Making a Custom Hinge

A commercially available custom hinge can usually be found to suit almost any application. However, sometimes a situation arises when a purpose built custom hinge needs to be made. Such a situation arose when a set of Art Deco security doors had to be installed on the inside of some outward opening courtyard doors. The security doors also needed to be able to open out as well or be left locked while the outer doors remained open.

To enable the inner and outer doors to be totally independent of each other they needed their own hinge but they also needed a common pivot so that they would not foul on each other when opened and closed. This was achieved by making a combination butt/parliament hinge where one flap was longer than the other but they both shared a common pivot flap.

The first step was to find hinges that allowed themselves to be modified into a custom hinge. Eventually a quantity of 90mm butt hinges were found that used 3mm thick steel flaps and had removable finial ended pivot pins. Additional parts to make the extended parliament flap were laser cut in 3mm steel. Once the extension pieces were assembled they could be welded to the required hinge flap. Photos of the installed hinges can be found on the completed installation link.

The pictures below show the steps involved in making the hinges.

Hinge parts

Parts used to make the custom hinge

Disassembled hinges

Two hinges were first disassembled

Making a longer pivot pin

Two pivot pins are joined together to make a longer pin to fit the wider hinge

Joining the two hinges

Two hinges are welded together on one side leaving two independent flaps held in place by the longer pivot pin.

Completed hinge extension pieces

Assembled laser cut hinge extension pieces

Fitting extension piece to one hinge

Fitting an extension piece to one hinge flap

Completed combination hinge

Completed combination hinge

The hinge in two positions showing operation

Hinge operation positions

Arch Theme Security Bars

Here are some photos of a recent Princess arch theme security bars installation. These arch themed security bars were inspired by the arched windows and door on the front facade of the Sydney terrace house pictured below. Other windows in the house also have arched sections which have been mirrored in their respective security bars.

Bedroom doors closed

Double bedroom doors closed

View of the double arch balcony doors

View of the double arch balcony doors

View of the double arched dining room window bars

View of the double arched dining room window bars

Front view of house

Front view of terrace with bars fitted

The Princess arch theme in these DecoWorks designs is uncommon due to the extra work involved in making several concentric curves of various diameters. Usually there is a single arch within a rectangular door frame. In our designs the arch theme is emphasised by using an arched door frame instead of a rectangular one.

Art Deco Security Door

Strand Art Deco security door

Strand Art Deco security door installed


Here is the completed Strand Art Deco security door installed on the clients house. A loungeroom door also opened onto this verandah and another Strand was installed there as well.

The all steel construction of the Strand ensures sturdy and reliable security which will endure for many years.

A feature of the Strand Art Deco security door in this installation is its relationship with the leadlight glass infill on the front door. With the front door open the Strand provides a pleasant silhouette looking out onto the street. This mirrors the leadlight design in the door. Regular vertical security bars can give the impression of living in a cage and look unpleasant.

The addition of this custom Art Deco security door adds a stylish touch to the look of the front door.

Strand Style Security Door

Strand Art Deco security door

making “The Strand” Art Deco security door


A new DecoWorks Art Deco security door takes shape in the workshop.

This is our “Strand” design and it based on one of the many leadlight window designs found in the homes built during the 30’s and 40’s around Sydney.

Once all the steel components and cut and, in the case of the Strand, rolled into circles, they are arranged in a 1:1 jig before being finally welded together.

The final steps are the fitting of hinges and support bars. After painting it will be ready for installation.

Our Art Deco door designs try to avoid traditional horizontal and vertical bars which are fine to lock up animals but should be avoided in a home.

Flat Steel Double Bars


Cleaning flat steel bar

Cleaning scale from flat steel bar


Before making the flat steel double bars for the collapsible security door vertical bars the flat steel lengths have to be cleaned to remove the scale which is always on new steel. This makes for a better surface and ensures good adhesion of the final powder coat finish.

The picture at right shows the cleaning process and tools used. It is a noisy and dirty job but well worth the effort in the long run.

After the flat steel bar has been cleaned two lengths are placed in a jig and welded together with steel spacer blocks which form a double flat bar with gaps in between which house the folding trellis sections of the door. The spacer blocks add considerable rigidity to the flat steel lengths by forming an open box section. They are further strengthened when the folding trellis sections are riveted into position.

Making the double flat bar sections

Making the double flat steel bar sections

Completed vertical bar sections

Completed double vertical bar sections ready for powder coating

Art Deco Casablanca

A walk around the central area of Casablanca in Morocco reveals a treasure trove of Art Deco architecture and design. Many of the Art Deco buildings are in a poor state of repair but overall it is an adventure exploring the streets to see what gems you can find.

Art Deco wrought ironwork

What really caught my eye were the many fine examples of wrought iron security doors and grilles. Every second building had these wonderful works of art in their doorways. Here a a few exceptional examples of Art Deco wrought ironwork I discovered.

29 Rue Abderrahem Sahraoui

29 Rue Abderrahem Sahraoui

Art Deco design found at 95 Rue Chaouia

Art Deco lyre bird design found at
95 Rue Chaouia

Art Deco Hotel Rialto at 9 Rue Salah Bee Bouchaib

Art Deco Hotel Rialto at
9 Rue Salah Bee Bouchaib

Classic design at 40 Rue Moulay Abdullah

Classic design at 40 Rue Moulay Abdullah

Plaza Security Door

This is a recent installation of the Decoworks Art Deco Plaza security door. The door had an insect screen built into the frame at the owners request. The doors are made from steel and are of rugged construction which is reason enough to spend that little bit more on a custom made security door rather than a mass produced product.

Stylish Art Deco security bars and grilles

There are many companies who supply security door products in a wide range of styles. Their designs tend to be simple and easy to manufacture and are really just variations of plain vertical bars usually associated with prisons or birdcages.

The Plaza security door design is one of a series of Art Deco security doors designed and produced exclusively by DecoWorks. Other Art Deco security designs in the range include the Casablanca, the Inca, the Zen and the Odeon. The Plaza security door designs can be adapted to suit any situation including windows and gates.

Plaza security door

Plaza security door

Silhouette of Art Deco security door

Silhouette from the hallway

The silhouette of the Art Deco security door shown above is another good reason to choose a custom designed door.

Art Deco Elevator Doors

Art Deco elevator door

Art Deco elevator door

The Grand Hi-Lai hotel in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung has wonderful Art Deco veneer work on the elevator doors on the 43rd floor. It was the last place I would have expected to see something like this. Modern Chinese architecture can be full of surprises.

Another good example of Art Deco style being adapted into modern decor.