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

Cabinet Sides and Assembly

Temporary assembly

Temporary assembly with staples to mark out dowel joints

Carrying on from the previous post on the cabinet construction the side panels were cut in a jig so they matched the bevel on the curved front panel. Once they were completed the top, bottom and intermediate shelves were cut with a radius that matched the inside radius of the front panel.

The completed parts of the cabinet were assembled in the original moulding form and held together with staples so the position of all the dowel joints could be determined. The cabinet was then disassembled and the holes for the dowels drilled. Since none of the joints were 90 degrees a special drilling jig was made so the holes could be drilled at 77 degrees.

Once all the dowel holes were drilled the parts were glued and pushed together. This proved a difficult task because of the tapered sides. Nothing could be pushed in squarely and, because of the angle of the sides, it was difficult to apply a force in the required direction for the joints to close. Eventually everything came together and the frame could be clamped and left to dry.

The above steps are illustrated below.

Making the sides

Side panel ready for routing using the front panel template.

Routed side panel

Side panel after routing the 45 degree edge to match the front panel.

Cutting the curved top, bottom and shelf panels

Cutting the curved top, bottom and shelf panels with a router

Drilling dowel holes

Drilling dowel holes with a 77 degree drill jig

Aligning drill jig

Looking down the drill guide to align it with the mark for the dowel position

Cabinet panels drilled and dowelled

Cabinet panels drilled and dowelled ready for assembly.

Assembling the cabinet frame

Assembling the cabinet frame

Cabinet frame clamped

Clamped and glued cabinet frame

Once the glue has dried the drawers need to be made along with the top splash board and back panel. The next cabinet post will deal with these items and the fitting of the handles, legs and marble top and splash board. The completed side cupboard can be seen on this page.

Cabinet Door Cutting

Completed door section fitted with hinges

Completed door sections fitted to the centre support with hinges to keep them aligned.

After cutting the shape of the cabinet front panel the side edges now need to be mitred to 45 degrees. This allows the sides to fit squarely and hide the end grain of the front panel doors.

The curved panel remains on its support frame to hold it parallel to the horizontal. A jig is built around the panel to provides a flat surface along its side edges so a router can be used to make the mitre. A template is made of each side curve and this is attached to the jig to guide the router along the edge.

Care needs to be taken because a wrong cut now will render the curved panel useless requiring another to be made. This would be a very unpleasant task to undertake at this point of construction.

The steps involved in completing the front doors of the cabinet are illustrated below.

Cut cabinet door

Cabinet front panel cut to shape on the bandsaw. A 45 degree edge now needs to be cut.

Making curve template

Tracing the curve of the cabinet front to make a router guide to cut the 45 degree edge.

Routing jig

The routing jig built around the front panel to form a flat along the side edges for the router to move along.

Routing the cabinet front edges

The curve template is attached to the jig frame and the router is ready to make the cut

Completed routed edge

View along the front panel edge showing the completed 45 degree cut

Cutting the doors and drawer fronts

Cutting the door and drawer sections with a jigsaw

The two sides now need to be cut to match the front panel curves. The router guide used for the 45 degree cut on the front panel will be used in another jig so the cuts will match. The next post will illustrate the making of the sides and assembly of the cabinet frame.

Curved Cabinet Doors

Custom side cabinet design

3D rendering of custom side cabinet design

There are several steps required to make the curved cabinet doors required for the custom design shown on the right. What complicates this design is that the curved doors are also tapered. This makes the join line between the sides of the cabinet and the curved doors non-linear. The join line is further complicated because it needs to taper in to hide the end grain of the sides and the doors.

The first step is to make a curved panel that can be cut to the required shape. The only way to make this is to make a form that has the same radius as the door, and laminate several sheets of 3 ply together inside the form.

The glued sandwich of plywood is placed into the form and clamped in place with heavy weights until the laminate dries. When the panel is removed it is the same shape as the form.

The following photos illustrate the steps involved in making the curved cabinet doors panel.

Bottom form frame

Completed bottom form section with the required radius ready for cladding

Framework for upper form section

Completed framework for upper form section ready for cladding

Form frames covered in plywood

Form frames covered in plywood

Upper and lower form sections

Completed laminating form.

Glueing laminates

Applying glue to both faces of the plywood sheets with a roller prior to placing them in the form

Ply sandwich in weighted form

Five glued plywood sheets clamped into the form and weighed down with 700kg of pavers

curved panel

The completed laminated curved panel for the front of the side cabinet after removal from the form

Routing the jig frame

Routing the radius for the curved panel support frame. This will make the curved panel easier to handle.

Panel support frame

The completed panel support frame ready for cladding in ply

Cutting the curved panel

curved panel clamped to the support frame ready for cutting

The next step is to cut the two doors and drawer fronts from the tapered curved panel. This requires a special jig to be built so the elliptical curve between the sides and the door can be accurately cut. These in turn will need to be held in position for the mating of the side panels and central hinge support. The next blog post will illustrate the steps involved in this process to make the curved cabinet doors.

The Professionals Seriesware Plates – Royal Doulton

Of the fine china collectables Royal Doulton has produced over the years my particular favourite are the nine Professionals seriesware plates. They are called “The Jester”, “The Admiral”, “The Falconer”, “The Parson”, “The Doctor”, “The Hunting Man”, “The Mayor”, “The Squire” and “The Bookworm”.

The Professionals seriesware plates have been produced since the early part of the 20th century and comprise of four distinct firings.

1) The D3XXX series (produced 1909 – 1938)
Generally have a green circle around the central image

2) The D5XXX series (produced 1938 – 1948)
Generally have a thick brown circle around the central image

3) The D6XXX series (produced 1948 – 1960)
Have a thin brown circle around the central image

4) The TCXXXX series (produced 1960 – 1974)
Similar to the D6XXX series but with very *new* looking white china.

The Professionals seriesware firings

The following photos show examples of each of the first three firings of the Professionals seriesware plates. The plates on the left are the D3XXX firing, the middle are the D5XXX firing and the right hand plate is the D6XXX firing. A brief description of the differences between each plate firing is also given. Click on an image to see the full size image.

The TCXXXX Professionals seriesware plates are similar to the D6XXX firing but have not been included for personal reasons. I feel they look too *new* and are not very collectable.


The Professionals seriesware the Jester

The Jester varieties

The early D3684 Jester plates in the Professionals seriesware have a black circle painted around the central image of the plate and are much more colourful around the outer rim of the plate than later varieties. The Jester’s cape is also all red whereas later plates have a green panel on the left shoulder and green sections on the head horns. His puppet stick is also red and green on the earlier plates while the D5903 series are dark green with yellow trimming and the D6277 have a lighter green head on the puppet.

The D3684 and D5903 plates have a creamy colour while the D6277 are much whiter. The D3684 is the nicest plate with rich saturated colours and nice glaze. It is also an extremely rare plate to find.


The Professionals seriesware the Admiral

The Admiral varieties

The Admiral is a very popular plate in the Professionals seriesware plates and the early D3616 version is particularly rare, much more so than the Bookworm. Overall its colours are completely different. The Admirals coat is red and his epaulettes are yellow with pale blue/yellow trim. The D5903 and D6277 versions have a royal blue coat with red epaulettes with yellow trim. Later plates have a white sash across his chest and a royal blue hat while the early plate has a pale blue sash and hat.

The rim decoration in the D3616 has a pale blue sea with yellow sailed ships while later versions have a pale green sea with pale sails. The portrait background of the D5902 and D6278 consists of warm coloured clouds while the early D3616 plate is plain white.

Overall the D5903 has the richest colours of the Professionals seriesware plates and the glaze is more creamy than either the D3616 or the D6278 version.


The Professionals seriesware the Falconer

The Falconer varieties

The D3756 Falconer Professionals seriesware plate is another whose colours are quite different from the later versions. The Falconer’s tunic is red with a grey collar over a yellow undershirt with a grey sleeve while the later D5907 and the D6279 versions have a green tunic with matching green collar, a light grey undershirt with a royal blue sleeve. Where the early plate has a light blue/grey circle on the inner rim surrounding the portrait with white clouds and a grey landscape background the later versions have warm coloured clouds and a coloured landscape background surrounded by a thick brown circle on the D5907 and a thin brown circle on the D6278 version.

Other differences include the Falconer’s glove which is grey on the early plates and brown in the later two versions. The falcon itself has more colour detail in the early plate than the later versions. The outer rim decoration on the D3756 consists of white clouds on a pale grey/blue background with white falcons while the later plates have light brown falcons flying over slightly shaded clouds with yellow highlights.

Once again the D5907 Professionals seriesware plates glaze is a more creamy colour overall giving it a richer feel.


The Professionals seriesware the Parson

The Parson varieties

The skin tones on the early Parson plates is quite sallow compared to the pinker tones of the later plates. The portrait is surrounded by a green circle in the D3XXX series plates with a cool pale green/blue background. The D5XXX plates have a thick brown circles surrounding the portrait with a much warmer background with the D6280 being the same except for a finer brown circle surrounding the portrait. The Parson’s vest is brown in the later two varieties and is black in the early D3XXX.

The decoration around the outer rim of books and assorted containers is a little washed out looking on the early plate but is much more colourful in later Professionals seriesware plate varieties. Once again the D5XXX variety is the most attractive plate with its creamy glaze while the other two are much whiter.


The Professionals seriesware the Doctor

The Doctor varieties

The Doctor is very similar to the Parson in that the D3189 plates have a green circle surrounding the portrait with a pale, almost monochromatic background. The outer rim decoration is similar to the Parson and is equally washed out in colour. The later D5906 and D6281 varieties have much more colourful rim decoration and the portrait background is much warmer. Again the D5906 has a thick brown circle around the portrait while the D6281 has a finer brown circle.

The Doctor’s hat becomes progressively more saturated black with each succeeding variety but, overall, it is the D5906 which is the most attractive plate from a pretty plain design.


The Professionals seriesware the Hunting Man

The Hunting Man varieties

The D3349 Hunting Man is again a rather cold looking plate. It has the usual green circle around the portrait with a predominately white background and a brown fox head mounted on the wall. He is wearing a red jacket with a grey vest and plain white cravat. The D5XXX and D6282 varieties give him a blacker hat, yellow vest and a stripped pale blue cravat. The thick brown circle of the D5XXX variety surrounds a much warmer background with a yellow fox head and a picture on the wall. The D6282 has its thin brown circle with a little less detailed background colouring.

The outer rim decoration of hunting horns and jugs and glasses of wine are much more colourful and warmer in later Professionals seriesware plate varieties than pale yellow and blues of the C3349 variety. Once again the D5XXX is the nicest plate with its rich colours and creamy glaze.


The Professionals seriesware the Mayor

The Mayor varieties

The early Mayor plates have a thick green circle around the portrait with a pale grey background. The Mayor sports a red hat, white cravat and a light brown fur collar on his shoulders. Again his face colour is somewhat sallow. The D5899 and the D6283 varieties have a thick brown circle and a thin brown circle respectively around the portrait with a warmer background and face colour. His fur collar is also a pale grey and he sports a pale blue stripped cravat.

The outer rim decoration is predominately yellow in the early D3XXX plates while later varieties have warmer colours added. The D5899 plate is the nicer plate because of its colour saturation and the creamier tone of its glaze.


The Professionals seriesware the Squire

The Squire varieties

The D3711 Squire, like most of these early Professionals seriesware plates, lack richness of colour. The green circle surrounding the portrait against a drab grey background is mirrored in the washed out colours of the rim decoration of books, pipes and wine jugs. In these early plates the sallow faced squire has a red jacket with a yellow vest and pale cravat.

The later D5898 has the thick brown circle surrounding the squire who now has a green jacket, red vest and a pale blue polka dot cravat. Very swish. This garb is carried on in the D6284 plates except for the thin brown circle around the portrait. The rim decoration on both later varieties is more colourful.

The D5898 again has the richer colours and that full cream glaze that sets the variety apart from the others.


The Professionals seriesware the Bookworm

The Bookworm varieties

The D3089 and the D5905 Bookworm plates are considered the most valuable of the Professionals seriesware plates. The D3089 has a green circle surrounding the portrait of the bookworm with a particularly bland background of bookshelves. The drab books around the outer rim do little to enhance the look of this plate and it comes as no surprise that, after the release of the D5905 with its yellow circle around the portrait and an attempt to add some warmth to the background and rim, it remained an unattractive design and was discontinued and not released in the D6XXX series. This is hardly a reason to make it valuable as they are not rare – they pop up with great regularity on eBay.

That being said the D5905 is the more attractive plate because of its richer colours.

Rustic Australian Carport

Rustic Aussie carport

Rustic Aussie carport

Here is an excellent example of an Australian carport in the rustic/country style. The clean lines of the raw timber structure combined cleverly with the paling fence compliment the unpainted corrugated iron roof.
Although this carport could add character and charm in the right situation, adjacent to a modern home in an upmarket street is not one of them. It makes the house look like a dump.

Solution – demolish the carport

Even an effort to paint the carport would only improve things slightly. The best solution to improve the look of the house is to remove it altogether.

More unsympathetic blunders can be found here.

A carport is potentially the single biggest eyesore that can be added to a home.

Window Grille

window grille in wall

Hole in the wall

The creative use of an aluminium reproduction iron lace balustrade panel as a window grille left me breathless. Granted it must have something to do with ventilation but *anything* would have made a better looking window grille than what has been installed in this wall. The builder was obviously very proud of his work because he has painted it white. The window grille looks terrible and it seems to scream out from the brickwork.

Window grille improvement

Painting the panel the same colour as the bricks would help a great deal. Anything to hide the awful balustrade panel.

A nice DecoWorks Chinese lattice grille could have been the perfect choice.