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Hardware Selection > Historic Restoration

Best case finds one or more windows with original shutters and hardware surviving on the structure (or in the basement, or attic, or barn…). That’s your hardware. Identify the window/shutter situation that most closely matches your original and provide the required dimensions – a sample always works best.

If the shutters have been removed, original pintles may have been left intact. The pintles tell most of what is needed to define functional hinges appropriate to the installation.

  • A drive or plate pintle indicates that strap hinges were originally used. The height & diameter of the pintle pin equal the hinge barrel dimensions, the distance from the face of the casing to the centerline of the pintle pin is the stand-off, the horizontal dimension from the pin to the edge of the shutter defines the “throw”. The height from the sill to the location of the drive pintle is a good indication of the width of the original bottom shutter rails…… All required dimensions are built into the pintle.

  • A mortised plate with a pin attached within the window frame generally indicates a “parliament” style hinge. Our standard sizes are close to many originals and will mate with most. We’ll provide the female portions for your shutters so you can keep and use the existing hardware without removal or modification.

  • If you have female cups sitting just beyond the junction of the window frame and the structure, you’re in luck. All you need is the matching notched hinge with attached pin and the install becomes a drop-in. The notched hinge and pintle were a very common and functional approach through the 19 th century. The pintles are still present on many structures because they’re made of steel and can’t be broken off and they’re screwed into the sides of the window frame so you can’t get at the screws. Good news is they’re almost all ½” diameter by 1” high. Those dimensions match our standard notched hinges, use the pintles that are already there.

Other telling evidence can be found on the face of the structure. Shutter tie-backs are often still in place – they’ll give you a good idea of the period of the other hardware. My favorite clue is inverted arc lines scribed into the building below the windows. These lines were typically made by hooks that originally held the shutters open. When the shutters were closed the hooks hung free and wind action over the years caused the points of the hooks to leave their marks on the face of the structure, be it wood or masonry. The radius of the arc tells the length of the hooks and points to their original mounting position on the window sills.

Whenever you’re working on an older home, it’s a good idea to look around the neighborhood for similar construction. If you look, you’ll start to notice lots of functional shutters. Stop and take a look, you’ll get ideas and answer questions. Walk three or four blocks down the first street across the Schuylkill river bridge from here and you’ll see about 150 years of shutter hardware evolution.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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