Hinges




This fixture is for forming eyes on strap hinges as shown in the three illustrations from Al Cannella's book (101 Metal Projects for the Novice Blacksmith, created by Al Cannella, © and pubished by Poor Boy Blacksmith Tools).  This one shown has 3/8" and 1/2" rod welded onto opposite sides of a piece of 1/4" x 3" x 4" flat stock.   Buyer can used any two combinations of 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 3/4" or 1".  3/8" and 1/2" are the default sizes and are what will be sent if no other sizes are specified promptly following purchase.

The basic process is to feather out the end of the strap stock, make a 90 degree bend in it, place it and the jig in a vise with the round pin resting on top of the bend, which is on top of the jaws (not over it as shown).  The feathered end is then quickly brought back over the pin.  Then it is removed from the vise and reheated.  To complete the eye a short piece of rod is placed in the bottom of the now "U", that is held over the side of the anvil and the feathered portion brought back flush with the back of the strap hinge.  Be sure the eye stays to the front of the hinge.  The initial bend is best done in a leg/post vise as the jaw curve makes the turning process easier.

To make a hinge joint you make two eyes, place them up against each other and mark where the male and female parts will be.  Once cut through the eye, the excess eye part is removed with a chisel and the cut cleaned up with a file.  If done right, the two halves of the hinge stray should mesh together without excess slop.  It is very important that the 90 degree bend be as sharp as possible to give a nice visual appeal.

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