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Installing strap hinges for heavy doors or gates
in masonry construction

Most 18th hardware where doors or gates installed in masonry construction relied on heavy pintles which were laid into the masonry as the structure was built. This hardware selection and installation approach resulted in a pintle that was virtually as strong as the wall into which it was built.

Many historic examples remain today as originally installed. Fine and functional some 200 years after made and installed, this hardware's history offers proof that a similar approach on contemporary construction will serve as well as the 18th century originals.

Above: Here heavy pintles were built into the stone walls of a mid 1700's Pennsylvania barn. The hinge pins were attached to the pintles when fabricated and installed as the stone walls were built. The hinges were bent to allow the doors to swing into the masonry opening when closed.

Right: Same barn, note how the stone construction dictated the location of the pintles. Each door had the pintles & hinges at different heights - spaced to fit the gap in the stones.

A mid-1700's church gate in Philadelphia was hung with an embedded pintle. The heavy pintle has a hole to accept the pin built into the gate.

This pintle was installed into a solid limestone block. A hole was chiseled in the stone then lead hammered around the pintle to secure it.

Above: another 18th century gate pintle embedded in brick during construction.

This pintle has a pin welded into the heavy pintle plate. Typical hinge barrels swing the gate

Above right: bottom view of the same gate, top pintle.

Right: the left leaf of the church gate shown in detail above. The gate is about eight feet tall with each leaf about six feet wide - a very heavy forged iron construction. The pintle above has had shims added between the hinge pin and gate hinge barrel to compensate for a couple of hundred years' wear.

Above, left & right: Detail of the pintles. Each was mortared into a seam in the bricks as they were laid. In this case the pintle provides a hole which engages the hinge pin. The hinge pins were welded into the strap hinges when they were made. This is a most secure approach. Any lateral stress on the assembled hinge & pintle is carried by the full width of the hinge barrel, the pintles manages the vertical weight load.

Right: a mid 18th century commercial door found in Philadelphia. The door and the hardware are originals, note the hand made brick into which the pintles were installed. Each door is more than nine feet high and about three feet in width.

The hinges were attached to the door with rivets - a secure fastening that had much to do with the door remaining intact and functional for over two centuries of wear, weather, and attempted abuse.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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