be finished off in timber as was a timber frame building.  Here it’s not appropriate for the style.

Traditionally – metal hinges they work once how they fit is managed, they’re sturdy (if I get suitable ones) again the warping issue

not sure that the carcass or the swinging piece are/will be thick enough to take a hinge

tendency for nailing/fixing to ‘bounce’ out on use

prejudice on my part as not a fan of them generally

T2 – fabric, leather or ribbon/tape hinging simple, cheap, can be adjusted very easily to depth/width of carcass and moving piece tendency for this type of hinging to drop or glue/fixing process to fail

warping issue for moving section

Fantasy land
  For: Against:
Make own – using part of two safety-pins hooked over a length cut from bottom of wire hanger running in wood channel the full length of the moving piece cheap and cheerful and fun to make again the warping issue

cranks the section outwards so not an optimum look

messy and unnecessarily complex with too many pieces involved

Photos of working with a dummy piece to represent the opening wall section while I played about with the safety-pin method.

Ended up working with a piece of ‘U’ profile wood so the channel could be provided in a-oner.

This arrangement was all too fiddly and messy and when I considered how much the whole thing had to be cranked outwards I stopped investigating any further.

As you can see on the last photo here the ‘U’ profile wood fits nicely as was the exact size to almost fill the gap made between the moving wall section and the house wall without adding to the displacement.


Far too elaborate.  Took me all of the time playing, before I asked myself if this is mostly about the warping issue ruling whether it’s hinges or swivels?

Where now?

Well, investigate the hinges further, I reckon.

Bought three different sizes/styles of hinge and will investigate all three.

Type For: Against:
Set of four mini hinges of suitable width Small

Will fit in depth of body and moving section

Look weak

Will need to find very small counter sunk screws to replace the very short pins provided


Brass finish

Pair of cranked hinges May still fit the depth of body (not yet arrived to check)

Ready black stained

Unknown at moment
Small piano hinge Continuous or able to be cut in two

Possibly neater

Roll of edge will be visible

Brass finish

Suspect will be better off with long pins of suitable diameter, at least in the sandwich of the carcass as the core there is foamboard.

Not sure of benefit of recessing or flat fitting so will need to try out each on small model sections.

Will need to find very small screw (see above comment re carcass) and/or, work out a method of making rawlplugs for fixing.  Possibility of using wood filler in the wholes made to hold the pin or screw?

Different hinge method

Type For: Against:
Woven tape less likely to sag in weave not sure have any narrow enough.
Nylon mix woven ribbons less likely to wear may sag and has no memory when try to iron so does not take a crease willingly
Various satin ribbons various widths available even a bound edge does warp under strain
Leather strips make any length or width, have multiples or single sag/stretch with use

Will also try out models for tape or ribbon.

I think, if this method is used then it needs to be continuous piece(?) which might help prevent dropping.

The main problem

Anti-warping build

Whichever method is used for access, I reckon this section of wall needs making much thicker to take the mechanism. Fortunately I’ve left the bathroom floor recessed back rather than cut to come to the front edge, giving a deep area of recess for a wall/door to fit.  The kitchen below has the floor space too.

To do it all in one would be goo but a piece of MDF is going to be too heavy – already looked into that.  A piece of suitable ply might do it or a sandwich of varied materials, each of which I hope would warp at different rates and therefore hold each other in place.  As long as any hinging mechanism can sit or be fitted to a suitable depth of wall of course, either of these might do.


Actually took an executive decision yesterday morning and made a smaller piece of filling wall for the top of the opening.  This is needed for the guttering to have somewhere to live that doesn’t move about when the wall is opening.

I have this wayward image that, while I’m not looking, the pressure of the chocks of wood each side being too tight and the whole house going ‘PINGacross the room 🙂

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